Peter Molyneux has personally responded to the sudden backlash surroundings the failings of Godus.
As reported yesterday, 22cans designer Konrad Naszynski admitted on the game’s forums to his doubts about 22cans’ ability to fulfil all the promises made about the game in its Kickstarter. Now Molyneux himself has apologised directly to backers.
I do put blame on my shoulders,” he said in the video below. Hindsight is a perfect way of looking at life, but there is a catalogue of things I did badly and incorrectly because I’d never done a Kickstarter campaign before, I’d never released a Steam Early access game before, I’d never done a mobile game before and all of these things means I made some horrendous mistakes.
I think the main thing we’re paying [for] with those mistakes is the amount of time it’s taking to find the game that Godus should be.
Would I do it again the same way? No, I wouldn’t. Would I release the mobile version before the PC version was finished? Almost certainly not. As I said, these are mistakes that you make and I wish we were perfect human being and didn’t make mistakes and I’m proud that we’re still persisting and going on with trying to correct those mistakes.”
Molyneux did, however, pledge to continue development of the game – now headed up by Naszynski – although he says financial pressures mean that 22cans can no longer afford to focus all of its resources on the title.
It’s now two years after the Kickstarter campaign [and] we’re still continuing with Godus,” he said. Does that mean we can continue going on with the entire studio of all 22 people focusing on Godus? That would mean that the studio could focus on Godus for far less time because of the amount of money they consume all the time.
We will keep going while we have money in the bank, for sure. All the money that we’ve made from Godus has gone back into Godus.”
However, a further storm is threatening to envelop the game. A Eurogamer report into the fate of Scot Bryan Henderson places 22cans in a very dim light.
Henderson was the winner of Molyneux’s experimental Curiosity: What’s Inside the Cube? Game, his prize for which was the chance to play God in Godus. However, nearly two years down the line Henderson is yet to assume that role, and is losing faith that it will ever happen.
"After a month or two of winning, I would email them every month, purely because I expected more communication from them, but it wasn’t happening,” he said. "They were taking their time to answer. They would say, we need to do this first and tell you afterwards.
"Since I won and a year after, I would email them as a ritual thing, every month, just to get some kind of update. Eventually I was like, they’re not being professional at all. Communication is non-existent, so I’m not even going to try any more."
When pressed about the failure to fulfil his promise, Molyneux vowed to honour the promise given to the Curiosity winner.
"I totally and absolutely and categorically apologise,” he told the site. That isn’t good enough and I’ll take it on my own shoulders that I should have made sure he was communicated with. We will from today onwards do that.
"It’s just on a list. The trouble is, it’s very easy to forget about things that are further down the list when you’re so busy with things at the top of the list. I think it’s unfair on him. We should keep him posted. I will speak to him myself."
Molyneux still intends to get Henderson on board, but argues that one crucial technical barrier remains before that will be possible – multiplayer implementation.
"This is going to sound ridiculously excusey but it’s the actual truth – we are now working on combat, which is the piece of the puzzle we need in the game before we start working on the Hubworld and the multiplayer,” he insisted. When that happens we’ve got the mechanics for Bryan to be a useful participant in his God of Gods role.
"But we can’t have the God of Gods role without the ability for people to challenge the God of Gods role, and the God of Gods role can’t be challenged without combat, and we can’t implement the combat without sorting out the server issues, which are being sorted out as of last week. It’s just a maelstrom."
However, when pressed Molyneux was unable to guarantee that multiplayer will ever in fact be implemented.
"Guaranteeing is a very strong word,” he admitted. There are so many new technologies we are trying to implement. If all goes well, absolutely it should happen. I want it to happen. I think we need it to happen. With all the press that went on with Bryan, why wouldn’t we make that happen?
Indeed, multiplayer was one of the doubts raised by Naszynski in his forum post. Wrote the developer: To be brutally candid and realistic I simply can’t see us delivering all the features promised on the Kickstarter page, a lot of the multiplayer stuff is looking seriously shaky right now especially the persistent stuff like hubworld.”