Did Microsoft just hint that Lionhead is making a Fable MMO?

Lionhead founder Peter Molyneux left the UK-based game developer, and its owners at Microsoft, over a year ago, but today the company announced that the studio now has a new permanent head man, and his background may be a clue as to what Lionhead may be making next.

The Lionhead website posted word that John Needham is now the studio's new leader, reporting to Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment head in Europe Phil Harrison. Needham's background is solidly in the MMO game genre.  His resume includes working as a Senior Vice-President of Sony Online Entertainment and as CEO of Cryptic Studios (Champions Online and Star Trek Online). His most recent gig was as CEO of Gazillion Entertainment, which is developing the Marvel Heroes MMO game.

While Lionhead has developed other game franchises, it is best known for the Fable fantasy RPG series which have been released for the Xbox, Xbox 360 and PC platforms. Needham's background does seem to suggest he was brought in because of his MMO experience and many are speculating that Microsoft and Lionhead are developing a massively multiplayer game based on the Fable universe.

Lionhead's last game was Fable: The Journey, a poorly reviewed Kinect exclusive Xbox 360 RPG that was released in the fall of 2012. Microsoft has yet to state what Lionhead's next project will be.

Source: Lionhead | Image via Microsoft

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Man, I would love a total revamp and retelling of Black & White instead.

I can't tell you how beat red I would get laughing (when I was younger) at trying to teach my pet how to eat it's own feces in B&W. The facial expressions alone made me tear up.

Another game that would be hyped up to hell and be a complete let down on release missing the majority of the features it was said to have. The first fable was great, much like the first black & white and the frist dungeon keeper... B&W2, DK2, Fable 2 however... No.

Well, it's generally a good writing habit to establish what it is you're talking about before you utilize acronyms. Wouldn't doubt he's being sarcastic if only to establish this flaw in writing.

KSib said,

Are you serious right now?

So much for 'MMO'...I would like to know what a lionhead has to do with all of this...

/didnotread
/drunk

Fable franchise should work on a solo-RPG, Skyrim style in scope (keeping the wonderful art style), and improving their combat system before delving deep into things like MMO's. IMHO, nothing informed other than a disappointed fan's opinion.

Alladaskill17 said,
/didnotread
/drunk

Fable franchise should work on a solo-RPG, Skyrim style in scope (keeping the wonderful art style), and improving their combat system before delving deep into things like MMO's. IMHO, nothing informed other than a disappointed fan's opinion.


Thing about Fable is, much like The Elder Scrolls, it has a fan-base that will react with knee-jerk revulsion to an MMO spin-off of the franchise.

It's not a game that can simply co-exist with the rest of the franchise. No. It MUST NOT exist. At least, that's the passionate, stubborn belief of the devout.

Just to throw it out there as a matter of personal opinion: Really good single player RPG worlds like Skyrim are much more complex things to make than the run of the mill MMO's.

But I agree that I would rather see a really good single player Fable game (because like you say, wonderful art style), than another generic fantasy MMO based on some franchise.

While making the world of Skyrim might be complex I'm not sure the game mechanics are.

Also worth noting that the last 2 Fable games have had some degree of online multi-player and 2 had that here's where your friends are stood but you can't interact with them feature.

Shadrack said,
Just to throw it out there as a matter of personal opinion: Really good single player RPG worlds like Skyrim are much more complex things to make than the run of the mill MMO's.

But I agree that I would rather see a really good single player Fable game (because like you say, wonderful art style), than another generic fantasy MMO based on some franchise.


+1. I'd prefer they make a good game first, which they haven't been able to say since the first Fable.

Man, fable's been hardly more than garbage after Fable: TLC. They'd have to pull a true miracle for this to be worth *anything*.

Caleo said,
Man, fable's been hardly more than garbage after Fable: TLC. They'd have to pull a true miracle for this to be worth *anything*.

Agreed. I loved that game but could never get into the later Fable's... And the changes to the spell controls made them worthless too. I wish they could bring Fable back to that first game (and expansion).