Lionhead and daddy Microsoft have announced that Fable 2 will ship without online co-operative play.
"We just got word that while we will be able to play the single-player and local co-op on day one, they are still making tweaks to the online co-op," Microsoft said on Gamerscoreblog.
"Seriously, as a gamer I'm glad they're taking the time to make it right instead of just rushing it out the door," the poster added. (We're not touching this with a bargepole.)
Fortunately, the patch that introduces online co-op will be released "within the first week of launch in North America" by the current estimate, so it may even be ready for the European launch. They're getting it on 21st October, we're getting it on 24th October.
Fable 2's online co-op will allow players to drop in and out of each other's games, draw up loot-sharing contracts and have a permanent effect on the worlds they visit - unless a safety feature is turned on.
In order to locate other players for co-op, Fable 2 single-player will include floaty orbs, which represent the position and progress of other players - and Gamerscoreblog noted that this feature will be present even before online co-op is enabled.
"As you are playing through the game, you will still be able to see your friends as glowing orbs as well as chat and trade with them," it said.
You can read much more about that in our extensive Fable 2 hands-on preview, where Lionhead's Peter Molyneux walks us through the orbs feature.
Look out for our review of Fable 2 closer to its 24th October release.