The Man Who Opened Peter Molyneux’s Curiosity Cube Still Hasn’t Received A Cent

The Man Who Opened Peter Molyneux’s Curiosity Cube Still Hasn’t Received A Cent

Remember Bryan Henderson? He’s the man who won the Curiosity prize, a prize that the game’s creator, Peter Molyneux, promised would be ‘life-changing’. Part of that prize involved becoming a ‘digital god’. It also included a cut of the profits from Molyneux’s next game Godus. To date Henderson hasn’t received a cent. He is yet to become a digital god.

Eurogamer has just published a top notch feature article on the situation and it’s an absolute must read. It tells the story of how Henderson came to win the prize and how he has been treated since winning the prize. It really is a phenomenal read. Henderson has been treated pretty shoddily since winning the prize.

The God who Peter Molyneux forgot [Eurogamer]


  • Well Godus has not made that much money. 😐 He might be lucky to get a cent based on that.

    • From that article though “Molyneux insists 22Cans is in rude health, with the mobile version of Godus pulling in enough money to keep the company going.”

    • Apparently Henderson will only get money when (if) the multiplayer goes live, which is unlikely if even Molyneux is saying he can’t guarantee it.

      • To quote from the linked video, “Every time people spend money on Godus you will get a small piece of that pie.” Nothing there about it being multiplayer-only.

        IMO this is Peter Molyneux crossing the line from being unrealistically optimistic (understandable in a programmer, and something he’s notorious for) over into simple fraud.

        • I think the contract that the guy signed at 22 Cans when he visited stated something a bit different. Of course, he could say he was misled, but I’d be surprised if he got anything until he’d actually taken on the God of Gods role in-game.

          • Yes, the contract said he would get a cut of Godus revenues during his term as “God of Gods” – which doesn’t match what Molyneux offered in the video.

            That’s called a bait-and-switch, which is still fraud.

            You could argue that they did a bait-and-switch twice – once when the “amazing” prize was revealed to be a role as “god of gods” plus a cut of Godus revenues, then a second time when the revenues were limited to his time as “god of gods” – especially as it now looks like that role may never eventuate.

            I used to have some respect for Molyneux. He talked up his plans in a spectacular fashion and his games never quite met the standard he claimed, but you could tell he was actually trying to accomplish those claims. With the failure to follow up on the win in Curiousity and the tanking of Godus (still in Early Access, with minimal development funded by mobile revenues) he seems to have crossed the line from overenthusiastic developer to deliberately misleading publicity hack.

            Oh well, we still have the legacy of Bullfrog.

    • On Steam, there are 4700 or so reviews and the game sells for US$20.

      Even if we assume that half those sales were at 50% off, that’s $47000. In practice, they probably sold a lot more than 4700 copies and I don’t recall Godus being discounted particularly routinely. Add the kickstarter funds in, and they’ve likely received over a million US dollars for the title.

      As the video says he’ll be receiving a small piece of the “pie” from every sale, I can only conclude that Peter subdivides his pies very, very finely indeed.

      The proviso about the revenue only being from when he’s “God of Gods” is not mentioned in the original video. That was added to the contract later. He should probably not have signed that contract, as it doesn’t match what he was offered.

      Anyway, last time I played Godus it was still a clickfest, with the gameplay from the original Populous games being vastly superior. Populous 1 & 2 were also clickfests, but every click contributed meaningfully to your progress. Not so Godus. People defend this aspect in the Steam forums, but many, many more people complain about it, and my understanding is it’s expected to remain.

      The joys of community forums where everybody complains about one misfeature and the developers choose to ignore the complaints…

      I really feel sorry for the top-tier kickstarter contributors.

  • Peter Molyneux promising the world and more and not delivering? Stop the presses! This has NEVER occurred before!

      • This is something I cannot wrap my head around. With all the bad will he’s earned the past decade and this latest fiasco still so fresh in everybody’ mind… how in the world does he expect anyone will buy any new game of his no matter what spectacular features it promises? No one can be that naive or optimistic.

        • I like the hypothesis that he just keeps milking a particular sector of the gaming industry (PC > console > mobile) until his bad reputation proceeds him, then moves to another sector that isnt aware of his history.

        • At this point it is very close to a Nigerian scam, where Molyneux takes advantage of the fact that his targets are most likely pining for the days of Populous, Dungeon Keeper and the like, and knows that he just has to put out his hand on Kickstarter to have poor suckers fill it with cash. Nostalgia is a powerful force – just look at how much some toys from the 80s fetch nowadays.

        • The thing is even when he breaks a lot of promises and doesn’t deliver 100% of the things he says, he still makes a damn good game.

  • Reminds me of when I ‘won’ 100 games in Gamesmaster magazine but they said the shop that was providing the games was going under and so I didn’t receive anything. Ho hum

    • Lol yeah ever since I ‘won’ something in a Crysis 2 competition on this site I’ve just chuckled to myself each time another one comes along.

    • It wasn’t Crysis 2 was it!!! Took me several months and eventually complaining to EA to get that sorted. My impression is when Kotaku runs a comp they are somewhat at the mercy of company providing the prizes!

      • Pretty much, yeah. I won some movie tickets on here a while back and I think in the end they got mailed out from the George Street cinemas. But they took so long in getting around to it that the movies the tickets were supposed to be for weren’t even showing any more, so they had to send us generic tickets in the end.

        So all in all it probably worked out for the better 😛

  • Anyone else realize Peter Molyneux hasn’t successfully delivered a complete promise since 1997s Dungeon Keeper?

    The man has become synonymous with unjustified hype. When you play one of his games, you feel like you accidentally bought a different game with the exact same title, compared to what his vision for the title was.

    You’d think at some point in the intervening dozen or so games people would stop giving him money and start telling him to piss off.

    • You’ve got to realise that the man is from the future and is suffering from extreme disconnect between his visions of what technology should be capable of and what it is capable of. Nah, but seriously, he just bites off more than he can chew. I used to do the same thing back in my programming days in high school. I’d have these awesome ideas for games and then I’d only be able to get a little part of them done before I realised that making the entire thing would likely take years of my time.

      • I think most people do that at some early stage in their learning. But most people doing this haven’t shipped a good game (Dungeon Keeper) and own a company.

  • The Eurogamer article is excellent, long but worth the read. Sarcastic comments about Molyneux and his track record of promises aside, I just feel really sad that this has happened. Hopefully he at least gets some money by the end of it all, but I’m not sure even that will happen.

  • Just finished reading the article. Very informative……that guy aint going to see a cent from this though.

  • Do people not get it by now? Molyneux deliberately makes terrible games and terrible promises for the sake of having a good laugh at everyone when they buy into it.

    People keep throwing him money and he keeps blowing it and making promises he doesn’t even attempt to keep, he is laughing his ass off at all the stupid gamers giving him money and believing him over and over again no matter how many times he lies/breaks promises.

    You could call him the John Howard/Tony Abbot of the games industry.


      • “So, they’re non-core promises?”

        I lol’ed at this, thank you. I do see similarities between Abbott but at least John Howard didnt disgrace Australia as a country like Molyneux disgraces the gaming industry (yes im implying Abbott disgraces us at every turn)

  • I feel for the lad. It’s good he’s moved on from expecting any real outcome from this PR stunt. He might get another signed t-shirt someday…

    • I guess “life changing” in this case was “You’ll learn a very important life lesson”.

  • Chekc the fine print: although he receives a share of the profits he is also responsible for a share of the debt; Peter will be sending him a bill soon!

  • Anyone remember those ads years ago on TV about which were very cryptic and never said really what it was for a product called ‘U’.
    There were competitions on radio stations for what people thought it might be, turned out months later it was a tampon ad.

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