Molyneux: Minecraft is 'most impressive' game of last 10 years

"It is probably the most impressive game I've seen in the last ten years."

Strictly business: game investment and new platforms

As far as the business side of the games development industry goes, there is an increasingly wide chasm between innovative indie titles, such as the aforementioned Minecraft, and the big-budget well-known franchises and licensed games with massive development teams (and equally large marketing budgets) behind them.

The real problem nowadays for many British devs and studios is the fact that they are struggling more than ever to get the investment they need in order to produce big games.

"I don't think this issue is confined to British developers," Molyneux is quick to argue. "It's across the board worldwide. The investment needed to create big games is tens of millions of dollars and the teams need to be supremely world class to compete for this level of funding."

Does this trend suggest that the best route to success in the industry for smaller, independent games creators looking to make their mark might be to focus on low-budget games on, for example, XBLA or iPhone?

"It's certainly easier to access and there's so much innovation on platforms like XBLA," says Molyneux, noting how, "games like Limbo and Sword and Sworcery are fine examples of how creative these games can be."

Lionhead launches Creative Week

While refusing to be drawn any further on commenting on Apple's plans for iOS gaming, it's recently been noted that Lionhead seems to be taking a lead from Google in terms of the way the company allows and encourages its developers to pursue the opportunity to work on their own mini-projects.

"We recently had a Creative Week at Lionhead where we gave everyone the freedom and time to come up with any creative endeavour they wanted to work on," Peter explains. "We then had company day where the result of these endeavours were shown to the rest of the company.

"All in all we saw 35 different projects which ranged from tech, ideas, prototypes to almost finished games and we all mutually impressed each other. I can safely say that personally I was blown away by everything I saw that day."

Whether any of those ideas and projects makes it to fruition as commercially available PC or console games over the next five years, of course, remains to be seen. Still, gamers are obviously keen to know more about where Peter Molyneux thinks the industry is headed over the next few years.

"Using your body as a controller is now proven and I'm sure the type of new innovations that will start to happen using Kinect will redefine our relationship with games," he says. "And I'm also certain the 360 will continue to go from strength to strength."

At which point, we have to ask, what about that Milo and Kate project? That tech demo which first wowed (or, in some cases, unsettled) games journalists back at E3 2009, when Microsoft first unveiled its motion control plans?

"Sorry, nothing to add on that right now."

Ah well. It was always worth a try…

Lionhead's Fable III is set to be released on PC on May 17

Adam Hartley