Even if 2016 has been a great year for video games overall, as superb titles like Uncharted 4 saw the light of day and gamers also got to enjoy great genre games like Forza Motorsport 3, the truth is that there have been quite a few video game-related disappointments in 2016 too.
For instance, No Man’s Sky surely did not live up to expectations and turned out to be one of the most disappointing games of the year, while Nintendo’s discontinuation of the Wii U after its disappointing sales run left many with a tear in their eye too. And for better or worse, YouTube ace PewDiePie did not follow through on his threat to delete his channel…
And industry veteran Peter Molyneux recently told gamesindustry.biz that the closure of his former studio Lionhead was the “low point of the year”, as there would be “one less AAA studio working on original and unique titles”.
Of course, Molyneux needs no introduction as he’s the legendary video game designer behind classics like Populous (the first game in the god genre), the twisted sim game Dungeon Keeper and the classic RPG Fable II, arguably one of the top exclusive games to have been released for the old Xbox 360 console.
Molyneux had founded Lionhead Studios in 1996 and was the driving force behind the British studio until his departure in 2012, putting out such strong titles like the legendary Black & White game and the aforementioned Fable II. But Lionhead went downhill after Molyneux left the studio, releasing mediocre titles like Fable Heroes, and this led to Microsoft (which had acquired the studio back in 2006) finally deciding to shut down the troubled developer this year.
But still, despite his disappointment about Lionhead’s closure, Molyneux also had words of praise for Pokémon Go, this year’s smartphone sensation which has taken the world by storm since its release this summer. “The simple fact that this game reach more than 25 million daily users is amazing and shows the true potential of the games industry” said Molyneux of developer Niantic’s game.
And like many other gamers Molyneux is also hoping that Valve will one day release Half-Life 3, a sequel to the incredible first-person shooter Half-Life 2 (which was released back in 2004), something Valve has never gotten around to doing in more than a decade. The veteran designer is hopeful we may yet see Half-Life 3 in 2017 though, something that seems rather unlikely in my book, but miracles do happen and perhaps Gordon Freeman will return to PC and consoles in the not so distant future…
Regarding his own games and despite rumours earlier this year that the veteran designer was retiring from the industry, Peter Molyneux is currently working on Godus, a god game in the vein of his earlier classic Populous at his new studio 22Cans, and hopefully this game and his future projects will keep bringing a smile to video game fans the world over for a long time to come.