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Molyneux: Fable 2 had "huge design flaws"

Admits RPG was "terribly messy" in some respects, and talks up importance of drama

Lionhead boss Peter Molyneux has claimed that his most recent game Fable 2 suffered some critical failings.

Speaking today at the Develop conference, he said "Let's be honest, it had some terribly messy things about it. We rushed at the end, where we had this terrible phase where we went from 'the world looks this beautiful with this many features' to being less beautiful and less features because we had so many bugs."

He claimed a build submitted to Microsoft for testing sported around 61,000 bugs, requiring the studio to downscale the game's feature set.

"To be honest with you there were also huge design flaws in Fable 2," he said. "There were game features that people just didn't use or only used once. A great example of that was getting married. It didn't mean anything, it didn't add to the game. It was just an excuse to have sex, to find out whether it was another hot coffee."

Molyneux also talked up the importance of drama in games, claiming it was something the industry was largely overlooking. "I don't think we have taken drama seriously enough." Lionhead had not treated the narrative in Fable 2 as "a real story," he said, but hopes to address that with Fable 3's "much more simple" story and "great cast."

After showing a list of 'dream' intentions behind the upcoming Fable 3, he also admitted "what this dream really means is we want to sell loads more units. It means more money for our lovely corporation Microsoft, and also we love success."

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Latest comments (8)

Joseph Marlow Blogger http://gamesburp.com 6 years ago
God. Dammit Molyneux. I love that guy. I mean he can sound pretentious and be over-reaching in his ambition but this polarity is part of his charm. If you don't believe a word he says, he's great. What a guy.
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Jake Clayton6 years ago
Hes like the mel gibson of the game world, he always says he's going to reform, and we all know he isn't but we still love him.
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Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 6 years ago
It's good to recognise faults and try to better yourself without making excuses.
Unlike Apples new iPhone, I still haven't gotten over the whole 'oh just hold it a different way' advice.
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Show all comments (8)
Finlay Thewlis Studying Game Design & Production Management, University of Abertay Dundee6 years ago
Peter Molyneux is a great guy but my one criticism is of his presentations of his games. When fable 2 was coming out he listed all the things you could do like 'work in a pub', 'get married' etc etc. Which is fine but the problem was with the way he said that, it lead consumers to believe that these mechanics were very in depth (at least I did anyway) but it turned out that working in a pub was it, there wasnt more to it than that. Putting very small design features at the front of your game's promotion push can be mis-leading or at least mis-read...
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Dale Broadbent 3D Artist 6 years ago
I hated working in the pub. I did everything I could to avoid having to do those stupid side jobs. The rest of the game was wonderful - downloadable content? Sign me up!! If they had released more content I would have bought it. Not sure why they stopped... hmmm.

That last quote from Molyneux is just disturbing. I mean we all know in the end all that matters is a.)Do people love your game? and (b.)Did it sell a ton of units? But to just come out and say it like that just seemed crass.
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Jack Loftus Contributing Editor, Gizmodo6 years ago
Was one of the design flaws Peter Molyneux?
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Josef Brett Animator 6 years ago
I loved Fable 2, ut it is sooooo buggy. I've been playing it again this week and I'd forgotten how glitchy it is. Still a good game though.

On a side note, do you think that PM's critique of Fable is an artist trying to grow and atone for his (games) faults, or just empty PR speak?

I like Mr Molyneux and always enjoy his comments, but I remember him doing this (about fable) when Fable 2 was coming out, so it just seems like it might be a savvy marketing ploy...
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Aleksi Ranta Product Manager - Hardware 6 years ago
Its becoming all to frequent to bash the previous game in a series. Cliffy B saying GoW2 wasnt too good in his eyes, Bungie saying Halo 3 wasnt their best work, PM now saying something similar in respect to Fable 2. Is it too easy to build anticipation for the upcoming game by saying the previous one was bad? I personally think that builds the hype too much and is bound to disappoint.
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