NEWS - Thursday, July 1, 2010

Fable 3 Will Also Be Released Episodically on XBL

Following the evidently successful rerelease of Fable 2 as an episodic downloadable series on Xbox Live, reports that Peter Molyneux has confirmed Fable 3 will get an episodic release "soon after" it hits retail for the Xbox 360 and PC on October 26.
Molyneux didn’t clarify just how soon after the release "soon after" means, but he did say that like the episodic release of Fable 2, the first episode of Fable 3 will be released for free to entice gamers to try it out. "We give away the first chapter entirely free, the first hour," Molyneux explained. "When you reach a certain point in the game it says ’thank you for playing the pilot of Fable 3, do you want to spend an extra 2-5 or whatever dollars to buy the next episode, or buy the whole lot?’ Press ’yes’ and you will immediately continue playing."

The episodic release of Fable 2 turned out to be a successful trial for the concept, as Molyneux revealed the first free episode was downloaded 1.6 million times and the episodes in total brought in an additional $15 million in revenue -- nine months after Fable 2 hit stores shelves. As such, Molyneux is understandably convinced this episodic model is superior to simply releasing a Fable 3 demo.

"It supports this freemium idea. It gets around this horrible concept of demos," he said. "Anyone out there who thinks a demo is a good idea is crazy. It’s never a good idea, because demos are usually done at the end of a game and they require an enormous amount of design talent to make a demo. The other thing is you’re more likely to satisfy the curiosity of a user rather than entice them to play more."

And Molyneux is definitely hoping to entice gamers to play more, as he also revealed they’re targeting big numbers for Fable 3. "We are driving to sell more than five million units and to make a profit in excess of $150 million," he said. "We have to do that because if a franchise doesn’t reach that level it will inevitably wither."



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