Peter Molyneux’s Twitter account is hacked, pronouncing his fake retirement and the closure of in-development title Godus.
Social Media exploded after Peter Molyneux seemingly announced his retirement via Twitter this afternoon. With two tweets, Molyneux’s account stated that he would be taking down his in-development game Godus from Steam, then announced that he would be retiring from the games industry. Fortunately, a friends of Peter’s saw the tweets and was able to contact him and within a matter of minutes the real Peter Molyneux confirmed his account had been hacked and that the previous tweets were fake.
Oddly, the fake tweets remain on Peter’s Twitter account, though perhaps that’s due to his unfamiliarity with the service; prior to the fakes, Peter’s most recent tweet was in January 2015. Here’s his short response clarifying the situation:
Ahh my account has been hacked, ( you can tell cos they know how to spell) I am not retiring, not closing godus— peter molyneux (@pmolyneux) January 28, 2016
Peter doesn’t seem to consider the fake tweets too much of an issue, as all of the fake tweets remain published on his account. Or perhaps he underestimates just how impactful a handful of posts on social media can have on the gaming community. The gaming media loves to write about Twitter posts, and the gaming community loves to read and talk about them.
This brief, but explosive event goes to show just how meaningful a role Peter Molyneux has played in the industry. Since forming his studio, 22Cans, in 2012, Peter has released two small scale games — one still in Early Access. Molyneux has practically been off the grid for over a year, and yet two tweets show that the greater gaming community are still on the edge of their seats when he speaks.
The response after Molyneux speaks has historically proven quite negative. Of the dozens of tweets I was able to read prior to their swift deletion once the hoax was apparent, most were negative. Many dog-piled on, simultaneously denouncing Godus and Molyneux’s past projects including Fable and Project Milo. “Broken promises” was a phrase thrown around without thought. That so many people seem so willing to be angry at Molyneux after all these years is telling. To many, Molyneux remains more of an industry symbol to tarnish, a statue to pull down, rather than the creator that he is.
My personal reaction was surprisingly melancholic. Perhaps over the years I’ve distanced the language Molyneux uses to paint his aspirations to gamers from the the games he actually puts in his hands. And what I’ve found is that Molyneux inspired me and continues to inspire me. I begrudgingly admitted to myself that I miss hearing Molyneux talk about games, and that the prospect of him stepping away from games was an undeniably dispiriting future.
Luckily, Peter Molyneux is not retiring. Peter is still working hard on Godus and will hopefully have many more projects to come, considering he’s previously said he plans to make games until he’s physically unable. Today’s events stand as a stark reminder of how one man and a handful of words can cause seismic activity throughout the industry. I’m betting Peter Molyneux might smile at that.