Yesterday Lionhead Studios quietly narrowed the release date for its upcoming role-playing game Fable. Without fanfare, the UK-based developer updated the FAQ page for the Xbox RPG with the following message:
"When will it be out? [updated 2nd June]
Fable will be out in September 2004 in all NTSC (USA) territories and in October 2004 for PAL (EUROPE) territories."
While still not specific, the September release date is an improvement over the previous official release date of merely "2004" and the unofficial late-summer ship window mentioned at this year's E3.
Once titled Project Ego, Fable has been the subject of intense anticipation ever since it was announced. Designed at Lionhead satellite studio Big Blue Box with input from Peter Molyneux, the game aspired to follow a fantasy protagonist from the cradle to the grave. Throughout the course of a game, characters' alignment and appearance were to be determined by their choices, KOTOR-style.
However, since it won accolades at last year's XO3 in France, Fable's ambitions have been somewhat curtailed. Earlier this year, the game's multiplayer features were scrapped, and its once totally open-ended gameplay was given a more linear focus. However, display versions of the game impressed many at this year's GDC and E3, giving the title back some of its luster. GameSpot's previous coverage has much more lore on Fable.