Fable Legends was originally supposed to be part of the Xbox One’s “Greatest lineup in Xbox history” and has been in closed beta testing for much of the year. Then it quietly disappeared from the Xbox holiday marketing material. Lionhead Studios made the inevitable known Monday by announcing the delay of the game’s release to 2016 while also adding more players to the closed beta.
Lionhead’s attempt at turning a single-player role-playing title into a free-to-play multiplayer action RPG with a real-time strategy twist will now hit open beta in spring 2016. In addition to a post on the Fable Legends website, Creative Director David Eckelberry directly addressed fans about the game’s delay in a YouTube video.
The message from both sources is much the same as gamers have heard from other game’s that have been delayed. Lionhead needs more time to polish the game up and add more features to make it fun.
“Fable Legends is coming together well and it’s a lot of fun. But we think that we can make it even better. So we’ve decided to extend our closed beta to continue to listen to feedback from our players and add features and polish that will make a real difference,” Lionhead announced in a post on the game’s website.
“This means Fable Legends won’t release into open beta this holiday as previously announced. We realize this may be disappointing for those of you not currently playing, so we wanted to tell you why.
“To be honest, we didn’t anticipate just how big Fable Legends is becoming. It’s simply the most ambitious game we’ve ever created at Lionhead. We’ve built a unique and innovative multiplayer experience combining RPG and RTS gameplay which allows you to play, and use your gear seamlessly, across Xbox One and Windows 10. On top of this, we’ve built a beautiful new world full of grand stories and adventures. And it’s taking more time than we thought.”
Eckelberry added via video, “Our team is working hard to ensure we get the experience of Fable Legends correct. We’re proud of how far this game has come and we can’t wait to open it up for all of you to play. We’re nearly there.”
The good news for those that were left out of the Fable Legends closed beta is that their chance to get in just increased greatly. Lionhead Studios is inviting another 100,000 players to the beta over the next few weeks. Those who have been on the waiting list the longest will have top priority in getting in, but it is not too late to sign-up via the website.
For those that don’t know, Fable Legends is a four-player multiplayer title with a fifth player in the antagonist villain role. The hero side plays as a third-person action adventure game as heroes battle their way through Albion locations against monsters and traps. The villain side is more like an RTS with the ability to choose enemies to spawn, traps to lay, and bosses to battle. During battle, the villain can also direct creatures to attack certain heroes or use special abilities.
The game will use a free-to-play model on both the Xbox One and Windows 10 that is similar to MOBA titles such as League of Legends.
Players will be given a rotating line-up of heroes to play through Fable Legends for free. These heroes can also be purchased with the in-game currency (Silver) to hold on to them permanently or they can be bought with real-world money using the Gold currency in-game.
The experience and progress that players earn with individual heroes will be kept whether the hero is purchased or not. So, if you rank up a hero and he goes out of rotation, he will be the same rank for you when he comes back into rotation later.
In addition to purchasing heroes, Fable Legends players will also be able to purchase customizations such as new outfits and player skins. That’s basically the exact same basic economic model popularized by free-to-play MOBAs such as League of Legends and Dota 2.
Fable Legends retains the same Fable charm and art style. However, it does not play much like the original three single-player titles. The change has split the community a bit, but most have not played it.
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[Image via Lionhead Studios]