According to Molyneux, the God Game genre made popular with the release of titles such as Populous in the 1990s is now defined by simple social gaming titles. The launch of GODUS' Kickstarter campaign will become a medium for players to become involved in taking the genre back to its original roots.
"To my mind, the god game genre is now defined by titles like CityVille," said Molyneux. "It was always supposed to be more than that. It was supposed to be far, far more than that. Why not take that challenge on? I feel like Populous created me, I didn't create Populous. Why not use Kickstarter as a medium of involving people in the re-creation of a whole genre? Does that sound mad? What are we doing? Does it sound crazy? I suppose it does."
While Molyneux continues to see Dungeons Keeper, Populous and Black & White as touchstones of the genre, he is aware of their failings. Using Kickstarter, he says, GODUS will differ thanks to continued intervention from Kickstarter users who will "obsess" over the mistakes in the game throughout development.
"I think Dungeon Keeper's multiplayer, again, was really good," says Molyneux. "It was probably stronger even than the Populous multiplayer. Looking at some of the Black & White stuff and mixing that together - those three games had a huge number of mistakes in them. But the community of Kickstarter can tell us and obsess about those mistakes and help us to reinvent the genre. That's the reason to do Kickstarter.
Explaining why the studio never signed with a publisher, Molyneux states: "We could have done a thing that I've done on every game I've ever made. We could have gone to a publisher, and maybe we should have gone to a publisher. Maybe that's the sensible big-boy thing to do, signing up to a publisher. But I've always said, I'm exploring a way to make a really good, really well-balanced game. One of the great things about Kickstarter is you've got people that care enough to spend money. There's a lot of talk about alpha and beta and people coming in and helping us with the design."
Developer 22Cans released its first game, iOS and Android block-breaking mystery Curiosity: What's Inside the Cube?, in November. This week it announced the development of GODUS, a modern take on the God Game genre that will feature a living world. 22Cans estimates that the game will take seven to nine months to complete, with an expected September 2013 release date.