A small team at Fable creator Lionhead Studios is currently working on a pair of non-Fable prototypes in hopes of discovering what the company's "next big IP" could be. Lionhead Studios boss John Needham told Eurogamer Germany (via Eurogamer) that this eight-person incubation team is not only working on entirely new projects, but also game features for upcoming Xbox One game Fable Legends.
"It's a team of about eight guys we have in the studio who are trying to build the next big IP for us," Needham said, pointing out that the team's creative director is Lionhead veteran Gary Carr. "They're working on a couple of new prototypes for completely different games--not Fable related. They'll also be working on new games we can put within Fable Legends as well."
We may not have to wait too long to find out what Lionhead's incubation team is working on, Needham teased. "The primary purpose of the group is to come up with new game IP, and we'll hopefully this [time] next year have something exciting to talk about," he said. Earlier this year, Lionhead confirmed it was working on a non-Fable game, saying, "We're not just a Fable studio."
"I want a very transparent, open, active dialogue with our community about our games .. " -- John Needham
In recent years, Lionhead's output has been exclusively Fable games, leaving fans to wonder if the studio would ever return to its classic franchises like Black & White or The Movies. Needham said, "There is great IP in Lionhead's history, it's just spotty who owns what." Black & White was published by Electronic Arts, while Activision published The Movies.
Also in the interview, Needham--who joined Lionhead just over a year ago--explained how he wants to see the studio's relationship with the community expand over time.
"Here's where the difference in modern Lionheard is going to be," he said. "You haven't seen this yet but you will. I want a very transparent, open, active dialogue with our community about our games, about Fable Legends, about whatever game comes out of incubation."
"We will have a process internally where we take that feedback seriously and we build our priorities on the game our community wants and their feedback," he added. "And we get into an iteration loop where our community feels like they're actively in development of the product."
He said this is something that MMO games do well. Even though Lionhead is not making MMOs, Needham made clear that he wants the studio to be "very community focused."
A beta for Fable Legends kicks off later this year on Xbox One, though there's no word yet on when the full game will be released.