Godus’ Deity Contest Winner Has Yet To Receive His Promised Power And Riches
On a Sunday in 2013, our quiet day quickly became a bustle of activity as Peter Molyneux’s 22 Cans reached the end of its mobile Curiosity experiment. At the end was a prize for a single winner.
That individual turned out to be 18-year-old Bryan Henderson, whom we had the chance to speak with. Curiosity wasn’t the kind of game he typically played, and he had never played one of Molyneux’s previous titles (though he told us he was curious about Fable).
Following that brief conversation, we spoke with Molyneux to get more details about what exactly Henderson had won.
"[Bryan's] reign – the reign of the god of gods – will last for a certain period of time," Molyneux explained during a conversation we published on May 28, 2013. "It will be no less than three months, and he'll be ruler for probably no more than a year. At that time, we then allow him to be overthrown. The world can come together to overthrow him, or they can keep him on. His role as ruler is to make certain moral decisions about the game, about what is right and wrong in the game. It is to change the balance of things to his whim. It's all done through an interface that we provide just to Bryan. He doesn't have to code or anything like that. He's got his god control panel, through which he can influence things. He can send out his commandments to everyone in the world, or he can choose certain segments of the Godus world. That allows him to choose favorites, or give out local commandments. During his reign, he will get a percentage of every penny that comes to 22 Cans."
None of this has come to pass.
In an interview with Eurogamer today, Henderson details a steadily worsening breakdown of communication. “Since I won and a year after, I would email them as a ritual thing, every month, just to get some kind of update,” Henderson told Eurogamer. “Eventually I was like, they're not being professional at all. Communication is non-existent, so I'm not even going to try any more."
In his discussion with Eurogamer’s Wesley Yin-Poole, Henderson comes off as pragmatic, indicating that he wasn’t counting on the money. In fact, he says he doesn’t think much about that day two years ago at all anymore.
When Molyneux was confronted with Henderson's account, he offered an apology and acknowledgement that the situation was disappointing. ""That's pretty poor, isn't it?" Molyneux told Eurogamer. "He should have a contact here. That's pretty shoddy for us to not keep him posted."
With a dicey public display of frustration last month from the person now in charge of Godus development, unmet Kickstarter promises, and a potent mea culpa to the entire community published earlier this week, this latest news about poor communication paints the project in an unflattering light. The interview provides a more comprehensive look at the chronology of Henderson's experience with Curiosity, Godus, and 22 Cans.
In game development, there are going to be hurdles, stumbles, and course changes. As we covered yesterday in our interview with Molyneux, the company was thrown a curve ball related to a sudden change in server back-end.
However, that doesn’t excuse the communication problems Henderson describes. There appears to be more going on at 22 Cans than a slightly delayed development schedule due to a technology emergency, and fixing it (if possible) starts with living up to commitments or admitting that they aren’t possible.