Peter Molyneux Says Working at Microsoft Was Too Safe

Whether you’re a fan of big budget game studios or you prefer the smaller indie scene, you have to admit one thing: working for Microsoft has its advantages. However, Peter Molyneux says he found these advantages to be a detriment to his drive and creativity.

While having the Microsoft machine as your safety net certainly would make some developers lives easier, Molyneux described it asa “big supertanker of safety” (meaning it was a little TOO safe for his tastes). As the old saying goes "iron sharpens iron" and it’s clear the Molyneux’s departure from the company two years ago stemmed from this mindset. He reveals in a recent interview, “I left Microsoft because I think when you have the ability to be a creative person, you have to take that seriously, and you have to push yourself” he said.

Molyneux points to the innovations coming from the indie scene as a direct result of the kind of “fear” artists can only feel if they have to scratch and claw in the industry (and not having a built in insurance policy like a corporate conglomerate to fall back on). “…pushing yourself is a lot easier to do if you're in a life raft that has a big hole in the side, and that's what I think indie development is. You're paddling desperately to get where you want to go to, but you're also bailing out. Whereas if you're in a big supertanker of safety, which Microsoft was, then that safety is like an anesthetic. It's like taking antidepressants. The world just feels too comfortable.”

The question is: are Molyneux’s comments a veiled knock at those who work for big companies like Microsoft and Sony? Some say yes, while others just chalk it up to his sometimes eccentric philosophies.

Jason Messer
Jason Messer

Editor-in-Chief / Video Content Director
Date: 03/26/2014

03/26/2014 09:57PM


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