Fable III to ship for PC this Christmas

Lionhead follow-up will only be available for download with Games for Windows Live

Microsoft has announced that its developer studio, Lionhead, will produce the third Fable title this year for PC as well as Xbox 360.

The game will only be available for digital download via Games on Demand - the Games for Windows Live service - and be priced at 39.99.

Meanwhile the publisher has also detailed the price points for the Standard and Limited Collector's Edition of the game on Xbox 360, coming in at 49.99 and 59.99 respectively.

The Limited Collector's Edition will include an additional quest to complete, a new in-game location and outfit, as well as a new dog breed, some playing cards and a coin.

While the game has not been given a specific release date, it is expected to be launched in time for Christmas this year.

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Latest comments (12)

Private Industry 8 years ago
39.99 for download only? That just shows what`s wrong with digital distribution at the moment. New boxed PC releases at the moment are at around 35 at the retailers. Did see the same problems as well with PSPgo where the download version had the same prize as the physical version.

Wonder if Natal will work without a problem on PC and include features that are in the 360 version.
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Sean Currie Dev Support, Microsoft Studios8 years ago
It bothers me when people assume that digital prices should be drastically different that boxed copies. The cost of making a game (and thus, the price) is correlated mostly to the cost of development. IE: Running the studio, hiring the employees, paying benefits, building the game, licensing the software etc. That cost stays the same regardless of whether or not the game is boxed or shipped digitally. The actual cost of producing physical product is a rather small percentage of the total cost of development. If you were to pass those savings on to the consumer it would result in about 5 - 8 dollars off the MSRP. That's such a small amount for most consumers that it makes more sense to maintain current MSRP's and funnel the savings back into the development of the game, or keep it as breathing room.

What's weird about this decision though though is that it is available only for Windows Live. Since most PC gamers who buy digitally are going to use Steam (and GFW games are available on Steam) it seems like they're alienating their customers on the PC.

Unless of course Microsoft's goal is to encourage the purchasing of the 360 version by making the PC version less attractive.
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Simon Arnet8 years ago
@Sean, I would think that its because Microsoft wants full control over Distribution(and other factors). When you put it though SteamWorks you owe them money. I'm not sure how the Royalty Payments work with Steam, but I'm sure there significant and based on the game its self since they don't disclose them publicly. Also, with EA pushing for online distribution it only makes sense that Microsoft would want some of the pie. They have an incredibly hyped game and an interesting opportunity to show they can make good on Digital Distribution.
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Show all comments (12)
Sean Currie Dev Support, Microsoft Studios8 years ago
@ Simon

Yeah, you're right. I do wonder though if they feel that pushing their service exclusively is worth the risk of losing sales via Steam. But maybe I'm underestimating Fable fans and their willingness to follow where the game goes.

Though in my case I'm just getting it on 360. Mostly because I want the CE. :)
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Private Industry 8 years ago
The development costs are of course the same, but what you loose with the digital release is the part that the retailers usually get by selling physical products. That`s not a huge amount (not sure whats the percentage the retailers get for each game), but still combined without the need to produce the discs and packaging the games could be at least 5 bucks cheaper online. I can understand 3rd parties since they still have to go trough other companies, but for first party like Sony or MS that use there own distribution system, it`s a bit hard to see why those games have the same prize online as normal boxed retail.
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Simon Arnet8 years ago
@Werner, its the whole concept of Online Distribution that there trying to push. If they can save money by eliminating the need to distribute the PC version of the game on a physical disc it reduces distribution costs. I'm sure game stop has a premium if you go to them with a game that you want to distribute. That on top of its self means they can lower development costs of the game. Esp since more often than not, marketing and distribution are included in game development costs.

@Sean, yeah...that CE is looking Juicy. Nor do I think they are worried about Steam, Fable III is a good way to boost there own market base. People will go were the product is.
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I guess it might be worth looking out for the second fable to come out on PC as well then. Would be slightly strange if PC players got 1 and then 3 and missed out on a large chunk of story.
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Brendan Smith Studying Computer Science, University of Southampton8 years ago
I really do agree with Werner - there really is something wrong with the pricing of online distribution - specifically by Microsoft. I completely understand that the fundamental development cost of a game is unchanging between online and retail copies, but the value of a retail copy is so much greater than a downloaded copy.

The simple value of having something physical, that can be lent to friends and accompanied by a physical game manual. Surely by entering in to a transaction directly with the developer/publisher for a download version of the game, the pricing should be adjusted such that the customer is not paying OVER the price they would with a retailer for a physical game copy. If we ignore the loss leader tactics of supermarkets, often games can be purchased from online retailers at a very attractive price: just look at the PC selection on at the moment - generally quite new games are under 30. aren't selling these at cost or below, like supermarkets, since this kind of entertainment product is their bread and butter.

And then there's the fact that Microsoft is so inflexible in its digital distribution pricing strategy over time; just look at the Games on Demand selection for 360 - most of those (relatively old) games could be bought new from either high street or online retailers for around half the price! The only worth/advantage that I can see in getting a downloaded version of the game is that it can be re-downloaded, whereas physical media can be lost/corrupted.

There needs to be a greater incentive for digital distribution to really take off in the way that these companies would like - whether that be a price or content incentive.
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Simon Arnet8 years ago
True, the pricing of DLC and online game distribution in general is outrageous. Its only going to get worse as well.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Simon Arnet on 22nd May 2010 5:07pm

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Barla Von Designer 8 years ago
MS need to take their head out of their arse as such a pricing scheme doesn't look good. Especially on the PC. Also, where is the second game on PC?

Then there's GFWL, MS should do us all a favour and shut it down like some fucking contaminated virus. GFWL has no place on the PC platform, it's shit, overly expensive, bug ridden, and extremely unpopular among gamers.

MS fail to acknowledge that there is competition within the digital Download sector within the PC market, unlike their closed XBL service.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Barla Von on 23rd May 2010 8:52pm

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Gina Mombelli Artist, Thoroughtec8 years ago
I love having the boxed versions of my games.
Being able to place them on the shelf is what makes owning games so cool.
Otherwise everyone might as well just download illegal versions because you wont actually be able to tell the difference.
I think that although i can see the benefit of it, this is taking the digital age too far =(
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Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 8 years ago
+10 for an additional quest to complete, a new in-game location, new dog breed, playing cards and a coin.

Think I'll save that ten to feed myself!
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