Fable 3 was a "trainwreck" says lead designer Molyneux

Peter Molyneux says the game was "constrained" from its original, more ambitious vision.

Fable III was a "trainwreck." You might expect that quote to be attributed to a reviewer, but it actually comes from the man who designed the game: Peter Molyneux. In an interview with Develop, Molyneux said every creative production is subject to "empirical decay" from inception to release, and that's why he has never been able make the "perfect" game.

"The gem that was in my mind has never come to be; it's always flawed in some way," Molyneux said. "I thought Fable 1--when you consider that it was the first game I ever did of that type-- wasn't bad. It was hugely flawed in some senses, and there were technical issues like the animation didn't work, but it wasn't bad."

Fable II was a "step in the right direction," Molyneux said. But this progress did not extend to Fable III, which the industry veteran said was "constrained" and could have benefited from an extra 12 months of development.

"I think Fable III was a trainwreck. It was built to be much bigger than what it was constrained to be and eventually ended up as," Molyneux said. "If I had my time again, I'd take the advances we made from Fable 1 to Fable II, I'd make the same advances from Fable II to Fable III and spend another entire year working on Fable III. But would it be that perfect gem that's in my mind? No."

Molyneux quit Microsoft in 2012 to open an independent studio called 22Cans. The studio's first game is the Kickstarter-funded Godus, which Molyneux joked "exceeds" his vision for a perfect game.

The next installment in the Fable series is Fable Legends, which is in development at Lionhead Studios for release on Xbox One. A beta for the title will be offered this year, but no release date for the final version has been announced. An online-focused role-playing game, Fable Legends is expected to have a lifespan of 5-10 years.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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305 comments
UKFX
UKFX

Peter Molyneux is an idiot and someone I've always despised. He is an middle aged man trying to fit in with the cool kid crowd and is behind a series of water-downed games.

I was suggested Fable once, by a silly fan... my god was it awful! That was Fable 2, the one which was supposed to be better than this? Anyway, to me, it was constricted, the story was meh, at best and the combat was awful and constrained to linear pathways and single button pushes. It was dreary, empty and it portrayed no sense of freedom whatsoever.

Here, have some non-free roam. Here, have some, 1 button, push charge spells. Here, have some very basic aiming mechanics. Here, have some sex education with whores.

I still cannot get my head around why people liked that game and why it got the marks it did.

The only good games were the Black and White games, though I don't want another one of those because you know how that'll end up... small, confined... limited, but packed with DLC expansion.

Such a shame. Molyneux you need a new job.

Boddicker
Boddicker

I stopped believing Peter Molyneux's lies many years ago.

NicholasT33
NicholasT33

Peter Molyneux is the Ed Wood of video games.

picho86
picho86

This man is so full of shit. He sounds like a con man that is trying to keep the house of cards that is his lies from falling apart.

OurSin-360
OurSin-360

You people realize he worked for microsoft at the time and was under contract to sell the game and had already got into trouble for badmouthing his own games lol.  He's not even using "trainwreck" as a way of saying the game was bad, just that it was rushed and didn't get enough development time

kyphe
kyphe

Peter Molyneux has done nothing good since black and white, fable was an overhyped mess from the start and that is the only game I was so Angy at I snapped the disk and threw it in the bin rather than trade it in, I played it for less than a week. He let his ego and the whole good-evil thing go to his head. Created a word where superficiality ruled as how you looked was a refection of your character, which is a terrible thing to promote! The thing he is most famous for since then is criticism of his own games after the fact as if that restores his credibility. If you want your credibility back make something worth playing.

toyo75
toyo75

Badmouthing a game which one has overly hyped and made money from is a reflection of person's poor sense of character.

Fable 3 wasn't a "trainwreck" since there are games far much worse than it. It was merely an average game that didn't live up to its superior predecessors.

nazgoroth
nazgoroth

This man is such a freaking failcake...

CatAtomic999
CatAtomic999

"Y'know that game I said was awesomeballs as I was selling it? Yeah, I was lying-- it was actually crap. Hey by the way-- wanna buy my new game? It's awesomeballs."

Tomdogg
Tomdogg

Molyneux: A man who has a tendency to promise the world and always ends up getting utterly crushed under the weight of his own promises he can never deliver.

bmart970
bmart970

I still enjoyed Fable III a great deal.

Patohua1
Patohua1

LOLZ, Fable 3 wasn't a train wreck because it was too restrictive, it was a train wreck because it would trap your character in a room for all eternity and there were no save files you could revert back to, essentially making the game completely unplayable.
 I'm a mega Fable fan and I loved the game (although obviously not as much as I did 2 or 1)...until it trapped THREE different characters in an infinite loop.

Unholy123
Unholy123

You know he could have simply stopped at Trainwreck = Fable 3 the rest is his usual kinda wishy washy 

"Oh we could do this and that but what you all know you'll get at this point from me is kinda a half hearted version of that... so yeah, but my next project its going to be better."

gotta love the Usual PM BS at least this time he spiced it up.

zintarr
zintarr

Fable 3 was crap, but I lied through my teeth telling you all how great it was so I could sell you a crappy product. Thanks a few million ($$$).


Now trust me when I say Godus is a magnificent game, so much so, that so you should start giving me your money now.


Trust me.

duongvankhanh
duongvankhanh

I've tried playing this games general roi.noi everything was all right, and I see the weapon was a little problem. I did not find.than'k..!

[url]http://www.g9ggames.org[/url]

Coren_Larken
Coren_Larken

It wasn't what I wanted, but it wasn't the worst game I've ever played. The weapon progression system was greatly disappointing.

Mausolus
Mausolus

 Why is it always someone else's fault? He was constrained? That's called reality. Maybe one day he'll be able to sell his dreams, they are probably very vivid and I do believe that he really believes in them, I don't think he's cynically manipulating us. Instead he should just say 'I appear to be bad at making my dreams become a reality, I'll keep trying new ways to improve'.

Trip4w
Trip4w

Peter was talented and well dont know what happened bcs Fable 3 was crap

PotHeel
PotHeel

The guy has made some excellent games, some merely good. Sometimes his mouth runs ahead of him a little. What I'll never understand is the level of antipathy and aggression that isolated entitled weirdos hold towards him. No one forced you to buy the game!

morderwrath
morderwrath

Peter is still a TALENTED designer he just gets over extended on too many projects at once..

GIF
GIF

Be a man and own up to your failures Molyneux. Egotistical snotrag. What a cowardly cretin. Lets be real here you over promised on every game and you never delivered because you couldnt cash checks your mouth was making.I'm so sick of rich weaklings making excuses and always trying to blame others for things they are clearly in charge of.

GIF
GIF

Lets be real here. He is the flaw. He is in charge and at the end of the day it all comes back to him. Sure he'd like to blame other people for failing and falling short on his overly ambitious promises and pipe dreams but ultimately hes the bad part of the equation.

josnas
josnas

Honestly if he didn't promise all the stuff he wanted to do well before the game he wouldn't of lost trust. It seems like every third installment of a franchise now is just a turd with a label on it. All just to make money.


Look at Crysis, Dead Space, and Mass Effect. If you took all the elements that you loved from the first game, they are almost completely gone in the third, open world, horror, branching story, RPG elements. Folks we need to stop allowing this crap from happening, look at Call of Duty, and Modern Warfare, they went from immersive first person experiences, to twitch pvp games.


I understand games evolve, but is it evolving for creativity or just to make a quick buck? I prefer Quality over just a cookie cutter game, or something with a known label. I've wasted too much money on garbage games over the years, and If something has Peters name on it, I know I'll wait till after the game has been out for awhile.

R3FURBISHED
R3FURBISHED

While I do agree that Fable 3 was the worst in the series, I absolutely loathe developers bad mouthing their own product....especially because all we heard up to launch is how this is being introduced or how this is going to change.

altairdarius
altairdarius

still it was good. not a very big world but fun to explore. the conclusion was breath taking and unexpected. the best part is the fact that you can play it on pc. TAKE THAT U FUTURE FABLE :p

p4ttl
p4ttl

i struggled to play fable 3 just got so bored of it, you know a game is bad when you feel frustrated playing it and just want it to end.

dovonob
dovonob

I remember him saying something similiar after the release of Fable 1 where it bore no resemblance to what he promised.

God knows what happened to old Peters brain over the years. Back in the Amiga days he was a legend making some of the most innovative games around that still live long in my memory. Now he's pure mental.

electrichobo99
electrichobo99

I could've told you that, yeah Fable 2 was leaps and bounds better than the third installment. Fable 3 smokes anus

Mantan911
Mantan911

He seriously said this about every Fable game, after the sales die off. We know you too well Peter

Riverwolf007
Riverwolf007

i don't know why people have such a big problem with the fable franchise as they do.


all i ever saw it as was a cute little rpg "lite" that didn't take itself too seriously and was fun to play through.


maybe it was all the overhype which never bothered me because i see hype as 99% bullshyt 99% of the time and since i never believe hype i never get disappointed by it.

Ultramarinus
Ultramarinus

I understand how people who came to know him with Fable is annoyed but this guy's works in Bullfrog are enough for me to prove he's not a talentless hack. Populous, Syndicate, Dungeon Keeper. Many a developer would still kill to have such a repertoire. But yeah, I learned to take his declarations with a grain of salt.

Armin_Devil_PS3
Armin_Devil_PS3

Well i enjoyed Fable 3 a lot i dont know what he is talking about lol .

Xenro4
Xenro4

With all of his BS, if one of his ideas has struck a chord with anyone I believe his worth as a human is fulfilled. I still love Mr. Molyneux and all of his drama :)

projectpat72988
projectpat72988

Will I have to pay a dollar to wear clothes in Fable 4? Fable 3 was an absolute joke...pretty much everything the Angry Joe video said is how I feel. Its beyond mind blowing how they made some of the decisions for this game.....then the others not so much...pure....greed.

advocacy
advocacy

Nobody to blame but yourself for this "trainwreck," Molyneux.

lanmanna
lanmanna

Just stop making the Fable games.

mammoth92
mammoth92

@josnas An exception...Saints Row the 3rd was my favorite of the series.

lordshifu
lordshifu

@p4ttl i felt the same way while playing resident evil revelations


N-bellic
N-bellic

@Riverwolf007  "cute little rpg" pretty much sums up how I've always felt about this series. It doesn't hold a candle to the true greats of the genre.

josnas
josnas

@mammoth92 @josnas Yeah Saint's Row the third was good, but 4 was worse. If they came out with a 5 I'd have to wait and see what that is like before I bought it. 4 was just an over glorified expansion, so I think that series is going the same route.