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Peter Molyneux’s next ‘experiment’ is a revived Populous

Project GODUS

On its newly-launched Kickstarter page, Project GODUS is described as “an innovative reinvention of Populous, the original god game and delivers exciting global co-operation, competition, creation and destruction to a whole new generation.” With remakes being all the rage these days, that shouldn’t sound too surprising, but what is notable here is who is doing the reinvention: In this case, Peter Molyneux, creator of the original Populous.

Molyneux’s name has appeared in our headlines quite frequently of late. First we were intrigued by an experiment developed by Molyneux’s studio 22cans that tasked more than a million people around the world with chipping away at a gigantic black box, simply to discover what might be inside. Dubbed Curiosity, the iOS title was a significant hit, which was a bit confusing given that the next we heard from Molyneux, he had claimed that he would only make one more game before retiring (or, depending on how literally you want to take his words, dying.) Of course, he stated that 22cans has an unknown number of “experiments” in development, none of which would mark that final game he mentioned.

Now that you’re all up to speed, we present Peter Molyneux’s latest experiment, Project GODUS. Molyneux and his colleagues at 22cans are hoping to use Kickstarter to raise £450,000 (about $720,000 USD) to fund a game that marries “the power, growth and scope of Populous with the detailed construction and multiplayer excitement of Dungeon Keeper and the intuitive interface and technical innovation of Black & White.” If that sounds like typically hyperbolic claims from the Molyneux camp, read on, they’ve got a bullet list too:

  • It’s a living world, unique and detailed. And it’s a world you influence, whether you’re good or evil.
  • GODUS is instantly accessible, easy to learn but immensely deep.
  • As you flourish and build your own cult, you’ll engage in pitched battles with other gods and their cults. It’s a multiplayer power-struggle the way it should be.
  • GODUS draws on the cunning battle-psychology of Dungeon Keeper, the living, changing world of Black & White and the instinctive, satisfying gameplay of Populous.
  • Plus you get to be a god. In fact, play well and you get to be the ultimate god!
  • GODUS will be developed for the PC and Mobile devices, we hope to be able to add more platforms as our Kickstarter campaign progresses.
While all of that is quite vague, and the scant concept images of the game we’re offered don’t actually reveal very much at all, Molyneux did create Populous in the first place, so if anyone could resurrect the god game subgenre it pioneered, we have to imagine it would be Molyneux.
As for when we might get a chance to play this thing, the Project GODUS Kickstarter claims that if the game is funded, we should see it as soon as “seven to nine months” after the fundraiser draws to a close. However, the page also promises that if the Kickstarter effort is able to reach certain, as-yet-unknown monetary goals, 22cans would extend the development time in order to bring Project GODUS to additional gaming platforms. As is the game is planned for only “PC and mobile devices.”
Project GODUS has currently raised £16,772 of its £450,000 goal. There are 29 days left for Molyneux’s team to raise the remaining £433,228. If you’d like to help the effort, you’ll find all the info you need on the Project GODUS Kickstarter page.

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