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Peter Molyneux

Peter Molyneux is an English video game designer and programmer. He is the creator of Dungeon Keeper, Populous and Theme Park.


Career[]

Peter Molyneux began his career in 1982 by distributing and selling floppy disks which contained video games for Atari and the Commodore 64. He believed that including games on the disks would improve sales, and later concluded that the games were the main selling point. He created The Entrepreneur, a text-based business simulation game about running a fledgling company. "In those days you could literally call a game 'Space Blob Attacks Mars' and sell about 50 million copies. So what did I do? I did a business simulation", Molyneux later said. Molyneux published the game himself in 1984 by duplicating hundreds of tapes on two Tandy Corporation recorders. After taking an advertising space in a game magazine, he prepared for the game's success; he later stated in an interview, "I was utterly convinced that this game would sell tons. I thought, 'You know, this letter box is just not big enough. It's just not going to fit all the envelopes.' So I cut - and this is no joke - I cut a bigger letter box". However, the game received only two orders, one of which Molyneux speculated was from his mother. In 2007, a GameSpy reviewer commented that the economic gameplay mechanics in Molyneux's Fable II may have been a descendant of The Entrepreneur, stating, "I'm a little concerned that it's Molyneux sneaking in a remix of his first game, Entrepreneur". Due to the game's failure, Molyneux retreated from game design, and started Taurus Impex Limited-a company that exported baked beans to the Middle East-with his business partner Les Edgar. Commodore International mistook it for Torus, a more established company that produced networking software, and offered to provide Molyneux with ten free Amiga systems to help in porting "his" networking software. "... it suddenly dawned on me that this guy didn't know who we were", Molyneux later said. "I suddenly had this crisis of conscience. I thought, 'If this guy finds out, there go my free computers down the drain.' So I just shook his hand and ran out of that office". Taurus designed a database system for the Amiga called Acquisition - The Ultimate Database for The Amiga and, after clearing up the misunderstanding with Commodore, released the program to moderate success.

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