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Opinion Game Dev Phil Spencer says Fable fans should take confidence from Playground Forza Horizon work

IbizaPocholo

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Microsoft’s head of gaming was asked to provide an update on the project during the latest Dropped Frames podcast.

“The only thing I can really say about Fable is, seeing the pedigree of the team and Playground, and where they set the bar for themselves in building a game—I think that showed with the Forza Horizon 5 preview that they had—I think people should just take confidence in that [studio director] Gavin [Raeburn] and the team there have that same level of focus on doing something amazing with an IP that we know is really important to a lot of Xbox fans, so we can’t wait to get to show more, but the team is just amazing.”
 

elliot5

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I'm sure it will be good but come on... It's a team working on a completely different genre than they're used to.
Respawn did a different genre with Fallen Order and I really enjoyed that game. Playgrounds got a lot of resources and 1st party "family members" to pull from. Ninja Theory is down the road if they need third person animation and combat tips.
 

Kuranghi

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All I remember from the first one is farting at people and trying & failing to pull that sword out of the stone, how did that work again?
 

quest

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Respawn did a different genre with Fallen Order and I really enjoyed that game. Playgrounds got a lot of resources and 1st party "family members" to pull from. Ninja Theory is down the road if they need third person animation and combat tips.
They also only have 3 of the best WRPG studios to get advice from on role-playing systems of the game. Playground has delivered everytime I think they earned our benefit of the doubt.
 

Varteras

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Playground is probably the highest quality developer Microsoft has. I have little doubt that they'll be able to make a great Fable game. As long as they are given the time and resources to do it. Transitioning from open world racer to an RPG is going to take some work but I don't think it'll cause much trouble. I think by the end of this generation Playground and Obsidian will prove to be the two best studios Microsoft acquired.
 

Shmunter

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Engine no doubt. But Fable is not a racing game so there will be a lot to prove stepping out from that comfort zone. Can’t be easy to make an engaging rpg with all the systems and narrative. Best wishes however!
 
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01011001

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I am super excited for Fable 4, and honestly Playground games making it makes it even more exciting. if you have a developer that does the same thing over and over, you will know exactly what to expect most of the time.
the fact that this is such a departure for the team makes it WAY more interesting.
 

Dr Bass

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I think that sentiment makes sense. It’s about studio talent not necessarily constantly doing the same genre.

I played the original Fable games. I would not be surprised if this new one ended up being the best one yet. I think the originals were ok but a massive letdown from the original promise.
 

FritzJ92

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Engine no doubt. But Fable is not a racing game so there will be a lot to prove stepping out from that comfort zone. Can’t be easy to make an engaging rpg with all the systems and narrative. Best wishes however!
Agree, but Forza has RPG elements which I don’t think they’ll have a lot of issues creating the upgrade systems. I do think the narrative will be the main one as Forza Horizon games never was about the narrative.
 

D3SCHA1N

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If the extent of my uncertainty about this game was graphical prowess, Playground's pedigree might have given me some relief...
 

SinDelta

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I am very interested to see what the new Fable looks like in a post Skyrim/Witcher 3/Breath of the Wild/Red Dead Redemption 2 world.
 

bender

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Will it finally fulfill the promises of the first game?

You'll have to wait until Playground Games resurrects B.C.

Fable has always sucked but I'm curious to see what a new developer can bring to the table.
 

Reindeer

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Engine no doubt. But Fable is not a racing game so there will be a lot to prove stepping out from that comfort zone. Can’t be easy to make an engaging rpg with all the systems and narrative. Best wishes however!
A reason why they're probably taking so long. It must be a lot of work optimising and rewriting that engine for it to be good enough for RPG style game. I would imagine the game would be close to release if they went with UE as it's been in development a long time according to rumours, but it seems like they prefer developing their own technology.
 
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Shmunter

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A reason why they're probably taking so long. It must be a lot of work optimising and rewriting that engine for it to be good enough for RPG style game. I would imagine it would be close to release if they went with UE as it's been in development a long time according to rumours, but it seems like they prefer working and developing their own technology.
If they get it right, it’s all gravy for sequels and offshoots, no need to pay engine licensing.

But yeah, it’s gotta be a great deal of work and investment.
 
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Silent Viper

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I'm sure it will be good but come on... It's a team working on a completely different genre than they're used to.
Asobo says hi


Plague tale
Flight sim.


Plus PGs 2nd team working on it. They hired former RPG and action game vets from different studios


 
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Agree, but Forza has RPG elements which I don’t think they’ll have a lot of issues creating the upgrade systems. I do think the narrative will be the main one as Forza Horizon games never was about the narrative.
This is a good point. If you look at FH4's map and open-world traversal it's not hard to imagine a fantasy world with quests instead of races. Then you have upgrade systems for weapons, armor, and magic instead of cars and skins. But like you said, narrative is an area we haven't seen them handle. Hopefully it's more BoTW style. I never cared what the narrative was in that game, I just like the gameplay.
 
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twilo99

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Fable is gonna look nuts as a next gen only title and not having to stream in all the world data at high speeds like in Forza. A slower traversal pace will really let it all soak in. Mmmm

So more like ratchet then or no?
 

Pietanic

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Will it finally fulfill the promises of the first game?


 

Godot25

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There is no doubt game will be a looker. If PG managed to get Forza Horizon 5 level of visuals from cross-gen game I can't wait to see how Fable will look like.

And they have my benefit of the doubt even they are making RPG game after decade of making racing games only. They hired many people from action adventure/RPG genres for second studio and Guerrilla Games, Asobo and Respawn are showing it can be done.

Just inject it into my veins
 
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BusierDonkey

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I find it amusing how badly people want this game to be a disappointment.

I have no doubt the new studio will be releasing something special just like the original did with Forza Horizon.
 

cormack12

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It's the same as trusting Guerilla going from Killzone (FPS) to Horizon (aRPG). They didn't completely stick the landing but it was good enough to get a sequel and build on what they did in the first. We await the growth in Forbidden West. Not sure why everyone is peeing their pants.

Asobo did it as well. You can argue SSMs change in God of War were just as significant in a genre change. Kojima went from pretty much an MGS house to make Death Stranding which doesn't even have a genre. Why does everything turn into a fight? Stop being stupid. Does it mean that these developers can only ever work for studio's that make car games? These envrionment artists and lighting guys can only light tracks?

 

RyRy93

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People need to remember that PG is bulding a second team for Fable, its not like they are gonna take the car designers from Forza and put them into Fable.
A second team? So their prior success with Forza doesn't mean much for Fable
 
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BusierDonkey

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And Sucker Punch moving from Sly to InFamous to Ghost of Tsushima.

ND going from Crash to Jak to Uncharted.

Talent is talent at the end of the day, and PG seemed hungry themselves to expand and create this game.

Nintendo went from Mario to Zelda to Metroid to Mario Kart to Mario 64 to Smash Bros. to Fire Emblem to Wii Sports to Splatoon to etc...

A good studio can make a good game regardless of the genre.

A second team? So their prior success with Forza doesn't mean much for Fable

Look at the key people they hired for the second studio, it's a bunch of people experienced with the genre Fable falls into. The studio heads came from the original studio and were partially responsible for the way the Horizon games turned out.
 

The_Mike

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Fable is a awesome serie I always loved. The only real lackluster these games has is they are so god damn short.
 
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Godot25

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A second team? So their prior success with Forza doesn't mean much for Fable
It looks like Forza dev had a choice. Either stay with Forza or move to second studio to work on Fable. Also, they hired many experienced devs from other studios. For example Design Director on Fable is Wil Kennedy who worked on GTA V and GTA Online.

But head of Fable project is Ralph Fulton who was CD on Forza Horizon 4. And he was replaced by Mike Brown in Forza Horizon 5.

TL;DR: They moved bunch of people from Forza Team and also hired many devs from other studios.