"Genius concept -- keep them coming. Let's just make sure we can actually do it. It's quite straightforward."
- Simon Phillips, the new CEO of Godus developer 22Cans, explaining Peter Molyneux's role and his, too
Peter Molyneux's startup 22Cans has a new CEO, and thanks to that, Godus may finally be on track.
Eurogamer has a revealing new interview with Simon Phillips, who joined the company this May to help save it from itself. Phillips has worked in the UK game industry since the 1990s, and has experience as a CEO -- experience running a studio that was sorely needed when he stepped up to take on the role at 22Cans, he says:
"Actually sometimes you need people to sit there and go, hang on a minute! Have we thought about how much this is going to cost and when this is going to happen? And [Molyneux is] like, oh right, cool. Thanks for bringing that to my attention. Let's try something else. That's exactly my job. And you know what? That just never existed at 22Cans. Completely bizarrely, that just never existed."
Phillips takes care of the business end, and keeping things running on track; Molyneux is, under the new regime, focusing only on game design.
Things at 22Cans blew up in February, when it became apparent Godus was in major trouble. That trouble culminated in a combative interview with Rock Paper Shotgun in which Molyneux was called a "pathological liar."
Now, Phillips speaks frankly about the studio's plans for Godus and his attempts to steer the studio back on track as it continues work on that game alongside development of its third project, The Trail.
"It's small steps to build trust. All we can do is deliver a good game at the end of it. That's the ultimate goal. It's going to take a lot of time," Phillips says. But he recognizes that he's fighting an uphill battle:
"There's a lot of people there who feel very angry about what's happened. They don't like the way the PC version turned out. Some of it's good. Some of it's bollocks. But we've got a wave of things to try and fix before we can get to the point where we can get constructive feedback."
He says that the community is so against the studio now that getting useful feedback is almost impossible: "If we released combat now: one star, it's shit. It could be the best thing in the world, but it's going to be shit because everyone's ready to call it shit. ... 100 per cent of people are going to say it's shit. We know that because we've got this trust problem."
However, his antidote to that will be to make sure the studio releases solid updates to Godus and generally win back players' trust: "So let's stop putting this stuff out because we think we should. Let's put some meaningful updates out. ... We are actually working on this stuff. We know you think we're not. That's our problem. We created this problem. But let's keep doing this and make the game right, and keep talking to the community."
The full interview goes into much more depth on Phillips' role and plans, and what will and will not be coming to Godus anytime soon, including an update on the studio's agreement with Curiosity contest winner Bryan Henderson.