Fable Legends Has Now Officially Closed

Fable: The Lost Chapters received a great deal of critical acclaim for its memorable characters, exceptional dialogue and gorgeous environments. It spawned a very successful series which is remembered fondly by RPG fans. Fable II launched as an Xbox 360 exclusive and managed to emulate the magical formula which made the original so enjoyable. In contrast to this, there’s varying views regarding Fable III and I’ve never really been able to play it to the latter stages. Rather bizarrely, Lionhead Studios decided to move into the MMO circuit instead of creating another traditional Fable title.

This was a fairly big risk given the cost of development and uncertainty about the appeal of a Fable MMO. I was fortunate enough to be given access to the closed beta and really enjoyed my time exploring Fable Legend’s world. In a shock twist, Microsoft announced the closure of Lionhead Studios and Fable Legend’s development. Despite this, there was some hope that their work could be saved and acquired from another company. However, I received an e-mail today confirming the game’s current status which reads:

“As announced last month, Fable Legends has now been closed and can no longer be accessed.

Refunds are currently being processed, you can find further information on the Lionhead Forums.

From all of us here at Lionhead Studios, we would like to thank you for participating in the closed beta and being a part of the game’s development. All stories have to end eventually, but the memories of Heroic triumphs and Villainous plots will last forever. Thank you for your support – you are all Legends!”

This is a real shame because Fable Legends never got the chance to be publicly released. While there were some concerns with the cash shop, these could have been resolved in the future. Of course, Microsoft owns the Fable IP and it’s unlikely that we’ll see another game using the Fable name ever again.

Fable Developer Lionhead Studios Closed by Microsoft

Microsoft Studios has announced that it is closing Lionhead Studios, developer of the Fable series, and Denmark’s Press Play Studios, which was in the process of making Project Knoxville. The closure of Lionhead means that Fable Legends is now effectively dead.

“After much consideration we have decided to cease development on Fable Legends, and are in discussions with employees about the proposed closure of Lionhead Studios in the UK,” the official announcement reads. “Additionally, we will close Press Play Studios in Denmark, and sunset development on Project Knoxville.”

The twenty-year-old Lionhead Studios was formed by Peter Molyneux in 1996, and was responsible for classic RTS God game Black & White. Molyneux sold the studio to Microsoft in 2006, later forming his increasingly precarious 22Cans studio.

“These have been tough decisions and we have not made them lightly,” the announcement continues, “nor are they a reflection on these development teams – we are incredibly fortunate to have the talent, creativity and commitment of the people at these studios. The Lionhead Studios team has delighted millions of fans with the Fable series over the past decade.”

“Press Play imbued the industry with a unique creative spirit behind games like Max: The Curse of Brotherhood and Kalimba, which both captured passionate fans. These changes are taking effect as Microsoft Studios continues to focus its investment and development on the games and franchises that fans find most exciting and want to play.”

Microsoft has not yet revealed when the two studios will officially close their doors.

Fable Legends DX12 Engine Offers up to 40% Performance Gains

Fable Legends is an upcoming free-to-play cooperative action RPG developed by Lionhead Studios. This is a major departure from the traditional Fable formula which focuses on providing an enthralling single player experience via humorous characters and a thrilling story. Sadly, the series has progressively got worse and I really didn’t care for Fable III at all. This is a crying shame because Fable: The Lost Chapters is so charming and one of my favourite RPGs of all time. While Fable Legends is an interesting concept, many users simply want to see a brand new Fable game based on a standard business model. The advent of microtransactions makes the core gaming demographic quite concerned about a game’s value and ability to continue without having to grind for hours.

Currently, Fable Legends is accessible to a small number of users in the closed beta. I am one of the lucky ones and able to play the game, but an embargo agreement means I cannot publicly discuss it. As a Windows 10 exclusive, Fable Legends is opting for a DirectX 12 engine and offers significant performance gains compared to the older DirectX 11 API. Lionhead Studios’ director, Stuart Whyte said in a recent interview with BidnessETC that the performance enhancements on PC could be as much as 40%. This obviously depends on the hardware in question and I’d like to see a more detailed analysis of which configurations showcase the biggest gains.

Also, Whyte went onto discuss the effect on DirectX 12 on the Xbox One and said advanced features including asynchronous compute and efficient multi-threaded rendering would help “push the visual bar higher than would otherwise be possible.” Please note, this doesn’t mean DirectX 12 will be able to leverage extra frames-per-second, unlike the implementation on PC. Perhaps, it will help to improve texture quality or allow for a higher rendering resolution.

Fable Legends Microtransactions Strategy Revealed

Microtransactions originated from free-to-play mobile games and eventually became a common occurrence in full priced blockbusters like Halo 5. Some users defend microtransactions in $60 titles and describe their usage as optional. It seems generally accepted if the extras in question only offer cosmetic changes. Personally, I find the concept of any microtransactions in traditional releases quite insulting, but that’s a topic for another day.

Lionhead Studios received criticism from loyal Fable fans, after deciding to focus on a free-to-play MMO entitled, Fable Legends instead of Fable 4. Up to this point, its business model has remained a secret. However, according to an image found by Reddit user Fiend1138, Fable Legends will implement various tiers of payment all the way up to $59.99. If the current pricing is correct, then I can only imagine the final game being fairly imbalanced. To clarify, I have no problem whatsoever with microtransactions being in full priced games, as optional payments help to steer the developer to a profit.

On the other hand, the Fable games have always been about the gorgeous environments and an engrossing story. Each iteration has got progressively worse, and I’m unconvinced about Fable Legends having a long-term loyal player base. Only time will tell, but I’m certain the microtransactions on offer will alienate many users in time for the game’s final release.

Fable Legends Open Beta Arriving in Spring 2016

I’m sure that many of you are looking forward to Fable Legends, the promising  free-to-play cooperative action role-playing video game that was revealed by EA at E3 2014. Even though news regarding this upcoming title has been scarce throughout its development, Lionhead Studios has recently announced that the game’s open beta is scheduled to arrive in Summer 2016, and that the game is shaping up to be “bigger than expected.” The open beta and game release dates have been pushed back in order to make sure that the end result would be up to par with gamers’ current expectations. The developer’s exact statement was the following:

“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.”

Those of you who don’t know exactly what Fable Legends is all about, I’m going to tell you that it is based on a players vs.dungeon master mechanic that enables four Heroes to battle another player’s beasts. The following video explains why Lionhead has decided to keep the title in closed beta for a while longer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9vpbcymR8Q

AMD Catalyst 15.9 Beta Driver Released

AMD has announced the release of its new Catalyst beta driver (15.9) which optimises its graphics cards for the beta release of Star Wars: Battlefront and Fable Legends’ DirectX 12 Benchmark, suggesting that the latter is set for release very soon.

The Catalyst 15.9 Beta driver’s changelog is as follows:

Highlights of AMD Catalyst 15.9 Beta Windows Driver

Performance Optimizations
-Star Wars: Battlefront Beta ***8208; Performance and quality optimizations Fable Legends : Includes the latest DirectX 12 optimizations for the Fable Legends: Benchmark.

Resolved Issues:
-Diablo 3 crashes in the Act 2 Desolate Sands area of the game
-The AMD Catalyst Control Center ‘update’ option fails to download the latest driver
-Dragon Age: Inquisition may crash if launched in Mantle mode
-The DirectX® Diagnostic tool does not report DirectX® 12 available on supported products
-World of Warships may crash on some AMD Radeon HD5000 and HD6000 series products
-Assassin’s Creed® Unity may experience minor frame stutter when -AMD CrossFire mode is enabled
-Anti Aliasing settings not being retained after changes are applied
-Some BENQ 144hz Freesync monitors may lose the signal while uninstalling the driver
-DiRT Rally crashes during gameplay and benchmarking when launched in DirectX® 11 mode on some BENQ 144HZ Freesync monitors

Known Issues:
-GTA V crashes on some AMD Radeon R9 390X GPU’s
-Star Wars: Battlefront Bata ***8208; Flickering may be experience if AMD Crossfire is enabled
-Corruption may occur in DiRT Rally with CMAA enabled with Portrait SLS and AMD CrossFire mode enabled
-A black screen may be encountered on bootup on Windows 10 systems. The system will ultimately continue to the Windows login screen.
-Intermittent playback issues with Cyberlink PoweDVD when connecting to a 3D display with an HDMI cable
-A TDR error may be experienced while toggling between minimized and maximized mode while viewing 4K Youtube content
-Elite: Dangerous ***8208; poor performance may be experienced in SuperCruise mode
-Final Fantasy XIV ***8208; Heavensward may crash when run in DirectX 11® mode and borderless window mode
-Some applications may fail to launch on some Mobility platforms when launched in High Performance mode
-Windows 10 driver installation may halt on some systems with an AMD 990FX chipset and AMD CrossFire enabled
-Mad Max ***8208; Color corruption is observed when Alt+Ctrl+Del is pressed followed by the Escape key

AMD’s Catalyst 15.9 beta driver can be downloaded here.

 

Fable Legends DX12 Benchmark Show AMD Gains

Ever since the first AOTS DX12 benchmark showed major gains for AMD, many have been waiting for another benchmark. Today, Microsoft released a DX12 benchmark for their new Fable Legends game. Once again, it looks like AMD has managed to secure some strong gains in DX12, with cards throughout the lineup showing good relative gains compared to their Nvidia counterparts.

Comparing stock reference cards, the R9 290X/390X shows significant improvement, being able to secure a strong lead over the GTX 980. The 290/390 also leads significantly over its GTX970 competitor and even manages to edge past the GTX 980. These figures hold true across multiple resolutions which shows that the differences are more architectural rather than CPU bound. One reason for this is likely the ASync Compute that Fable developers have noted is nearly free to implement on AMD’s GCN.

Higher up the product stack, the GTX 980 Ti manages to hold onto its crown against the Fury X, with the two cards trading blows. This really shows how strong GM200 has been for Nvidia and also how the current GCN architecture is bottlenecked. Lower down the 380 takes a commanding lead over the 960 tough not quite enough to match the GTX 970. For older cards like the 7970 and the 680, AMD also managed to post a strong lead, showing off how GCN really was forward looking.

One variation to look out for between benchmarks is that some sites are using non-reference  factory OC models that clock more and are not labelling them. Once you consider overclocking the numbers go flying and Maxwell’s ability to OC would likely narrow some of the gains showed by AMD. However, it’s still early days for DX12 so there may yet be more changes until the ecosystem stabilizes. The biggest takeaway is how 290/290X owners will be loving their cards more and more as DX12 games roll out. With many DX12 to be associated with AMD, who knows if this trend will continue?

Thank you ExtremeTech for providing us with this information

Lionhead Focusing on Fable Legends “For The Foreseeable Future”

Lionhead Studios is renowned for creating some of the most enriching environments ever devised in the RPG genre. While Fable: The Lost Chapters is a masterpiece, the sequels progressively got worse which culminated in the fairly mediocre, Fable III. Despite this, the infectiously charming voice acting makes the series endearing and there is still a loyal fan base yearning for a sequel to Fable III. Unfortunately, Lionhead today announced their plans to focus on the free-to-play title, Fable Legends for ‘the foreseeable future’.

https://twitter.com/LionheadStudios/status/646703626489065472?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

This is a shame as many core gamers dislike the free-to-play concept and worry about the integrated payment model. Additionally, many Fable fans aren’t interested in a multiplayer experience and simply want to enjoy a captivating story. It seems like Lionhead is trying to turn Fable Legends into a leading MMO but this will be challenging given the declining market and competition.

On another note, the game will only be available via Microsoft’s official store on PC which could deter some users who are very attached to the Steam client. I’m very disappointed by this announcement as a story-driven Fable game supporting 4K resolution in an expansive world has the potential to be ground-breaking. I honestly believe Fable Legends will struggle after a few months and experience a dwindling player count.

Thank you VideoGamer for providing us with this information.

Fable Legends is Not Coming to Steam

Lionhead Studios’ Social Media Coordinator, Lauran, has confirmed Fable Legends will be a Windows 10 store exclusive. Frankly, this is an absolutely atrocious idea, as Steam has a massive stranglehold on the PC market and any other digital delivery platform cannot realistically compete. To make matters worse, Lauran even hinted that this policy could apply to other Microsoft titles. Perhaps, this means Killer Instinct, Gears of War and future announcements will never release on Steam.

Phil Spencer’s leadership has been praised for discussing gaming on Windows and acknowledging past mistakes. Microsoft’s reputation in the PC Gaming sector is at rock bottom, due to Games For Windows Live and leaving the platform stagnant for years. Luckily, Valve helped to pick up the pieces and other services like GOG have helped PC Gaming flourish. Over the years, Microsoft promised to improve and focus on PC Gaming, but were rarely taken seriously as they consistently disappointed in the past. Now, they choose to limit their own games to a frankly niche platform and one which will likely result in terrible sales. Fable Legends is free-to-play but its success will rely on micropayments. Furthermore, how can Microsoft realistically expect people to pay $60 for a few digital games stuck on their service?

Consumers use Steam because of its convenience and want to keep all their games on 1 client. Additionally, it’s unknown what kind of DRM the Windows Store utilizes and if you can easily install games on a new PC. Microsoft needs to seriously re-assess their strategy and see PC Gaming as a viable source of revenue and not something which detracts from Xbox sales. The majority of Xbox users have no interest in PCs due to the technical knowledge required or price for enthusiast hardware.

I shouldn’t be surprised given Microsoft’s history, but it’s staggering to see them restricting a game’s core user-base just to push a very underused storefront. This situation is made even worse with free-to-play MMOs. As a result, Fable Legends community on PC could be fairly non-existent within a few months.

Fable Legends Windows 10 Beta Starting This Month

Lionhead Studios made a bold choice when it comes to their new Fable Legends in more than one way, but it could very well be a strategy that will pay off big time for the company as well as the franchise in itself. The new game, unlike the previous installments in the Fable series, is a multiplayer oriented team-based game where you can play alone or with your friends with or against the AI. Fable Legends is also one of the first games to be built on Microsoft’s DX12 engine that should give the players some spectacular graphics and performance – hopefully.

Fable Legends will launch on both Xbox One and Windows 10 and the limitation here is of course due to DX12, this is the only place that you’ll find that API. Xbox One gamers have already been able to join the beta games and now PC players will be able to do the same. The Windows 10 beta is scheduled to launch this month and you can still sign up for an invite.

Fable Legends won’t just run on the Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs, it can be played cross-platform on both systems with the same account and everything the way it was. Start on your PC and move on over to the Xbox in the living room later on – or the other way around, you can do it as you want. That could be a great win for the game besides being a completely free to play game. You can purchase cosmetics, but not overpowered winning attributes. The developers stress that you can unlock anything with gameplay alone and that is good news.

The full game is scheduled to be released later this year and until then we can enjoy the new trailer released during Gamescom 2015. It looks like an amazing game, especially with the focus on team play and cross-platform play, but also with the DX12 graphics and overall concept. I think Lionhead Studios has a winner here.

Thank You WCCFtech for providing us with this information

Windows 10 on the Xbox One Sometime After Summer

Microsoft Windows is very popular. Whether you are a fan of the operating system or not, you have probably used some version of Windows. In fact, a lot of you will be using it to read this article right now. From some time after summer you will be able to run your Xbox One on Windows 10.

Microsoft’s vision for Windows 10 has always been one of many devices with one operating system.  They scrapped Windows Phone and Windows RT and are now just having Windows 10 replace them all. Windows is used on the Xbox One as we speak, it’s what runs the app environment, but next the plan is to have your Xbox One upgrade to Windows 10.

For a while now Microsoft has made available an Xbox app for Windows. Allowing you to chat with your Xbox friends, connect with your console and of course, checking that you still have more gamerscore than your 10 year old nephew.

With Windows 10 still in development for all the platforms, the Xbox version will be no different and be introduced as a beta. It was tweeted by Xbox boss Phil Spencer that this was coming “post-summer.”

Of course, this is quite vague, but I am sure there will be more news at E3 in June.  Details are still vague at what changes this will make to the Xbox One, but with the PC version of Fable Legends’ players being able to play against Xbox One players, the introduction of Windows 10 could only be good news for cross platform rivalry.

Thank you Microsoft News  for providing us with this information.

Fable Legends Will be Free-to-Play

Lionhead Studios’ forthcoming cooperative RPG Fable Legends will be free-to-play, with PC and Xbox One players both able to join the same online matches.

David Eckleberry, Creative Director of Fable Legends, wants the game to be the pinnacle of AAA free-to-play games. Eckleberry said, “The right version of F2P is a very good thing for the world. The wrong version is kind of an abomination, but if you’re very fair to your players and they can play as much as they want, then it seems right.”

Studio Head of Lionhead agreed, saying, “We need scale. PC gives us that scale element, but even with the core Xbox audience, we’ve got a lot to work with there.”

“[We need] millions, probably,” Eckleberry added. “But then, previous Fable games have hit those kinds of numbers. We’re taking on a lot of risk, I accept that and so does Microsoft, but there’s no risk for you, as a player.”

Fable Legends, currently in closed beta testing stage, will be inviting more testers soon before releasing an open beta version soon. This rigorous approach, Lionhead says, will ensure that the game will be fit for launch later this year.

“The honest answer is a really long beta,” Eckleberry said. “There’s a lot of new stuff for us both in game design and technologically: cross-platform, Windows 10, all of the networking we have to do is mostly new to us. We run into game-crashing bugs frequently in our beta. But we want to find them NOW, so we have time to fix them… a bad launch week sticks with you forever. Nobody ever forgets – and they shouldn’t, I think fans are right not to forget it. They might forgive it… but I don’t blame fans for saying “dude, you screwed this up”. I don’t want to be in that place.”

Interested parties can still sign up for a beta invite here.

Source: Kotaku

Fable Legends Open Beta Coming Soon

Lionhead Studios has been running closed beta tests of its in-development game Fable Legends since October 2014, and it now aims to stress-test it by sending out more invites in anticipation of open beta testing, which is promised soon.

The news was revealed by the social media coordinator for Lionhead Studios Lauran Carter (@LHAlbionGirl) on her Twitter account:

Carter then assured users that open beta testing will begin “soon enough”:

https://twitter.com/LHAlbionGirl/status/570287634666409987

Fable Legends is due for release on PC and Xbox One later this year.

Source: ParaDiger