Industry Veteran Peter Molyneux Warns The Indie Craze "Won't Last"
Posted by Jake Shapiro
"Don't think we're going to be all indies for the next five years"
In an interview with CVG, our old friend Peter Molyneux — who recently spoke about the Wii U and his thoughts on Nintendo in general — hopes the games industry won't take the recent indie boom for granted. The veteran developer — now in charge of indie studio 22Cans — likens it to the booms and busts of the music industry:
Don't think we're going to be all indies for the next five years — these things go in cycles, just like in the music business. You have a time where punk is big, and then you have times like now where everything is manufactured. Enjoy this time, because inevitably it will only last a short period.
It's an incendiary quote from a man known for incendiary quotes. Molyneux warns hotshot indie developers not to be wooed by all the venture capital rushing into the industry right now:
Walk through any hotel lobby at GDC and look at people's name badges. This morning at breakfast I saw three angel investors talking to indies. They're saying, "Take my money! I want to invest in your company!" But what those indie companies don't realise is that they'll then have to have board meetings, and in those meetings they'll be told, "No, you shouldn't do that — look at this game that's making money."
The man wasn't all doom and gloom, though. He said the current indie craze reminds him of the adventurous period of bedroom coding in the 1980s when Molyneux started his career. He praised Lucas Pope's cult hit Papers, Please as an example of what the modern indie scene can accomplish. And of course, in 2012 he left his position at Microsoft to found 22Cans. Speaking of which, he had less-than-glowing remarks for his former employers:
If I was still working at Microsoft I would be self-harming. It would be a horrible experience. I now feel like I'm back in an industry that's truly fascinating and marvellous.
Molyneux's new Kickstarter-funded game, Godus, is currently available as a Steam Early Access beta. Considering Nintendo's longtime struggles courting independent developers, do you think its recent strides in opening up the eShop are enough? Or is indie gaming just a fad, and the Big N should stick to what it knows? Share your opinion by leaving a comment below.