Industry veteran Peter Molyneux has been talking to GI.biz about the public reaction to his studio's Kickstarter to fund Project GODUS, a Populous-like god game. It's the sort of project that's now common on Kickstarter - a creator returning to the genre that saw arguably their greatest creative success, leveraging their fame to pursue a game that would struggle to capture the attention of publishers.
But Molyneux has a rather tumultuous relationship with the public, something he believes contributes to the more vocal criticism the studio has received. "I know I'm a controversial figure," he said. "We have this food over in England called Marmite. Some people hate Marmite, and some people like Marmite. And I'm definitely one of those people."
He recognised the source of much of the criticism he receives can be traced back to the cycle of over-promising that has characterised many of his impassioned public statements, only to be absent in games that he was promoting. "There's a lot of reasons for people to hit us with negativity," he added. "I've got to accept that."
Molyneux also combated the perception that the Kickstarter was a cynical money-grab. "Everyone kind of thinks I'm loaded with money and live in Versailles or something, and drive around in a gold Rolls Royce. None of that is true. I'm not starving by any means, but I haven't got unlimited wealth. I used a lot of money to found 22 Cans, to release Curiosity, and to build a team of 20 people."
Whatever the truth to the public's criticism, it's definitely being reflected in the GODUS backer figures. While it's still very much in the running for funding, hitting just over 43% of the target after nearly two weeks is probably not where the team wanted the project to be at. Justified or not, the nature of democratic patronage can spell trouble for creators as eccentrically ambitious as Molyneux.