Fable: Legends Is Sounding Like An Xbox One MMO

Fable: Legends Is Sounding Like An Xbox One MMO

In an interview on Games Industry International posted yesterday, Lionhead studio head John Needham outlined the developer’s big-picture plans for Fable: Legends, its upcoming Xbox One exclusive title. According to Needham:

“This is the next big Fable game that is going to be out for five to 10 years so it needs to be big, it needs to be interesting. There needs to be a lot of stuff to do, it needs to integrate all the cloud and Xbox One features so we keep our community alive and growing. So yeah, it’s big and ambitious, but it needs to be because it’s going to be around a long time.”

Did you catch that? Once a game is released, it’s technically out forever unless it has a required online component. Legends’ “five to 10 year” time-frame for a cloud-integrated, community-supported endeavour sounds like a world apart from the traditionally static Albion of Fables past.

The online play that Lionhead has alluded to could be as routine as adventures in patch downloads, but that doesn’t seem to fit with Needham’s claim that the team “[loves] games like Dark Souls with these really unique online modes and we really want to play with that in Fable Legends and the other games we’re going to make here.” That said, current plans for Legends will give players three AI companions to quest with, which would be atypical for an MMO.

But really, Peter Molyneux’s vision for the Fable series always has been an MMO, despite his misgivings about Legends’ canine omission. What better way to garner genuine, human reaction from townspeople than to make them other players? What game world is more emotionally convicting than the one discovered with friends? And the option to play as a hero or a villain certainly smacks of other popular MMO staples.

So far, Lionhead is just admitting to “online features” without committing to anything more, which is smart. But outside of a decidedly less ambitious plan (online co-op), all signs look to be pointing towards an interactive online community not dissimilar to modern MMO conventions. Let’s just hope Lionhead keeps Legends out of subscription country.


  • I’d love a Fable MMO, but I want a Fable MMO not an MMORPG set in the Fable universe. I don’t want 50 levels, I don’t want loot driven end-game progression, I don’t want filler quests in shared areas. I just want Fable with MMO hub areas, group content, instanced/story driven quest areas and a steady stream of updates.
    Something that’s about adventuring not progression. The way they talk about Legends I’m actually pretty optimistic they can deliver that. I’m just paranoid they’re going to get bogged down by MMO staples.

    • Yeah that’s a very real concern. If they kept it ‘Fable’ they would regain all the goodwill they lost with Fable 3. At the very least it seems they are going more hardcore with it again, and going back in time is a much better idea than pushing forward in time. Fable to me was always meant to be very medieval.

      Being that this is the real world though, they probably will mess it up. Or play it ‘safe’ and make an mmo model that’s literally failed dozens of times in the last couple of years. Seriously don’t these companies look at what happens when you try to make an MMO to compete with WOW these days? Look at what happened to 38 Studios. They had a really good game with Reckoning, they could have made something much better if they didn’t try to make a goddamn MMO and bankrupt themselves. Now we’ll never see a sequel.

      Look at Halo 2, 3, and Reach. These were games that people would play over and over again based on the strength of the gameplay, not carrots on the end of sticks. Gameplay is king.

      • Look at Halo 2, 3, and Reach. These were games that people would play over and over again based on the strength of the gameplay, not carrots on the end of sticks. Gameplay is king.

        Yep. I want to defend a village from an army of Hollowmen with my friends because it’s fun, not because I’m T2 and it offers the best loot for getting to T3.

        I hate the way MMORPGs just throw away the content as soon as you out level it. It’s like ‘here’s Elwynn Forest, a really cool setting where tons of interesting stuff could happen… but now you’re too high level to get exp or useful loot from there so you’ll never go back, and if you do come back it will be boring because you one shot everything’. I’d love a Fable game where you cross the mountain range because you want to see what’s happening over there, not because that’s the entrance to the level 15-18 content.

        • So much potential in Fable, seriously. I really hope they take the route that rewards the player, rather than the one that rewards the publisher. That’s how you get the big bucks, by making a game that is so good people can’t help but talk about it with their friends, and buy it in droves. Look at The Last Of Us. Perfect example.

        • This will be my biggest concern with Elder Scrolls Online. Such a story driven game can easily be shoved aside to become some shitty online game with no real story

    • THATs what your paranoid about, them getting bogged down in the mmo of it….. REALLY?

      I would be more inclined that they couldn’t hit the “fable” target from 50 cm out with a dropped hand grenade.

      Jokes aside, i have no doubt, whatsoever, that this game will be a giant dissapointing flop, like every single fable game since the first. That is how bad fable fans have been treated and as such I don’t think they can deliver, at all no matter what path they take it.

    • Dogman I totally agree with you!! Fable with online hub towns would be amazing I really think they could do that it would be amazing

  • I read that comment of “next big fable game for 5 to 10 years” as, we’re not releasing another fable game for another 5 to 10 years.

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