One year ago we found ourselves pondering the future of the Fable franchise, knowing that the type of game die hard fans of the series love and expect had been thrown out the window in order to jump on the current mess of a gaming trend bandwagon and make a co-op four vs. one type of game instead.
The big question then was, would this new game still cost what a normal game costs or would it also embrace other unpopular things such as monthly subscription fees or microtransactions? Now we have an answer. The good news is that Fable Legends will not have a monthly subscription fee like The Elder Scrolls Online had before the recent decision to drop it. In fact, it won’t have any fees. The game will be free to play…with the option for in-game purchases of course.
You can see details about what this means and where you can play, and also see a video of the announcement below.
Since starting development on Fable Legends, we’ve had two clear goals in mind. First and foremost, we’re aiming to create an amazing, fun gaming experience for our players. The feedback we’ve had so far from players in our closed beta, fans we’ve met at shows, and the gaming press indicates we’re well on our way to realising our first goal!
Our second goal is to ensure the game we’re working to create is available to as many players as possible. The first step to make that happen came when we announced this year that Fable Legends will be cross-playable on both Xbox One and Windows 10 PC. Today we’re announcing the next huge piece of news that’ll help us reach this goal.
Fable Legends will be free to play.
So what does free to play mean for Fable Legends? To help explain our approach to free to play, we’ve laid out three clear commitments:
You’ll be able to play Fable Legends from beginning-to-end without spending a penny. That means you’ll have access to the entirety of Fable Legends’ storyline and all of the quests we release this year and forever.
Everything in Fable Legends that affects gameplay can be earned by simply playing the game.
Our goal is to have a happy community of players. We’ll be updating the game with exciting new quests to play through, Heroes to play as, Villain creatures to control, and lots more.
So how does Fable Legends work as a free to play game?
In Fable Legends, whether you’re adventuring as a Hero or smiting as a Villain, you will earn Silver to spend in-game. Everything that makes your characters or your creatures more powerful can be bought with the silver that you earn.
You’ll also be able to buy gold with real-world money, which can then be used to purchase many of the items that are also available for Silver.
Heroes of Albion
We’ll be launching Fable Legends with a wide array of unique Heroes. At any time, there will be four of these Heroes available to play for free. We will rotate the four Heroes available on free rotation, so you’ll have a chance to play them all!
Any progress you make with a Hero will be saved, and you’ll be able to pick up where you left off when they appear next on the free rotation. If you find a Hero you love, you can play them whenever you like by unlocking them with Silver or Gold. Once you’ve done that, they’re yours forever.
Albion is brimming with exciting treasure waiting to be claimed. The loot you find playing the game is yours to keep, and you’ll also be able to get your hands on additional treasure with either silver or gold.
Every Hero can also be customised, and we’ll have a host of interesting outfits, face variations and more available to unlock.
For the Villains!
As you progress therough the story you’ll come across all manner of mischievous creatures, and you’ll find that creatures are all native to specific areas of Albion. Using your silver or gold, you’ll be able to gain the allegiance of creatures and use them in any quest!
A big part of playing the Villain is plotting new and inventive ways to entrap and destroy the Heroes. There will be many tools at your disposal, from magical healing stones to explosive mines, and you’ll have the opportunity to unlock more traps using either silver or gold.
We want to make sure our approach to free to play gives everyone the freedom to enjoy the game to its full extent, and that’s exactly how we’ll continue to develop the game after launch.
You’ll no doubt have a lot of questions, so we’ve provided an FAQ which should have you covered.
While I will give Lionhead and Microsoft credit for making sure everything that’s available for purchase as a microtransaction can also be earned through gameplay without spending a penny, this is still an example of everything wrong with games today. How much grinding will be required to acquire something you want, such as your preferred character or item, while someone else uses them freely because they paid real money for it? How annoying will it be when your favorite character gets rotated out and you have to wait for them to return?
Fable is a franchise with a passionate fanbase…passionate about the magical, memorable single-player RPG titles the franchise is known for. Even if Fable II and Fable III didn’t live up to the original, the games were still in the same spirit. I, and I assume many fans, would much rather pay the full $60 for Fable IV with everything included and no microtransactions than download a co-op game with plenty of microtransactions for free. It’d also be fine if both Fable IV AND Legends were being made. But the fact that most of what fans love about the series has been shoved aside to focus on this and only this is quite depressing.
What are your feelings on Fable Legends? Are you more likely to play now that it’s confirmed to be free-to-play, or will you pass?