Earlier this week, Microsoft announced that it would be closing down a number of their studios, most interestingly among them was Lionhead Studios, the developer behind the hit series Fable. This came as a shock to me, as I’ve been waiting for Fable Legends to come out this year and the game was about to release its open beta. But, here are some of my thoughts as to why Fable needs to continue even with Lionhead closing down.
I myself have many fond memories of the original on the original Xbox back in 2004 (a great year for the Xbox as Halo 2 was released later that year) and the gameplay was amazing, many of my friends and I discussed the game in detail over some of the choices that we made differently and the thoughts we had on this new franchise and where it could all lead.
One thing that confuses me the most is that they were just about to launch the open beta of the latest entry in the series Fable Legends which would’ve used the free-to-play model and had a planned lifetime of 5-10 years with many upgrades over the years. And it appears as though they are just throwing it out. In my opinion, they should’ve just allowed for the game to be released and seen how well it did first before closing down Lionhead Studios.
Or perhaps that’s why it was closed down? Poor feedback from the closed beta? Or that Microsoft didn’t think there would be as much profit in a free-to-play game? I’m sure many fans will be speculating as to why it was canceled. It’s been a game that they’ve been talking about since it was first announced back in August of 2013.
In this surprising move, it leaves me to wonder if Xbox has any plans for the Fable series, as one of the biggest things in a company’s arsenal in the console war is exclusive games and franchises. And Fable is one that could help the Xbox in its fight against the Playstation, they could easily keep going as it’s a series that has such an open setting that they can really make any kind of genre whether it be a RTS, a MMO, etc. within the Fable lore and fans would buy it, as long as it’s made well.
What I think they really need to do is make Fable 4, a new entry in the main series would help to revitalize the series, and bring the game back to the basics that made the game what it is. And it’s well overdue as Fable III was released back in 2010, which could bring the game back to life if they do it right, and depending on which new studio makes it.
Are they making a whole new studio that’s main focus is the Fable series in the new direction that they may want to go, similar to 343 Industries when Bungie left the Halo franchise? That’s worked out well so far for Xbox. There’re so many questions and I hope Microsoft will answer them before too long. But until then it looks like the fate of the Fable franchise is up in the air.
And there you have it, some of my thoughts on Microsoft’s decision to close down Lionhead Studios and what I think they need to do with the Fable series to continue the franchise. What do you think of this news? Were you one of the lucky few who got a chance to try out Fable Legends in their closed beta? Please let us know what your thoughts are in the comments below.