According to reports from the usually well-informed Jez Corden, it appears to have been Phil Harrisonthen head of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment division, to want that Fairy Legends was a live service style game.
Fable Legends was one of the great disappointments of Microsoft’s first Xbox One period, with the cancellation of the project which also led to the closure of Lionhead, the historic Xbox team. Despite the good premises, it is clear that the difficulties encountered in overturning the original structure of the series have been fatal for the project and for the entire team.
It was not a game without charm, in any case, and the idea on which it was based was very interesting and even original for the time: in fact, it must have been one of the first examples of asymmetric multiplayerwith four players having to take the part of the heroes and work together, through cooperative multiplayer, to complete quests and dungeons while a fifth player had to play the role of the villain, placing traps and managing enemy creatures.
According to what Jez Corden reported in his usual Xbox Two podcast, it seems that the idea of transforming the series into a live service game was Phil Harrison’s, which ironically would make him responsible for another notable failure in the industry , although at the moment there is no confirmation on the matter.
Fable Legends began development in 2012 and was announced in 2013 with a cinematic trailer which, in fact, did not give a good understanding of the structure of the game. This became more evident in 2014 with a practical demonstration of Fable Legends, which already showed itself as a new digression with multiplayer grafts, therefore it is probable that the project had been such from the beginning. It was later thought of as free to play with support expected for years after launch, so much so that it becomes a potentially very expensive project, which further pushes the cancellation which took place in 2016, after a beta period.
It is not excluded that such a project could not work and it is also possible that it was too ahead of its time, but it is not difficult to imagine that the high production costs have been fatal for the game and for the development team, especially a time when Microsoft was heavily scaling back its Xbox efforts. Indeed subsequently, under the news from Phil Spencer and the renewed importance given to video games by the company, the closure of Lionhead was re-discussed as potentially avoidable.