Category Archives: Bullfrog

Peter Molyneux: Overrated or overhated?

doit-peter-molyneux Peter Molyneux (who is not from a small planet in the vicinity of Betelgeuse, but is in fact from Guildford, in Surrey) is a bit of a whipping boy for gamers, many of whom think of him as all hat and no cattle (as the Americans would say). Is that reputation really deserved?

One of the things that Molyneux is, is engaging. He’s a lovely, and engaging talker, calling to mind a blend of Phil Collins, Douglas Adams, and a hint of Stephen Fry. He’s clever and passionate about what he does, and what he wants to do, and what he wishes was possible, and he positively glows with it. Screw the stand-up comics. For an evening’s entertainment, you could do far worse than listen to Molyneux kicking ideas around.

And there’s the core of the problem.

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Populous, the origin of

We couldn’t sell it to anyone” — Bullfrog’s famous 1989 game, Populous was a huge hit, but it was a serendipitous one. A tiny business making a game without a clear target idea, Bullfrog hit on success with a combination of luck and plain-old hard work.

Our royalty cheques were due to be paid one quarter in arrears, and we didn’t expect to get any … The next cheque was for a quarter of a million. I thought it was a mistake at the time. I actually called EA to tell them.

Edge Online has the fascinating tale of how this hit game came about.