Fable II lead designer Dene Carter left Lionhead on amicable terms because, as the Fable studio grew in size and relevance, he felt his own creative control was being diminished.
And in his exclusive interview with Develop, Carter reveals why he chose to go it alone and set up his own iPhone studio, Fluttermind.
“For me, it was the ever-increasing sense of distance between my design work and actual craft that goes into making a game,” he said.
Carter revealed that his salary has halved by going solo, and is well aware that the move may appear like a backwards-step when etched onto his CV.
“But, when you become frustrated by something, some segment of the industry, you can either complain and remain sat where you are, or try and do something about it,” he said.
“The reason I got into this industry when I was 15 back in 1985 was because I felt that computers offered a genuinely new space to explore, define and interact with; an unparalleled ability to make things.
“Over the years, as teams got bigger and everyone began to specialise, I slowly began to feel more and more remote from the actual work I loved. In modern teams, the time from idea to reality is frequently months or even years. My metabolism isn't geared toward patience.
“For me, breaking away was a chance to relieve the building frustration and have complete creative control over every aspect of a project, from design to art to music.”