The Fable’s Progress Is Slowing Due To Lack Of RPG Experience And Playground’s Frugal Ethics, Developer Says

What exactly is happening with the reboot of Microsoft’s Fable and Playground Games? The game was announced almost two years ago, and rumors that it was in development surfaced two years prior, so shouldn’t we have seen something beyond a very basic teaser? It looks like development is progressing quite slowly for a studio that produces huge open-world Forza Horizon games very regularly, and it looks like we can now see why.

Game designer Juan Fernandez has bounced around at various studios, including Rime developer Tequila Works, the creators of Hellblade Ninja Theory, and a stint at Playground Games where he worked on the new Fable. Perhaps unsurprisingly, in an interview with Vandal (translation provided by Google, so forgive any stiff wording) Fernandez reveals that Playground had a hard time adjusting to creating an open-world game where you do not do explode in luxury cars at 200 mph.

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The playing field is […] very organized and production oriented. Every two years they release a Forza Horizon, which has over 90 on Metacritic, with incredible quality. They’ve taken running games and they’ve dominated them for the past few years. They are very smart and they know what they are doing. They wanted to branch out with something different and they thought what they did well was open world racing games, [but] they lacked people who know how the gameplay is done. In an open world, the way you control a character and the actions are very different from what you have in a racing game. At the technological level, you have to develop animations, scripts, a quest system. Traveling by car at 300 km/ha is very different from walking through the countryside.

Playground is also said to have a “do more with less” philosophy, which has served them well when it comes to doing something they’ve reduced to a science like Forza Horizon, but has slowed progress when it comes down to it. was acting something more ambitious like Fable…

Action RPG open worlds are incredibly complicated to do, they take a lot of time. A lot of people and in Playground they have the mentality of doing more with less, that if Assassin’s Creed is made by 5000 people they will have 150 or 200, and if they do [Assassin’s Creed] in 7 years, they would do Fable in 5. It’s good to be ambitious but you also have to be realistic and what I saw is that [development] was getting longer and longer.

It will certainly be interesting to see how Playground’s take on Fable turns out. Luckily, according to Fernandez, Playground has added a lot of new talent to their team, so hopefully they have the people they need to make Fable a success.

Fable is coming to PC and Xbox Series X/S. A release window has yet to be revealed.

Harold B. McConnell