Back on July 23, 2020, Xbox announced a new Fable game for PC and Xbox Series X|S. Since then, we've seen nothing of the game and heard nothing about it from developer Playground Games, the studio exclusively known for the Forza Horizon series. And it sounds like we may not be hearing about it for a while longer, or at least that's what some new insight from a former developer on the game conveys. While the developer doesn't relay word of development hell, it does sound like Playground Games is having issues.
According to the developer, game designer Juan Fernandez, Playground Games has stumbled over two main issues. One of these issues is what every fan of the series was concerned with when they were revealed as the developer of the reboot, and that's they have no experience making an open-world, character-driven action RPGs. They make open-world games, but they are racing sims. You couldn't get any more different. The other issue has been the studio's "frugal" approach to the game's development.
"PlayGround [Games] is very organized and production driven. Every two years they put out a Forza Horizon, which has more than 90 on Metacritic, with incredible quality," said Fernandez while speaking to Vandal. "They have taken racing games and they've dominated these last few years, they're very smart and they know what they're doing. They wanted to branch out with something different and they thought that what they do well is open-world racing games, [but] they lack people with the knowledge of how gameplay is done. In an open world, how you control a character and the actions are very different from what you have in a racing game. At the technology level, you have to develop an animation, scripting, a quest system, Moving in a car at 300 km/h has very different requirements than walking through the countryside."
Action RPG open worlds are incredibly complicated to do, they take a lot of time and a lot of people. At Playground Games they have the mentality of doing more with less. If Assassin's Creed is made by 5000 people they will have 150 or 200 and if they do it in seven years, they will do Fable in five. It is good to be ambitious but you also have to be realistic and what I saw is that it was getting longer and longer and I, personally, do not know if I have the creative capacity to be working on the same thing for more than x years," says Fernandez.
It's important to note everything here comes through translation so it's possible vital context and meaning is being lost in the process. If it isn't though, this isn't the most encouraging sign for Fable fans.1comments