Fable Part 1: Hopeful Youths
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Uploaded on Nov 4, 2010
Click here to watch Fable III: Headshot with Matt Dannevik & Billy Shibley (Building Your Revolution)!
All Your History: Fable III (Lionhead Studios) - Episode 1 (Game Development History) S02E48
Since its beginning, Fable has grown into Microsoft's signature RPG. In this first episode of our retrospective, watch and see how "Thingy" began as the brainchild of a couple of hopelessly idealistic gamemakers, who just happened to know a man named Peter Molyneux.
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TAGS: All Your History Are Belong To Us Rob Talbert yt:quality=high Fable "Fable III" "Fable 3" "Lionhead Studios" "Microsoft Game Studios" "Peter Molyneux" "Xbox 360 X360 Microsoft Windows "Windows 7" XP PC game console "video game" Peter Molyneux bullfrog populous
By 1997, UK developer Bullfrog Productions was a respected studio with games like Populous and Magic Carpet under its belt. But in August of that year one of its best creative minds Peter Molyneux left to form his own outfit. And as he put together Lion Head Studios a good number of his former Bullfrog coworkers followed his lead and made their own companies. What followed would be a roller coaster ride of business alliances and mergers as most of these companies failed to find any traction. But one would end up giving Lion Head its signature franchise.
In going from a spare room in Molyneux's house to one of the most developed worlds in console gaming Lion Head proved that when you take a couple of unlikely heroes and set them an impossible task what you get is a fable. One of the several start ups begun by Former Bullfrog employees was Big Blue Box. So named because it was the least stupid name the founders could think of.
They were the brothers. Dean and Simon plus their friend Eon Lovette. And they were just a little ambitious. Instead of starting out slow with a nice small project with formulaic mechcanics,
they wanted to create a huge living world filled with realistic people that would dynamically react to the player's decisions on his epic quest. And they had a name for their superlative title: Thingy. Needless to say they didn't get a lot of seed money to start out. But they had kept in touch with their old coworker Peter Molyneux. Molyneux had privately made quite a bit of money with his older games and now lived in a mansion.
Being the nice old chap that wams he allowed the three guys to operate out of one of his spare rooms while they were getting started. Molyneaux wanted them to succeed. In fact he wanted all the ex-Bullfrog guys making companies to succeed. But he knew that running a business was hard work, and often detracted from the actual game making process. And so Molyneaux's business partner Steve Jackson devised an innovative system to help them out. His studio, Lion Head, would embrace these other ones as satellite studios.
As satellite studios they would be completely independent and could make whatever games they wanted, but Lionhead would handle all the technology testing, design, PR, and business support. It was a huge boost to the fledgling operations, which could now focus on making a game rather than running the company. Sadly though, Molyneaux couldn't fund his satellites, so it was up to each of them to find their own seed money.
Big Blue Box had a bank loan for the moment. But long term, they were going to need a publisher. For a while it looked pretty grim. Major corporations didn't want to invest in a start-up with unknown names and a wildly expensive project. But then when it all started to look pretty hopeless, they were saved by the biggest corporation of them all.
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