Peter Molyneux is crying. I'm not sure how to react to this. Legendary game designers don't often get emotional with the press. But here's Molyneux, who has made so many games and done so many interviews over the past two decades, openly weeping into my voice recorder.
We're talking about promises. Molyneux, who has helped design a string of hits including Fable, Dungeon Keeper, and Populous, is a fascinating paradox, known both for his formidable creative accomplishments and his tendency to make big, lofty claims that never quite deliver. Through 20 years as the face of three different companies, Molyneux has earned a reputation as something of a huckster, a big talker whose best skill is making headlines. When you type "peter molyneux" into Google, the first auto-fill result is "peter molyneux lies." His quotes, delivered regularly and with aplomb, are both brilliant and nutty.
So it's a little strange to see him cry in front of me.
"If I ask people to be interested in [my newest game] Godus, if there's one reason for them to be interested," he says, breaking into tears, "it's that I could not do anything that would not make my son proud."
Molyneux pauses. Sniffles. His voice is cracking. Part of me wants to give him a hug; another part of me wonders if he's just putting on a show.
"He's a gamer," Molyneux says, "and if I ever make a game where he turns around to me and says, 'You over-promised that,' it would just kill me."