What exactly is going on with the Microsoft reboot and Playground Games Fable? The game was announced almost two years ago, and rumors that it was in development were two years before, so shouldn’t we have seen something other than a very simple teaser? It seems like development has been pretty slow for a studio that regularly releases massive open-world Forza Horizon games, and now we can see why.
Game designer Juan Fernandez has traveled to various studios including Tequila Works, developer Rime, Ninja Theory, the creators of Hellblade, and also worked at Playground Games, where he worked on the new Fable. Perhaps unsurprisingly, in an interview with Vandal, Fernandez revealed that Playground had some trouble adapting to making an open-world game where you don’t race fancy cars at 320 km/h.
playground […] very organized and production oriented. Every two years they release Forza Horizon, with a Metacritic score of over 90, with incredible quality. They’ve taken racing games and dominated them for the past few years. They are very smart and know what they are doing. They wanted to branch out with something else, and they thought what they were good at was open-world racing games, but they lacked people who knew how gameplay worked. In the open world, how you control the character and actions is very different from what happens in a racing game. At the technological level, you have to develop animation, scripting, and a quest system. Driving a car at 300 km/h requires completely different requirements than walking through the countryside.
Playground also reportedly has a “do more with less” principle, which served them well when it came to something they reduced to science like Forza Horizon, but slowed progress when it came to something. then more ambitious, like Fable …
Open world action role-playing games are incredibly complex and time consuming. Many people in the Playground also believe that doing more with less is that if 5,000 people make Assassin’s Creed, they’ll have 150 or 200. […] It’s good to be ambitious, but you also have to be realistic, and I’ve seen development take longer and longer.
It will certainly be interesting to see how the Playground version of Fable plays out. Luckily, according to Fernandez, Playground has added a lot of new talent to their team, so hopefully they have the people they need to make Fable a success.
Fable is coming to PC and Xbox Series X/S. The release window has not been opened yet.