In recent years, the free-to-play gaming scene has enjoyed a stratospheric rise in the public consciousness, boosted in large part by efforts such as League of Legends, and the continuing popularity of mobile devices. Despite this popularity however, the genre has come under attack from many, with allegations of manipulative game design and creating different ‘classes’ of players: those who pay and those who do not.
As such, the news that the upcoming Fable title, Fable Legends is to be made free-to-play has raised a few eyebrows. With the series traditionally focused on delivering a rich single-player/co-operative experience, bolstered by cinematic sound design and visual framing, this departure is no doubt destined to be viewed by some as a mere cynical cash grab.
Lionhead, free from the perpetually well-meaning but over-promising Peter Molyneux, is understandably keen to deflect these allegations, promising that the new game will be “open, fair and generous” in its structure. Game director David Eckelberry went on to state in an interview with Eurogamer,
Am I nervous about the news? Sure, a little. We’re going to get some negative hate mail. Do I think it is the best proposition we can make for our gamers? I do. Or else I wouldn’t be here. I like this project, and the last thing I want to do is attach a poison pill to it. Microsoft isn’t about extracting the last nickel of players, or something silly like that. We want to create a great community of players that is playing for a long period of time. That doesn’t work if you buy something and regret it a day later. That just doesn’t make any sense.”
What reception the new game will receive is now something that is left for time to tell, however it is safe to say that many await its release with baited breath.
Will you be playing Fable Legends?