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Fable 3 was a "trainwreck" says lead designer Molyneux

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

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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.

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