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Molyneux: Demos are "horrible"

Fable III episodes detailed.

Peter Molyneux has labelled demos "a horrible concept" and revealed plans to release upcoming action RPG Fable III as a series of downloadable episodes.

"Soon after the retail launch we're doing episodic," he said at the GameHorizon conference in Gateshead, and reported by sister site Gamesindustry.biz.

"We break it down in chapters. We give away the first chapter entirely free, the first hour. When you reach a certain point in the game it says 'thank you for playing the pilot of Fable III, do you want to spend an extra 2-5 or whatever dollars to buy the next episode, or buy the whole lot?' Press 'yes' and you will immediately continue playing."

"It supports this freemium idea," he added. "It gets around this horrible concept of demos. Anyone out there who thinks a demo is a good idea is crazy. It's never a good idea, because demos are usually done at the end of a game and they require an enormous amount of design talent to make a demo. The other thing is you're more likely to satisfying the curiosity of a user rather than entice them to play more."

Molyneux insisted selling Fable III in downloadable chucks as well as at retail will help achieve targeted sales of five million and generate a whopping $150m in profit.

"We are driving to sell more than five million units and to make a profit in excess of $150 million. We have to do that because if a franchise doesn't reach that level it will inevitably wither."

We've seen this approach before, of course. Nine months after the release of Fable II, Microsoft sold the game in downloadable episodes on Xbox Live.

Apparently the first episode was downloaded 1.6m times, and as a whole the episodes earned $15m.

Fable III will be released on 26th October simultaneously for PC and Xbox 360.