Microsoft has added a trio of UK-made games to the Xbox One backwards compatibility list.
Plus more Fable Heroes, Minecraft, Bloodforge.
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Good and evil is barely the start of it, frankly. Fable is one of those rare, fascinating game series upon which nobody can really seem to agree about anything for very long. It's a shallow RPG, or maybe it's a canny and satirical examination of RPGs in general. It's hilarious - oh, the burping! Or maybe it's just juvenile. Let's face it: Fable's easy to the point of being obsequious, isn't it? Or maybe it's choosing to measure itself in ways that go beyond mere difficulty? It's no surprise, then, that with all this discussion churning around it, the world of Albion is so often defined by a mechanic that it doesn't even contain.
In October 2008, Microsoft released Lionhead's Fable 2 to critical and commercial acclaim. At a launch party an emotional Peter Molyneux held aloft glowing reviews and praised the exhausted team of developers who had spent the previous four years pouring everything they had into the game. Fable 2 would go on to win a BAFTA and become the best-selling role-playing game for the Xbox 360. Lionhead was on top of the world.
It's been two and a half years since Fable 3 and in that time we've had a couple of series spin-offs, like the Kinect-based Fable: The Journey and the co-op beat-'em-up Fable: Heroes, but the next numbered entry in the prime series has remained elusive. While a formal announcement is yet to be made, it's suggested that it won't be long now as series developer Lionhead has launched a new forum dedicated to the franchise.
One does not typically do this just for older titles, leading one to believe a Fable 4 announcement is imminent. This would corroborate earlier reports that Fable 4 would be due in 2013, and it could very well be one of the 15 first-year exclusives Microsoft hinted at during its Xbox One reveal.
While series co-creator Peter Molyneux left Lionhead to start up 22 Cans, his Fable co-creators Dene and Simon Carter spoke highly of his Lionhead underlings, stating that the series was "in safe hands."
Fable developer Lionhead has a new boss.
Microsoft has announced Lift London, a new developer focused on creating new IP for tablets, mobiles and TVs.
Ex-Rare developer Lee Schuneman is running the developer, which was created by top Microsoft Studios exec Phil Harrison as a "21st century studio" that will build experiences only for the cloud.
"We're here to deliver entertainment as a service," Schuneman said at a Microsoft briefing held in London this afternoon, "where, when and how you want it. We're going beyond the box with great games and experiences on tablets, mobiles and TVs, powered by Microsoft."
The first episode of Telltale's recent TV/comic tie-in The Walking Dead has held on to the Xbox Live Arcade chart top spot in its second week on sale, Microsoft has announced.
If you think about it, Fable's an unusual choice for a spin-off. It's a game that covers so much ground - its myriad distractions ranging from rhythm action to town building, from gambling to Sims-style housekeeping and socialising - that it would seem to leave little room for any further asides.
Yet here is Fable Heroes, a four-player brawler spawned from Lionhead's annual Creative Day (an event that, in typical Lionhead fashion, actually lasts 48 hours). The idea is pretty straightforward: you and up to three chums - playing as Fable's hero dolls dressed up as familiar characters - romp around a puppet-theatre take on Albion. Your job is to whack hobbes, balverines, beetles and the like, collecting the money they drop when they drop. At the end of each level you choose a fork in the path, fight a boss or play a mini-game, the coins are tallied up, and the winner stands proud atop a wooden podium while the loser's played off by the sad trombone.
Fable's moral choices are represented by a pair of adjacent 'good' and 'evil' treasure chests in each level. Pick the former and a random party member will benefit from a new temporary power, such as a cloud that hovers above them, regularly dropping coins. Choose the latter, and the cloud may instead zap them with lightning - at least until they tag another player to transfer the curse. Standard chests scattered more liberally throughout the levels convey various other transient abilities to the player who collects them. You can grow or shrink, receive the assistance of a doppelganger, become invisible, or you may just find some cash or a score multiplier instead.
Fable Heroes lead designer Ted Timmins has described departed Lionhead figurehead Peter Molyneux as "irreplaceable" and a "total legend", and said "there's no one who can fill those shoes".
Xbox Live Arcade beat-'em-up Fable Heroes "doesn't in any way shape the future direction of Lionhead", the game's lead designer has told Eurogamer.
The Achievement list for upcoming Xbox Live Arcade adventure Fable Heroes has, predictably, leaked online (courtesy of X360A). It's the first list of game awards to feature the new 400 Gamerscore cap for XBLA titles.
"How long have you got to talk?" I ask Peter Molyneux at the beginning of our Skype interview.
Lionhead has announced a bucketload of 'brand extensions' for its Fable franchise, including a series of digital short stories and three tie-in novels.
The shorts are up first, launching around Fable: Heroes' arrival next month. Written by Peter David, they each focus on one key character from the Fable universe: Reaver and Jack of Blades stories will be available in May, with a Theresa tale following in June. They'll be available via all major e-reader platforms.
The first full novel, titled At the Edge of the World and authored by New York Times bestselling author Christie Golden, then arrives in August. The book will fill in the gaps between the end of Fable 3 and forthcoming Kinect spin-off Fable: The Journey.
Use your Xbox 360 for a potpourri of gaming, entertainment and social activities during April and you could be awarded 300 Microsoft Points.
Peter Molyneux's departure from Microsoft and Lionhead sent shockwaves throughout the game industry. Not only had one of the most influential developers of all time ditched the company he founded in 1997, but Fable, a series guided by Molyneux's leadership over eight long years and across two generations of home console, was left without its poster boy.
This weekend there will be a 48-hour game jam exploring the works of parody Twitter account @PeterMolydeux.
Microsoft has announced release dates for a number of high profile Xbox Live Arcade titles, as part of its new Arcade Next season.
As detailed on its Major Nelson's blog, the XBLA version of Minecraft launches on 9th May, priced at 1600 Microsoft Points.
Stunt bike sequel Trials Evolution lands on 18th April, priced at 1200 Points. That's followed a week later by gory hack and slash effort Bloodforge, also for 1200 Points.
Fans need not worry about the Fable series following Peter Molyneux's shock exit from Microsoft - so say the creators of the franchise.
Peter Molyneux, creator of Populous, Black & White and Magic Carpet, has left Microsoft and the studio he co-founded, Lionhead.
Having accidentally stumbled out on Xbox's official site earlier today Fable Heroes has now been officially unveiled, with the four player beat 'em-up confirmed to be coming to Xbox Live Arcade later this year.
Xbox.com has spilled the beans on Xbox Live Arcade game Fable Heroes.
XBLA role-player from Lionhead Studios.