New Fable game is going to be a mix of old and new ideas

The new entry in the Fable series, announced during Xbox Games Showcase last week, is going to add fresh mechanics to the series while honoring the game’s traditions.

Matt Booty, the head of Xbox Game Studios, spoke to The Guardian about the game, which was originally developed by Lionhead, a studio shuttered by Microsoft back in 2016. Now, the game is being developed by Playground Games, which is responsible for the Forza Horizon driving game series. The reason Microsoft decided to go with Playground, Booty said, was because of the open-world environments the studio produced in its titles.

“I just look at what Playground has done with the Horizon series — that attention to detail, the ability to represent these naturalistic landscapes. They also have a real passion for the IP and a unique point of view on what’s core to Fable. Everything I’ve seen as the game progresses tells me this is going to be a very high-quality release,” he said.

There has also been a rumor going around that the new Fable is going to be an MMO game instead of a single-player campaign title. The rumor came from French journalist @CronoTK, who tweeted that the game would be in the world of Fable but also an MMO. Microsoft previously described the game as a “completely fresh start” for the series.

Booty did not directly address the rumor, but he did say that the new game is going to stay true to the game’s legacy while allowing Playground the leeway to bring in new ideas.

“With any kind of franchise like that, where you’ve had existing versions, there’s always that balance between what you’re going to bring forward, what still stands up, and what you want to add that’s new,” he said. “It’s like the challenge of making a new Star Wars movie — there’s stuff that everyone wants you to bring along, but then you’ve got a responsibility to that, to new places and I trust Playground has a good vision for that.”

He added that the new Xbox exists in an era where technology isn’t an issue.

“We’re at a point where the technology is out of the way,” he said. “In previous generations, the hardware and its limitations would leave a pretty clear fingerprint on a game. I remember the first early games that used sprite scaling and then suddenly every game had all these objects flying around the screen. You’d build a game around technical advances like that. But now we’re at the point with the tech where we can just let the stories and the characters that the teams have in mind reach the screen.”

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