The upcoming Fable reboot from Forza Horizon developer Playground Games is apparently taking longer in development due to the studio’s lack of RPG experience. This information comes from a game designer who worked for a while at Playground on Fable‘s development, and revealed some interesting things about the game’s progress.
According to game designer Juan Fernandez, who bounced around various studios like Ninja Theory and Tequila Works, Playground’s development progress on the Fable reboot is taking longer and longer as the studio is still coming to grips with making an RPG.
Speaking to Vandal, Fernandez detailed his time working at Playground on the Fable reboot, and how the studio was accustomed to making one style of game that suddenly needed to adapt to another:
“Playground is […] very organized and production-driven. Every two years they put out a Forza Horizon, which has more than 90 on Metacritic, with incredible quality. They have taken racing games and they’ve dominated them these last few years. They’re very smart and they know what they’re doing.
They wanted to branch out with something different and they thought that what they do well is open world racing games, [but] they lacked people with the knowledge of how gameplay is done. In an open world, how you control a character and the actions are very different from what you have in a racing game. At the technology level, you have to develop animation, scripting, a quest system. Moving in a car at 300 kmh has very different requirements than walking through the countryside.”
The game designer goes on to mention Playground’s “do more with less” game design philosophy which may have worked well with their Forza Horizon series, but can’t exactly be applied to something as ambitious as Fable:
“Action RPG open worlds are incredibly complicated to do, they take a lot of time. A lot of people and in Playground they have the mentality of doing more with less, that if Assassin’s Creed is done by 5000 people they will have 150 or 200, and if they do [Assassin’s Creed] in 7 years, they’d do Fable in 5. It is good to be ambitious but you also have to be realistic and what I saw is that [development] was getting longer and longer.”
Playground Games released Forza Horizon 5 to critical acclaim last November, so there’s been plenty of anticipation and excitement regarding their next major project, Fable. That said, we probably won’t see the game for at least a few more years if they’re still wrapping their development process around working in an entirely new genre.
Fable is currently in development.