Lionhead is going to become a “games-as-service” studio

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FableLegends

Lionhead, Peter Molyneux’s former company is know for its mostly single player, offline games. That’s changing, and it’s becoming a “games as a service” company. 

In an interview with Edge, Lionhead’s new boss and Microsoft European publishing head John Needham said he’ll take the expertise he’s garnered at companies like Cryptic Studios and Gazillion Entertainment and transform Lionhead as a company.

“I think the real magic in the industry now is taking great traditional gameplay and IP, and this new connected world, and mashing them together,” he said. “I am the person pivoting Lionhead into a games-as-service studio. Legends is quite different from previous Fable games.”

“My plan is that Legends is essentially a platform for almost everything Fable going forward. It’s a long-range plan, of five to 10 years, where we’re going to build and keep building onto Fable Legends. That’s the nature of games as a service — you keep adding systems and features and content,” he said.

I’m not sure what that means, really – but it sounds like a lot of what’s happening in the industry at the moment; instead of games being sold as products, they’re services – which means microtransactions and DLC. that could be just the sort of thing to turn Fable fans right off of the studio’s latest game, Fable Legends. Needham insists that it’ll be true to Fable’s core.

“The trick with Legends, and the question we’re constantly asking, is: ‘Is it Fable?’ Even with the connected aspects,” he said.

“That’s why Fable Anniversary’s launch in February was perfect, because it grounds us – we want to make sure we’re maintaining what makes Fable great. Now we’re looking at all these great online features we’re building into Legends. We’re bringing both of them together, taking what’s great about Anniversary and [Fable] 2 and 3 and bolting on features that make it a great connected experience.”

Fable Legends is coming to the Xbox One, though we have no idea when this might actually be. We also don;t know if it’ll be a boxed, retail product, or some sort of free-to-play exercise.

Last Updated: February 12, 2014

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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