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This is the pitch for Fable 4 that Microsoft rejected [Eurogamer report]

Sounds like it could have been incredible :-/
"However, we were also under pressure to be enormously profitable. To be clear, Fable 1, 2 and 3 were highly profitable, despite the somewhat protracted developments of Fable 1 and 2, but not being as profitable as one or two of Microsoft's other properties created a certain amount of tension."

It was in this context that a pitch for a Fable 4 game was rejected. John McCormack was the chief architect of the pitch. He wanted to switch to Unreal Engine 4 and move the series into the technological, industrial age, with tram cars and flying machines. "We wanted to hit the late Victorian proper far out Jules Verne shit," McCormack says.
In the first Fable, Bowerstone was a small town. In Fable 2 it was a big town. In Fable 3 it was a city. In McCormack's Fable 4, Bowerstone was London, vast and dense. Jack the Ripper would run the streets, a Balverine in disguise.The game would lean heavily on British mythology. McCormack planned to take Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, give them a Fable twist and drop them in "this kind of weird fucked up London environment".

"And that was going to be Fable 4, and it would be darker and grittier. And because it was R-rated it would have the prostitutes and the humour. I was like, man, this is going to be fucking brilliant, and everybody was really into it."
Well, not everyone. The pitch was rejected because Lionhead had to switch to making games as a service.

McCormack was incensed by the decision, and says it was one of the reasons he left the company in 2012. "It was like, you've reached your cap of players for RPG on Xbox and you need to find a way to double that, and you're not going to do it with RPG," he says. "I thought, yes we can.

"I said, look, just give us four years, proper finance, give us the chance Mass Effect has, Skyrim has, the games at the time. They're getting four years and a lot of budget. Give us that, and we'll give you something that'll get you your players. Nah, you've had three shots and you've only tripled the money. It's not good enough. Fuck off. That's what I was annoyed about."

Eurogamer
 

Jawmuncher

Member
I'd have canned that too. But if the options were this and legends, I would have easily ate those words and green-lighted this.
 

Slayven

Member
"And that was going to be Fable 4, and it would be darker and grittier. And because it was R-rated it would have the prostitutes and the humour. I was like, man, this is going to be fucking brilliant, and everybody was really into it."

The Zach Synder approach.
 
the funniest part is $75million on fable legends...thats some waste of cash.

the article is really good though, really highlights the ridiculousness in corporations "these games only gave us 3 times returns" we want more.

As Jim Sterling says about AAA publishers, they don't want money..they want ALL the money
 
MS is odd, in that they want the fat profits of F2P and MMORPG, but they don't actually want to give away free games or deal with the open platform nature or constant updates of MMORPGS.

It's always one foot half in, one foot half out with AAA development for them.
 

8bit

Knows the Score
"They were going, you can't have a black person on the cover, and you can't have a woman. And you want a black woman. And I was like, yes, I do, because it's about be whatever hero you want. No. It's a white guy. That's just the way it is. We know what sells and that's fucking it. Stop the arguing. I was like, fuck you! That was a huge fight.

"They said, what's the most unsuccessful Disney film? I was like, I don't know. They went, Princess and the Frog. Work it out. I was like fuck you, man. I hated it.

"I was screaming at them in conference calls. I lost it at that point, because they just weren't getting the game. Especially because we were the first ever game that had gay marriage, we were about breaking down walls. It was meant to be funny and mature. They just took none of it and just did the usual white guy with a sword on the front. Damn it! You missed the point!"

 

leeh

Member
What an awful case of terrible management by MS which caused them to sink money and have their own problems fixed in the mean-time.

If only Phil ran the division at the time.
 

Raide

Member
R-Rated? Meh. We have Witcher etc for the humour, sex and OTT violence.

Premise sounds cool but the Fable series has always had dark undertones. Just slapping and R so you can make it more "Mature" would not save the series from demise.
 
"They were going, you can't have a black person on the cover, and you can't have a woman. And you want a black woman. And I was like, yes, I do, because it's about be whatever hero you want. No. It's a white guy. That's just the way it is. We know what sells and that's fucking it. Stop the arguing. I was like, fuck you! That was a huge fight.

"They said, what's the most unsuccessful Disney film? I was like, I don't know. They went, Princess and the Frog. Work it out. I was like fuck you, man. I hated it.

"I was screaming at them in conference calls. I lost it at that point, because they just weren't getting the game. Especially because we were the first ever game that had gay marriage, we were about breaking down walls. It was meant to be funny and mature. They just took none of it and just did the usual white guy with a sword on the front. Damn it! You missed the point!"


What the fuck MS
 

Arkanius

Member
"I said, look, just give us four years, proper finance, give us the chance Mass Effect has, Skyrim has, the games at the time. They're getting four years and a lot of budget. Give us that, and we'll give you something that'll get you your players. Nah, you've had three shots and you've only tripled the money. It's not good enough. Fuck off. That's what I was annoyed about."

I would be pissed as well.
 

Xater

Member
I don't think the pitch sounds amazing, but it's definitely better than the thing they ended up making. Them not being given the resources other big RPGs have is a travesty though.
 
What an awful case of terrible management by MS which caused them to sink money and have their own problems fixed in the mean-time.

If only Phil ran the division at the time.

I think you mean, if only Phil Harrison wasn't so busy pushing the Games as a Service mentality.
 
God the stuff I hate from Mattrick era Xbox just keeps piling up.

Christ how could they not fund this yet have the fucking balls to fund Fable Legends?
 

jelly

Member
While it does sound cool here and there, reading the rest of the article, you would be mad to give that studio much more time especially with Peter still around. Tear it down, start again.
 
"They were going, you can't have a black person on the cover, and you can't have a woman. And you want a black woman. And I was like, yes, I do, because it's about be whatever hero you want. No. It's a white guy. That's just the way it is. We know what sells and that's fucking it. Stop the arguing. I was like, fuck you! That was a huge fight.

"They said, what's the most unsuccessful Disney film? I was like, I don't know. They went, Princess and the Frog. Work it out. I was like fuck you, man. I hated it.

"I was screaming at them in conference calls. I lost it at that point, because they just weren't getting the game. Especially because we were the first ever game that had gay marriage, we were about breaking down walls. It was meant to be funny and mature. They just took none of it and just did the usual white guy with a sword on the front. Damn it! You missed the point!"


fucking hell.
 
I feel like MS could've tested with a "remastering" of Fable's 1-3 on the XB1 and seeing how it would have been received. If it would have sold well then there would have been no doubt to have 4 made instead of whatever Legends was supposed to be (not a Fable game). Damn if this doesn't sounds awesome though, would have been day 1 for me. Love me some Fable

Also hasn't Lionheads motto always been to overpromise and underdeliver? Or was that just 1?
 
I actually think that pitch sounds horrid, really so for the franchise even if I didn't enjoy it.

"Damn, that's what this game needs! Cursing whores! Horror undertones!"
 

Granadier

Is currently on Stage 1: Denial regarding the service game future
Well that explains Fable Legends then. They were forced to make a GAAS version of Fable, and the studio probably had zero heart behind it.
 

Figments

Member
Aw man that sounds amazing. Why MS :/

Because single-player RPGs don't sell Xbox Live subscriptions.
Of course, that likely isn't the only reason.
It's shit, but in all honesty, if that's the way the cookie crumbles, then that's all there is to it.

The answer to this is always find a way to make a compelling multi-player feature set, then use revenues generated from it to create a polished and well thought out single-player campaign.

As per the discussion, all we'll ever see is this side of the story, with any Microsoft response being nothing more than PR, and everyone will start making baseless conjectures from the words of one side of the argument.

Why the fuck any company lets this shit go like this is beyond me.
 
It's sounds better than Legends but I don't think it would help the Fable brand that much. They sunk a lot of money making those games. In fact that studio was around a really long time.
 
What an awful case of terrible management by MS which caused them to sink money and have their own problems fixed in the mean-time.

If only Phil ran the division at the time.

It's possible that things would have went different then, however Legends was cancelled under him as well and the studio plus Press Play as well.
 
"They were going, you can't have a black person on the cover, and you can't have a woman. And you want a black woman. And I was like, yes, I do, because it's about be whatever hero you want. No. It's a white guy. That's just the way it is. We know what sells and that's fucking it. Stop the arguing. I was like, fuck you! That was a huge fight.

"They said, what's the most unsuccessful Disney film? I was like, I don't know. They went, Princess and the Frog. Work it out. I was like fuck you, man. I hated it.

"I was screaming at them in conference calls. I lost it at that point, because they just weren't getting the game. Especially because we were the first ever game that had gay marriage, we were about breaking down walls. It was meant to be funny and mature. They just took none of it and just did the usual white guy with a sword on the front. Damn it! You missed the point!"


Uhhh, is this the same MS that published a Halo 5 where 75%+ of the game is spent playing from a black character's vantage point and women are heavily featured in the story and plot?

What the hell?
 

arimanius

Member
"I said, look, just give us four years, proper finance, give us the chance Mass Effect has, Skyrim has, the games at the time. They're getting four years and a lot of budget. Give us that, and we'll give you something that'll get you your players. Nah, you've had three shots and you've only tripled the money. It's not good enough. Fuck off. That's what I was annoyed about."

I guess tripling the money isn't very good.
 

derFeef

Member
Not liking that pitch for a Fable game. And I guess if it would have been grreenlighted, people would have thought that MS forced them to make Fable "gritty and edgy".
 

Calm Killer

In all media, only true fans who consume every book, film, game, or pog collection deserve to know what's going on.
This sounds Meh to me. But I have never played a Fable game. This sounds like the most interesting, but still not something I think I would play.
 

rhandino

Banned
Fable games have kind of interesting premises/pitches but they always flopped HARD in the execution in ways that I am not so sure they could fix with more money/time.
 
Hmm this part sounds weird "Since it wasn't as profitable as Microsoft's one or two other properties, tension was high"

So are they saying essentially since fable wasn't racking up what I assume to be halo and gears profits they weren't happy with it?
 
"They were going, you can't have a black person on the cover, and you can't have a woman. And you want a black woman. And I was like, yes, I do, because it's about be whatever hero you want. No. It's a white guy. That's just the way it is. We know what sells and that's fucking it. Stop the arguing. I was like, fuck you! That was a huge fight.

"They said, what's the most unsuccessful Disney film? I was like, I don't know. They went, Princess and the Frog. Work it out. I was like fuck you, man. I hated it.

"I was screaming at them in conference calls. I lost it at that point, because they just weren't getting the game. Especially because we were the first ever game that had gay marriage, we were about breaking down walls. It was meant to be funny and mature. They just took none of it and just did the usual white guy with a sword on the front. Damn it! You missed the point!"

Straight garbage. Fucking Microsoft.
 

leeh

Member
I think you mean, if only Phil Harrison wasn't so busy pushing the Games as a Service mentality.
Oh is that who it came from? I thought it would of stemmed from Don at the time.

It's possible that things would have went different then, however Legends was cancelled under him as well and the studio plus Press Play as well.
In all fairness, only because they sank 75 million into a project which everyone was calling boring.
 
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