Peter Molyneux, creator of Lionhead studios and the brain behind games such as Black and White and Fable, recently left Lionhead and Microsoft to start his own studio. Now that he has left Microsoft he’s been talking with the press about his experience there, and the reasons why he left. In a recent interview with develop he talks a bit about Kinect and Project Milo…and it seems that the truth about this cancelled project is finally out…
Project Milo was a super ambitious project by Peter Molyneux, designed as an interactive story that would make full use of the Kinect sensor, it was meant for player to be drawn in by the characters and build up an emotional relationship. The game was extremely ambitious from a technical perspective, but the E3 demo (check it out below) looked great and full of promise.
Then, when Kinect was released, Project Milo was cancelled, and many thought that the game was just a ‘marketing stunt’ and that it never really existed. Still there were indications that the game actually did exist as a full game and not merely a tech demo, but the truth about Project Milo never came out.
Now that Peter Molyneux has left Lionhead studios and Microsoft I assume he can talk a bit more freely about his projects and hence the revealing interview. In there he talks about Project Milo and about the fact that it really did work, just that the word (or maybe with this he means the people from marketing) wouldn’t be ready for it.
The game (Milo) did work, it really did. But I think that the world – whether that world is retail or marketing executives – wasn’t quite ready for Milo.
He then goes on to say there was much more than just a technical demo, the game already had hours of gameplay!
There’s three or four or five hours of crafted gameplay in there, and it was an amazing experience.
And when he was asked if the game was almost finished:
Yeah it was. It’s just that… what was so hard for some people to imagine is what Milo would look like on the shelves, sitting alongside these murderous shooter games.
“I can’t imagine what it would look like in GAME or Gamestop,” is what people told me.
Of course, now that we live in this digital world, maybe things will be different. I know it was only axed a couple of years ago, but that’s a long time in the industry.
So, it seems that Project Milo was indeed not just a technical demo, but a full game. A game that was indeed the experience that Molyneux first introduced at the E3, a game that was close to completion. Project Milo was never released, and the reason for this is still vague, it just looks like it was stopped for marketing reasons and not for technical reasons, meaning that a game like Milo, and the Kinect technology that powers it, could very much become reality one day. And when that day comes….well…we’ll see what happens then, but it might spark a revolution in the gaming industry 🙂