The Fable series was one of Microsoft's early IP hits when it was growing its Xbox brand, with the first and second games gaining rave reviews and bumper sales. However, Fable 3 is considered to be something of a disappointment, especially when it promised the player the chance to rule the entire kingdom.
Key members of the Fable 3 team have been speaking to The Gamer, including the legendary Peter Molyneux, who founded Lionhead after leaving Bullfrog, where he oversaw titles such as Populous and Magic Carpet.
The feature is well worth a read, but one of the key takeaways is that Fable 3 suffered because Lionhead didn't stick to its usual plan of asking Microsoft for more time – because, by this point, Microsoft owned Lionhead. Molyneux admits that this situation is why the game turned out the way it did.
"We hit our dates and Microsoft gave us a great pat on the back. But the game was a third of the size that it should have been," he says – and he's prepared to take the blame for it, too.
"It may have been my fault, actually," Molyneux admits. "[Previously] I would go to publishers and say, ‘Look, I know you're going to tell me off and we're going to be in your bad books, but we just need more time. The game’s just not ready.’ But as a studio [...] the bonus structure was incentivizing us to hit our dates, rather than hit the quality. I still love the concept […] but I hate the fact that we had all this potential and we didn't do what we should have done, and [said] it needs another year and a half. It needed double the time, basically."