March 7th 2016 marks a sad day for fans of the long running series Fable. In a press release by Hanno Lemke, General Manager of the Europe branch of Microsoft Studios, it was announced that development of Fable Legends was to be ended and that there was a proposal to close Lionhead Studios. Fable Legends had been announced in 2013 and had the open beta setup to be played later this year.
I played all three Fables when they came out and while 3 was not the best in the series for me, I still played quite a bit of it and had fun with it, however, I GREATLY enjoyed Fable 1 and 2. I spent plenty of time trying to figure out the riddles on the Demon Doors, kicking chickens and fighting bandits until it wasn’t even a challenge anymore. It was one of the first few games that I had the opportunity to play that had the differences in good/evil and the alterations of your character that came with it. I thought Fable did a lot of things right, mainly just exploring the world and allowing you as the player shape how “The Hero” would react to quests and do what you wanted. You wanted to stay good and be a true hero? Great, there was plenty of quests and bandits and monsters for you to fight to raise your fame and be the hero of the land! You want to be the scourge of the land and make even the utterance of your name bring fear to all? Great, you could go through and slaughter whole villages and towns making them your own. You were free to do as you pleased and I thought this was what made the Fable games stand out for me so much. If you haven’t had a chance I would very highly checking out, at a minimum, the Fable Anniversary edition (which you can grab here on Steam or on the Xbox site for Xbox 360) and dive into Albion.
Even if you didn’t care too much for Fable, it is always a sad day to see a studio, especially one as tenured as Lionhead Studios talk of shutting it’s doors. There has been lots of support on Twitter for the studio and it will be interesting to see what develops. What are your thoughts on this potential closure?