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Lionhead wanted to make a “darker and grittier” Fable 4 instead of $75M Fable Legends

Lionhead Studios had pitched a mature-rated Fable 4 project set in an industrial-age to be developed using Unreal Engine 4. But it was rejected by Microsoft which had switched the IP over to a “games as a service model.” Lionhead wanted to mak…

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Septic584d ago

Wow. Pathetic of Microsoft

gangsta_red584d ago

What Lionhead had originally planned sounded fantastic. I always said that the Fable series should have a darker more serious tone to it. Looks like I wasn't the only one who thought so. It's too bad they couldn't do this for three to prove it's worth. But the damage was done and I'm sure after reading this MS didn't believe in the franchise anymore.

Septic584d ago

MS are idiots though. You don't just asphyxiate devs like this and shove your bullshit ill founded vision down devs throats.

This article highlights the key problem with Microsoft and it's stupid attitude thinking it knows best when it comes to gave devs and the freedom it affords them.

Zeref583d ago

I think theyre definitely planning a fable 4. or else they would have sold the IP.

_-EDMIX-_583d ago

@Septic- "MS are idiots though. You don't just asphyxiate devs like this and shove your bullshit ill founded vision down devs throats"

.....I see its taken you long enough to figure out what many have been trying to tell you. Welcome to the light

gangsta_red584d ago

I definitely agree, I have to wonder though was this under Mattrick's leadership and Phil just inherited this insane mess? Even still though, what the f*** was the point or even the thought process in this? Why did MS think that a franchise like Fable would be able to translate to some type of F2P model and be a hit?

After reading this on principle MS should have salvaged something, kept at least more than half the team and then had them make the Fable 4 they have visioned and see where that would have went., especially being 75 million in the hole.

By the way...saw your tweet to Phil, I always knew you were a huge sony fanboy!

http://screencast.com/t/fxS...

joab777583d ago

Didn't they close under Phil 's watch?

gangsta_red583d ago

The damage was already done before Phil. There was definitely a point of no return. Phil probably inherited the mess caused by earlier leadership decisions.

Eonjay583d ago

Phil was there when Mattrick was there so he was a part of the mess no matter who you want to put blame on. Being head of Xbox now he had the power to make any changes he wanted (an assumption on my part). So its not like he is blameless here. He is Xbox. Ultimately, 8+ studios were abandoned under his watch. There is no phantom exec to assign blame to.

-Foxtrot584d ago

True but I'd rather they would have done a grittier reboot. I wouldn't want Steampunk, Fable 3 didn't feel Fable like as it was moving through it's time eras. I want that classic old fantasy world like the first game.

Doesn't this really show anyway how much in control Microsoft still are with their studios. Where is the freedom and the like they have basically went on about, this is control and because of that it's lost all those people their jobs.

_-EDMIX-_583d ago (Edited 583d ago )

@Fox- Agreed. To not give such control to a team, even to a degree is to send out a game to die. I'm sure other publishers have clearly some control over their teams, but I think only in sense of the genre ie MS or Sony might say they need an RPG or Hack and slash etc.

What it sounds like is MS doesn't want to put money behind a AAA Fable game and maybe wanted to go Free To Play. You hire because of the talent, but you still must let the talent do what they were hired to do, freely create. I get publishers can't just go around throwing millions at developers to make what ever, but I think they should take into consideration that maybe they should just control theme and genre, but let the team openly create.

I by no means think teams like Naughty Dog just go around making anything they feel like it, but I'm sure Sony might say they want a dark, 3rd person action adventure and its up to the team to create. Sounds like MS is smothering theses teams, they'll only be sorry when those teams leave to create greatness else where.

I wonder how MS feels about letting Destiny slip away? If MS wasn't the way they were, they could likely have Destiny and Halo and Gears. Maybe they should have given some freedom to their ace teams to make new concepts.

jb227583d ago

"Doesn't this really show anyway how much in control Microsoft still are with their studios. Where is the freedom and the like they have basically went on about, this is control and because of that it's lost all those people their jobs."

Exactly. I keep seeing people regurgitate the same obscure PR lines from devs like Rare that they "Chose to work solely for Kinect" Regardless of what conventional wisdom & the obvious larger picture would tell you.

Maybe Spencer is working to change things for the better, but as it stands, MS has a long history of micromanaging creators w/ business facing agendas. When these forced propositions end up failing, they pin it on creators & creators just have to suck it up and roll with it in order to keep from alienating a gaming giant. We eventually see these truths filter down, like we have seen here. This is definitive proof that Lionhead's closure was no real fault of their own, it was solely down to MS' strict edicts & poor management, which also lends credence to the statements made by the Phantom Dust creator about the failure of their game & issues w/ MS.

That's at least 2 large games that were paraded around at conventions & hyped up by execs only to end up failing due to these practices. I'm not sure how an Xbox fan can hang their hats on anything that MS says or shows in regards to new games, because we've already seen the death of at least 2 in the public eye very recently...doesn't exactly inspire confidence in MS' competence in the gaming realm.

shloobmm3584d ago (Edited 584d ago )

So do we just assume everything we are reading is true? That it's not about bitter devs who got laid off(someone standing up for those devs) or the fact that they were making a game that wasn't really any fun. The beta improved mightily in the graphical department and when it came to story telling but in the end it was still never really fun. Yeah the idea of Fable 4 sounds great but outside of the jack Ripper parts it doesn't really sound too different than Fable 3. The problem isn't MS the problem was Lionheads inability to capitalize and make a product that stood head and shoulders above Fable 1. Fable 2 and 3 just didn't have what the first game had although 2 was a hell of a lot better than 3. So when you let a studio make the games they want and they consistently arent getting it done then perhaps its time to step in.

_-EDMIX-_583d ago

"So do we just assume everything we are reading is true?" Well I don't think the majority of the team is THRILLED to work on a free to play game when the used to make one of the best western RPGs around.

They likely want to revamp Fable, the might want to bring the IP to new heights, but MS won't fund such things if they don't see the sales. I can see how one would be upset over this.

Monster_Tard583d ago

It's a shame. This is the same reason why Bungie split from Microsoft and why Rare hasn't delivered a good game in a long while.

aragon583d ago (Edited 583d ago )

I would have loved a dark and gritty fable I think it would have sold, and it woulda been awesome, I think fable was ready to be more mature, but I think microsoft's biggest problem this gen has been playing it too safe, Devs need to be creative and ms needs to let them out of the safety bubble.

CaptainObvious878583d ago

Wow, I'm agreeing with Septic and gangsta in the same article...

... I'm really scared...

+ Show (5) more repliesLast reply 583d ago
slate91584d ago

Very disappointed in this news. Can only hope that it was rejected due to previous leadership. I know fable legends was began under mattrick.

dirkdady584d ago (Edited 584d ago )

Yea but Spencer was the head of microsoft world wide studios (akin to Shu for Sony). Game curation is their responsibility and not the captin of the ship. You don't hear about Andrew house interfering in studio happenings.

Spencer had plenty of time to reverse course with lion head after he took over if he truly thought otherwise

slate91583d ago

Plenty of time? He got head of xbox in 2014. Legends was well into development by then. All he did when he was head of game studios was take orders and supervise progress. Don was heading the ship towards the games for service imo. I didnt disagree with you btw.

SolidGear3584d ago

This is really sad because that would've been very awesome!

spaceg0st584d ago

Fable legends was such a bad directional decision. i hope somebody was fired over that. Darkier and grittier would've been a massive success.

CJQNSNYC583d ago (Edited 583d ago )

Agreed. When I heard about a new Fable game, I was excited. When I found out it was Fable Legends instead of Fable 4? Huh? What is this nonsense? Clearly Microsoft was thinking ONLY about FTP money, and that's all. As it turns out, they ended up SPENDING money instead of making it. Maybe the fact that they are refusing to sell Fable might be a good sign. Most fans wanted Fable 4. Fable Legends got what it deserved, and so did Microsoft for such an ill conceived attempt at cashing in on the FTP market.

kraenk12583d ago

I never understood how anyone could even make such a stupid decision. Must have been some capitalist prick at MS wanting to make an easy dollar on the LOL crowd.

Zeref583d ago

@kraenk12

"Capitalist prick"
You basically described Don Mattrrick.

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