"On mobile, it's constant fucking crunch. You release and then you realize your busiest day is two days after release."- Peter Molyneux speaks to how his life has changed since moving into indie mobile development. Game industry personality Peter Molyneux delivered an interesting keynote address at Apps World Europe in London today of the lessons he's learned since leaving Lionhead (and Microsoft) two years ago to become an indie developer at 22Cans. According to a Develop report, Molyneux said that working on free-to-play games like Curiosity: What's Inside The Cube? and Godus was some of the hardest he's ever done -- due in no small part to his underestimating how hard it can be to design ethical, successful monetization systems. "That's the biggest mistake I've made in the last 20 years, because it's not simple," said Molyneux. This is particularly interesting in light of Molyneux's GDC talk earlier this year, when he opined that greedy monetization models are handicapping game design. Today Molyneux repeated himself, noting that his experience at 22Cans has reinforced his belief that "harsh monetization techniques won't work" but admitting that monetizing mobile games and providing enough content to keep players satisfied is more challenging than he expected. "Virtually every three weeks there needs to be updates," he said, referring to 22Cans' god game Godus. "This is just iOS. When we do Android, god knows what's going to happen. We'll probably explode from the pressure." The problem was exacerbated by the remarkable rate at which players burn through content in mobile titles. "We were looking at the analytics and this graph, and literally hour by hour we were saying to each other, what the hell are we going to do, they are going to run out of content," said Molyneux, adding that mobile players were taking six days to play through things he'd expected would take them six weeks. You can -- and should -- read more exceprts from Molyneux's presentation over on Develop. For more insight into why the long-time Lionhead designer went indie and what he hopes to accomplish, check out our interview with Molyneux from earlier this year.
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Molyneux faces unexpected challenges as a mobile game maker
The long-time designer says mobile game design has been some of the hardest work he's done, in part because he underestimated how easy it is to design ethical monetization systems.