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Molyneux wants critics to do him a favour

Molyneux wants critics to do him a favour

Peter Molyneux reckons that Fable 2 is a game for non-gamers, and is asking that it be reviewed as such.

Peter Molyneux may like his own game fine, but as the prominent developer faces increasing controversy in the face of his outlandish remarks, he's asking that non-gamers be the one to actually review his game.

According to Variety, US review copies of the game were sent out with letters from Molyneux asking that the game not be judged by professionals or hardcore gamers, but that it instead be judged by those who rarely play games.

"Please, please, please, please, please find somebody who doesn't play games, watch them play it and see how their world turns out, because I think it's only when you see those differences that the unique experiences comes through," said the letter that came attached to the review code.

Molyneux, who lead the design and development of the Xbox 360 exclusive, said that the game was designed to appeal to anybody and that the single-button combat and dog-based interface were evidence of this. Therefore, a non-gamer review will offer much more insight into the game that a hardcore gamer might get.

As Eurogamer points out though, notes like this are pretty common. Alone in the Dark review code for example came with a note asking that reviewers pay special attention to the way the game was structured into TV-like episodes. We did, but it didn't go down well with us.

So, what do you think? Should I have the game sent home so that my mum can review it, or would you prefer my thoughts? Answers in the forums.

42 Comments

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Buzzons 7th October 2008, 11:23 Quote
To be fair.. he may have a point if he has made it simple enough for everyone to enjoy.. hard core gamers will feel that they don't have enough control over their person etc...
proxess 7th October 2008, 11:31 Quote
Maybe he could have made various control options, a bit like Fifa on Wii, with easy controls and advanced controls.

It would be interesting to see your mum's review.
Dreaming 7th October 2008, 11:32 Quote
Quote:
So, what do you think? Should I have the game sent home so that my mum can review it, or would you prefer my thoughts?

A bit of both? :p Maybe you do most pages then have a page on your mum's impressions hehe. Obviously it's a game a professional reviewer / journalist is going to do the best review of it in terms of testing the product for enjoyment and so on and what people actually want... otherwise nobody would read your reviews would they. But I think getting your mum to go on it for an hour and get her impressions would be good entertainment :)
CardJoe 7th October 2008, 11:32 Quote
I wonder though: asking a non-gamer to review a game is flawed completely since they have no basis for comparison. It's like asking me to review Bugatti, knowing full well that I can't drive and never have.
pimlicosound 7th October 2008, 11:34 Quote
I'm somewhat interested in what a non-gamer would think of Fable2, just for curiosity's sake, really. However, I wouldn't make purchasing decisions based on such opinions because, like most other bit-tech readers, I AM a gamer, and I want to know what the game has to offer someone like me, rather than what it offers someone who has neither clear expectations nor a gaming context in which to place his or her experiences.
Silver51 7th October 2008, 11:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreaming
Quote:
Should I have the game sent home so that my mum can review it, or would you prefer my thoughts?

A bit of both? :p Maybe you do most pages then have a page on your mum's impressions hehe. Obviously it's a game a professional reviewer / journalist is going to do the best review of it in terms of testing the product for enjoyment and so on and what people actually want... otherwise nobody would read your reviews would they. But I think getting your mum to go on it for an hour and get her impressions would be good entertainment :)

I agree, both you and your mum's opinions would be interesting to read in this circumstance.
steveo_mcg 7th October 2008, 11:44 Quote
Whats the point, non gamers are pretty unlikely to buy it (unless i've missed something) and most of us here are gamers so why should WE care what non gamers think of it. I think that would stand for most gaming/hardware review sites, maybe Trusted Reivews should do it Molyneux way they seem to have a broader reach.
willowthewhite 7th October 2008, 11:47 Quote
Maybe I'm being cynical but a non gamer would not realise the flaws in the game, that there are other games in the genre that do the same things only better or that it is a complete let down that has been over hyped.

I'm not saying this is the case with this game, but it always gets me suspicious when a games developer starts defending his game before it is released.
WILD9 7th October 2008, 12:01 Quote
He wants the game reviews to come from the perspective of the least likely person to play it? If its a good game both gamers and non gamers will enjoy it, look at lego star wars. Asking for a game review (almost certain to be read only by gamers) to be conducted by a non gamer is as ludicrous. I dont even understand why he would care, non gamers wont be reading the reviews.
Cupboard 7th October 2008, 12:23 Quote
As with others, I am a bit lost as to why a non gamer would buy a game unless it had received really good reviews from the reviews (i.e Joe et al).
So Whilst a mum's (or mums') perspective would be nice I think Peter must have something to hide.
specofdust 7th October 2008, 12:30 Quote
Isn't this pretty much like asking a car magazine to get a non-driver to ride the car in order to see the unique experiences which emerge, and so that they miss the flaws with the car?

Stupid, if you ask me. Games reviers review games for gamers. Not for non-gamers.
Flibblebot 7th October 2008, 12:30 Quote
It's a pre-emptive strike for when the disappointing reviews come in.

"Aha!" Molyneux can say, "These reviews were written by professionals, and I told them to use non-professionals. Therefore these reviews are meaningless," He goes on to put his hands over his ears and start shouting, "La la la! I can't hear you! My game r0xx0rs!"

All the comments he's been making over the last few weeks have been to (a) generate interest in Fable 2; and (b) mitigate the damage caused when reviewers realise that this new game is nowhere near as ground-breaking as Molyneux promised us it would be.
UrbanMarine 7th October 2008, 12:31 Quote
Simple hmmmm....spore :: cough cough :: stupid cold.

Peter shouldn't hype up a game so much and then water it down to make a release date. I'm a hardcore gamer and I find new experiences in games that are not half ass. What scares me is that Peter is making statements like this and it sounds like he has no confidence in his work.
Lepermessiah 7th October 2008, 12:35 Quote
Just seems to me it is yet another dumbed down console game for the masses, consoles are the worst thing to happen to gaming. Molyneux, man, I hate every time I hear something come out of his mouth. Supid thing to say and speaks volumes about the game IMO.
hawky84 7th October 2008, 12:56 Quote
a game made for non-gamers... Que?
Veles 7th October 2008, 13:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
I wonder though: asking a non-gamer to review a game is flawed completely since they have no basis for comparison. It's like asking me to review Bugatti, knowing full well that I can't drive and never have.

From the quote you made, he's not asking you to get a non-gamer to review the game but to see what a non-gamer makes of the game and take it into account in your review.

But yeah:
Quote:
Originally Posted by specofdust
Stupid, if you ask me. Games reviers review games for gamers. Not for non-gamers.

What non-gamer goes out and read reviews of games?
Lepermessiah 7th October 2008, 13:53 Quote
What non-game buys games?, Come on bye.
UrbanMarine 7th October 2008, 14:06 Quote
Could be one of those secret non-gamer gamers. Like the religious leaders that are against porn but get caught in underground bondage clubs.
TheoGeo 7th October 2008, 14:23 Quote
A game for non-gamers is like a radio for deaf people
UrbanMarine 7th October 2008, 14:31 Quote
It's a gaming conspiracy! I demand an investigation.... that will end up getting lost in the system for 10yrs and the final results will show the non-gamer was Colonel Mustard in the library with the PC.
chrisb2e9 7th October 2008, 14:40 Quote
I wonder if he said that because he knows that the game is going to suck.
Lepermessiah 7th October 2008, 14:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisb2e9
I wonder if he said that because he knows that the game is going to suck.


It is a pre-emptive strike against reviews as he knows thet game will be like Fable 1, a dissappointment and not anything mroe then a mainstream Average RPG for kids.
chrisb2e9 7th October 2008, 14:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepermessiah
It is a pre-emptive strike against reviews as he knows thet game will be like Fable 1, a dissappointment and not anything mroe then a mainstream Average RPG for kids.


lol, isn't that what I said?
Lepermessiah 7th October 2008, 14:59 Quote
Yes, and your point?
Nictron 7th October 2008, 15:05 Quote
I feel this is stupid to be honest.

To compare, lets take a car.

It is advertised to be the best car ever developed, it has sports appeal, speed cornering and is easy to drive?

Would you trust a review from a 18 or 16 year old kid who just got his license?

or

A professional racing driver with years of experience on many different cars and has actually raced?

Both would apply, the kid could judge his appeal and taste but cant really argue the racing part because he cant compare it to many other cars out there because it is his first experience.

Both points will count, but with Fable there is an audience that have played many games and they will judge the game based on their previous experiences of what works and what does not.

There are sites that offer conflicting reviews and opinions from lets say a FPS player and a Strategy player.
Silver51 7th October 2008, 15:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veles/Lepermessiah/TheoGeo


What non-gamer goes out and read reviews of games?
What non-game buys games?, Come on bye.
A game for non-gamers is like a radio for deaf people


A non-gamer is only so until they are introduced to a game. People like us will read the review and be able to recommend it to family members who traditionally shun computer gaming.

Don't forget that many people are drawn into the market (who traditionally do not play on computers/consoles) as casual gamers by titles such as Peggle.
Nictron 7th October 2008, 15:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepermessiah
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisb2e9
I wonder if he said that because he knows that the game is going to suck.


It is a pre-emptive strike against reviews as he knows thet game will be like Fable 1, a dissappointment and not anything mroe then a mainstream Average RPG for kids.

I enjoyed Fable on the PC and I am 29, I finished it twice, this is the whole thing about games, your experience does not count to me, I am the only one that can say if it was worthwhile or not, I have bought so many games that was stated as awesome and yet I lost interest after a few hours.

or

Games that was given low scores and yet I enjoyed every moment it offered. It depend on you at that point in time, how is your state of mind at the point you start, sometime putting a game down and revisiting it after a year gives you a whole more.
MrMonroe 7th October 2008, 15:17 Quote
Why would I care what someone who doesn't play games thinks of it? Of what importance are the opinions of people who aren't part of the target audience?

Or perhaps Molyneux is attempting the digital equivalent of trying to sell cars to 12 year olds.
Mister_X 7th October 2008, 15:39 Quote
Hmm A non gamer to review eh?
I thought this was on the xbox not the Wii, the spiritual home of the non gamers.

Surely this is hardly the game to drag in a "non gamer" to play games? Someone walking though a store will hardly spot this out of the corner of their eye and go " You know what, I WILL try this! after purchasing a console to play it on! "
The guy hasn't really made a Great game since Dungeon Keeper, some good games yes, just no GREAT games
Mister_X 7th October 2008, 15:40 Quote
@ Nictron.

You sir make a fine point.
aggies11 7th October 2008, 16:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nictron
I feel this is stupid to be honest.

To compare, lets take a car.

It is advertised to be the best car ever developed, it has sports appeal, speed cornering and is easy to drive?

Would you trust a review from a 18 or 16 year old kid who just got his license?

or

A professional racing driver with years of experience on many different cars and has actually raced?

Ah the danger of analogies, as it's hard to tell exactly how deep they are meant to be taken. What about if the car in question was advertised as the best mini-van ever developed? Reliability, Safety, and fuel economy. Do you trust a review from a 23yr old mother of 3, or do you still want the professional racing driver?

It all comes down to a question of audience: who is the audience for the game? and who is the audience for the review? Is Fable II being marketed as more of a sports car, or a mini-van? :p Should a review only be for the audience of readers, or should it try to aim for a broader assessment of the quality of the game.

I'm guessing Peter's comments are more about the variety of the game (and the "open world" concept that it contains). They may have found that most "core" gamers all play the game largely the same way (so it won't feel that open, or full of variety). But only when you see a non-traditional gamer play it, do you see the larger potential of gameplay experiences.

If your review is designed to be an assessment of the games intrinsic quality, then you certainly have to try and look at it through a variety of viewpoints. But if it's just "what will the readers of my site think of this game", then you don't. A reviews purpose, and thus it's content, can vary widely based on the goals of the reviewer and the audience who is reading it. So it makes sense that the content then can vary significantly also.
KoenVdd 7th October 2008, 16:34 Quote
What you should do is indeed have a non-gamer review it, but also have them make a comparison with another game in the genre (you choose) and see how they like that one.
I can see the charm in a game with a low threshold so many people can enjoy it, but if there isn't anything more to it, I'd say he failed.
Thing is, many non-gamers find all the movie tie-in games magnificent, think about that.
chrisb2e9 7th October 2008, 17:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by KoenVdd

Thing is, many non-gamers find all the movie tie-in games magnificent, think about that.

lol, good point.
Yemerich 7th October 2008, 17:33 Quote
This is almost admit that the game won't be that great...

If this game is not for gamers, what is it for? Plants? Amoebas?
Lepermessiah 7th October 2008, 17:38 Quote
Molyeux once again proves is is a crack pot full of himself. Maybe hes bitter because he cannot make a great game so he settles for watered down mainstream filler.
devdevil85 7th October 2008, 17:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveo_mcg
Whats the point, non gamers are pretty unlikely to buy it (unless i've missed something) and most of us here are gamers so why should WE care what non gamers think of it. I think that would stand for most gaming/hardware review sites, maybe Trusted Reivews should do it Molyneux way they seem to have a broader reach.
The point is that Molyneux has just created even more buzz than had he not said this....that's how he works.....
Elz 7th October 2008, 17:50 Quote
That's ridiculous. The review is meant to reflect a certain perspective, which is both subjective to the individual and subject to the general type of gamer.

Obviously Molyneux recognises this, but the point is that a 'hardcore' gamer wants a hardcore perspective; a perspective that will most likely mirror their own, so they can judge whether or not they would enjoy the game based on the review.

One turns to different publications for different perspectives. A hardcore gamer might read a review on a site like bit-tech which they expect to approach the game from a similar perspective as their own. On the other hand, the person who's never played games before is unlikely to be reading a site like this. In fact, the person who's never played a game before is unlikely to be looking for game reviews!
Spaceraver 8th October 2008, 02:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheoGeo
A game for non-gamers is like a radio for deaf people

Actually I think Paul Van Dyk played a concert for the deaf in London. It's just a matter of enough volume, so You can "feel" the music.

But I get Your point.

It's like asking a 10 year old to review a brothel. Bet you a cookie he's in over his head. ;-)
Amon 8th October 2008, 03:20 Quote
I'm reinstalling Populous. Just wanted to say.
CardJoe 8th October 2008, 09:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaceraver

It's like asking a 10 year old to review a brothel. Bet you a cookie he's in over his head.)

Ew.
liratheal 8th October 2008, 09:10 Quote
I am quite honestly expecting to see half the features that he's ever mentioned about this game to by mysteriously missing from the game we play (Ala Project Ego and Fable).

The only reason I can see for asking a non-gamer to review it is that they probably won't know half the promises he made about the game, so they won't go nit-picking the stuff that isn't there.
impar 8th October 2008, 10:56 Quote
Greetings!

So, lets have a "non-gamer" play a modern game and see what he/she thinks of it?

Did that last year with Bioshock demo and a couple of non gamers. They liked the experience but continue "non-gamers".
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