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Peter Molyneux is “pretty ashamed” of Fable 3 review scores

Monday, 27th June 2011 21:55 GMT By Andrew Groen

Legendary developer Peter Molyneux has said in an interview with Gamasutra that he’s “ashamed” of Fable 3′s review scores.

He wasn’t expressing disappointment in the reviews themselves, but rather admitting that he agreed with their criticisms.

“I know I probably should say it’s a great game just respective of whatever it was, but the Metacritic score was sort of low-’80s,” he said.

“I think I’m pretty ashamed of that, to be honest, and I take that on my own shoulders, not the team’s shoulders. I think that, when you have something like that, which you can feel as a kick in the teeth, you have to pick yourself up and fight even harder.”

The game has an MC average of 80 percent on 360 and 76 percent on PC.

Later in the interview he offered some insight into why the game did not meet his personal expectations.

“The game came together so late that we had so little time to balance and refine [some of the play mechanics],” Molyneux said.

“There was just a few weeks to do it. That meant that what could have been a great mechanic turned out to be a good idea.”

The entire interview is very much worth a read.

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29 Comments

  1. YoungZer0

    We just want you to make good games. You could do it in the past, why does it seem to be such a huge problem now?

    Also you had more than enough time to optimize the PC Version, why not use it to balance in refine some play mechanics?

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Erthazus

    I finished it on PC… and in my memory it’s the most boring action adventure title i ever played. It’s just… “Meh” in every part.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. YoungZer0

    You were so bored that you had to finish this 6 hour + game, right?

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Phoenixblight

    “Also you had more than enough time to optimize the PC Version, why not use it to balance in refine some play mechanics?”

    Actually no its not. Its takes more than a year to do something like that because you change a certain aspect in the gameplay like jumping and it makes the animations all wonky which then makes all the NPCs all bugged. They only had enough time to throw the controls together and test optimization for any combination of PC. If they had done the PC version with the Xbox 360 then maybe they could have.

    THe game was solid as far as the mechanics and everything work the context of the game was nothing like the original and thats where they missed the mark. Maybe they should look into competent writers.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. YoungZer0

    @4: Interesting assumption. How can you tell if you don’t know what mechanic he wanted to build into it?

    To be honest, if they release a new Fable (Not the kinect title) again i really hope they throw out the dog. He serves no purpose and was constantly blocking my path.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Gekidami

    You’d think the Creative Director of MGS could swing some extra dev time out of the publisher… But apparently not…

    #6 3 years ago
  7. pukem0n

    why does he think a score of 80 is bad?
    its just bad for idiots that just look at metacritic to see whats good and dont make up their own minds

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Phoenixblight

    @5

    Its just how programming works especially with object orientated code, they are all linked in one form or another you change one variable and the entire code could be broken then you have to look through all that code at why its broken.

    Look up Halo Playtesting on Youtube and you would see what I mean.

    As far as the Dog goes its just a way to remove the HUD without removing the information from the player about where things are etc.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. oreogod

    “The game came together so late that we had so little time to balance and refine [some of the play mechanics],” Molyneux said.

    “There was just a few weeks to do it. That meant that what could have been a great mechanic turned out to be a good idea.”

    Then take some damn time with the game.

    Publishers are so concerned with metacritic scores (for good reason), you as a video game producer need to rally against a set publishing date if your game is not up to snuff, getting them on board by letting them know the reviews are going to be a lot lower than expected should get them to at least think about giving you the time you need.

    If you’re cool releasing it as is and don’t fight for more time, you’re an idiot and you’ll find yourself later shouldering blame in interviews.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. YoungZer0

    @8: I know why the dog is there, i just think he’s not the optimal choice, especially if he ruins every possible scene with running in front of me, and never be really helpful in combat.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Bloodyghost

    You shouldnt be concerned with it. You should be more concerned of what the whole population of your players say.

    Peter, the reason why your such a far leap from being a power in the game industry is because you overshoot, you miss, you fail, you grief, you tell another story then you go back around.

    Peter, you need to change.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. Phoenixblight

    “you as a video game producer need to rally against a set publishing date if your game is not up to snuff, getting them on board by letting them know the reviews are going to be a lot lower than expected should get them to at least think about giving you the time you need.”

    Can’t do that. The developer job is to make the game. The publisher and the developer typically agree to have the game done at a certain point once that is set the milestones are set then the developer HAS to make those milestones in order to receive a paycheck so if they are missed for whatever reason; poor management, etc. Then they miss that paycheck and then it all snowballs from there then people start bouncing because they don’t have a paycheck. Any game can be good with enough time if time was infinite but Lionhead agreed to that date next game manage your time better or make enough of time to allow for more development.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. DSB

    @12 That’s certainly true, and given all the useless features Molyneux has started polluting his games with, I think it’s a strong indication that he isn’t the most economic lead designer out there.

    But developers do have an obligation not to sign off on something they can’t handle. Games get dropped or rushed out the door all the time, because someone wants to please the higher-ups so much, they essentially aren’t doing their job, to the detriment of their entire studio.

    That’s another reason why I like Ken Levine, he seems to be very much in touch with the corporate side of things, and he strikes me as a guy who’s very pro-active when it comes to the nickle and dime of his games. “Know your enemy” and what not.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. triggerhappy686

    What?? 80′s are a bad score these days?? If I got 80% in an exam i’d be happy. If I got 80% of my work finished I wouldn’t expect my boss to be unhappy. I don’t get this. Does anyone know how well Fable 3 sold? Ive got it btw, just not got round to playing it yet…

    #14 3 years ago
  15. thesamy

    i think in his age it will be hard to change and make diffrent games
    he is making fable games for a lot of time and i think all his creativity as died with that horrible game

    and dont froget that he is a wierd man that dosnt like to think that he somtimes make shit and he see it afther he read the fourm

    i hope somtimes he will not just read review but read some commet and try to get idea from the communty

    #15 3 years ago
  16. loki

    80 it is too high score for this trash. Peter should have thought about game, not about fail PC port

    #16 3 years ago
  17. DSB

    @14 That would make sense if 1-10 was the actual scale. In reality it’s 7-10, because very few reviewers want to be responsible for upsetting the people buying the adspace.

    And 8 average on the 7-10 scale is not high at all.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. polygem

    The original fable was awesome. I really loved 2 as well. One of the most enjoiable games this gen imo. I know many wont agree but i think it was a great fun to play adventure and i loved to run around like a bearded dragqueen multishagging everyone. 3 was indeed a let down. I was really bored with it and thats a shame. I hope they reanimate this ip in a good way. Focus on the story, and atmosphere, the soul of a game, combine it with functioning fun gameplay mechanics that are intuitive and fluid and voila…

    #18 3 years ago
  19. minxamo

    Give it a couple of years and he’ll be saying the exact same about fable: the journey.
    BUT DON’T WORRY, FABLE 5 WILL BE SUPER AWESOME!!

    #19 3 years ago
  20. Moonwalker1982

    Even though i did enjoy my two playthroughts(with plenty annoyances)…this review is pretty spot on!!! To be honest…they need to completely forget about the horrible expressions system, cause it seriously is rather pathetic in many ways and just doesn’t work.

    But sooo much more, all described in the review…i can’t disagree with anything tbh.

    http://unrealitymag.com/index.php/2010/10/29/why-fable-3-is-an-embarrassment-to-video-games/

    #20 3 years ago
  21. Kabby

    Can we have the ability to remove posts with specific tags from view?
    Think of it as a filter for my login. Let’s start with a test case.

    Peter Molyneux.

    You could expand it to other such tags like Anonymous, Lulzsec, Kinect and so on. I think this idea has legs.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. frostquake

    Fable 1, great game, had issues and problems. Fable 2, a step forward, but still having issues, but the Fable series was getting better with Fable 2, and so surely Fable 3 would be even better then Fable 1 and Fable 2…Nope. Instead they created a whole list of new problems on top of the old annoyances.

    Fable 3 felt like it was just riding on Fable 2′s coat tails and they just wanted to captivate the Hype surrounding Fable 2. Just like Dragon Age 2 was a “Lite” Version of Dragon Age 1 and actually took a step backwards!

    #22 3 years ago
  23. Telepathic.Geometry

    I&m sick of hearing what Molyneux has to say, it is just more PR shite, and I have heard so much from him… =/

    #23 3 years ago
  24. IL DUCE

    I think he’s gone mad pretty much…just getting senile now, and will never live up to our let alone his own expectations…

    “The game came together so late that we had so little time to balance and refine [some of the play mechanics],” Molyneux said.
    -Because I’m pretty sure you said you wouldn’t let development go any further than Thanksgiving, so you probably rushed the shit out of your team to bang it out as soon as possible to release on a favorable date…

    “There was just a few weeks to do it. That meant that what could have been a great mechanic turned out to be a good idea.”
    -Either that’s bad writing by this site, or just a random thought flowing through his head because what the hell is he even referring to…the game? a great mechanic? The whole King thing or something?…

    I’m so tired of this guy, I know he’s a hometown boy for you guys over the pond, but to me in America, he’s just some silly dude losing his touch on the industry, who wants to give us a everything that he thinks of, but can only give us some and not fulfill his outlandish promises so he beats himself up over it…kinda feel bad for the guy

    #24 3 years ago
  25. ASBI

    an 80 for a new IP is great, but for a game like fable it is not

    what would u guys say if Gears 3 got an 80 , it is bad right ?

    #25 3 years ago
  26. RockTwist

    Personally, i’d like to see Lionhead go back to Fable 1 and use that as their base/inspiration. I loved the whole guild and heroes and competing with rival ones like Thunder and Twinblade. The game just felt more lovingly created, like it was the game it was meant to be rather than a hash of random features Molyneux crams in to have more stuff to talk about.

    And as YoungZer0 said, ditch the dog or make it a companion rather than a guide. The handholding breadcrumb trails just makes the game feel cheap.

    @24 There’s quite a few people with the same view on Molyneux over here, hometown boy or not. He’s liked seemingly, but he really does make people embarassed at times with his overpromises and whining apologies. I also don’t think he’ll be the same now the Carter brothers have left completely.

    #26 3 years ago
  27. Zurtech

    Can see the metascore for Fable: The Journey being about 40.

    But aye, I like the Fable franchise, but they really ruined several aspects of it that made it stand out as a unique game to start with. Personally felt Fable 1 was the most complete game. I feel each game after has added something, but the overall feel of the games themselves feel more and more stripped down.
    There is a huge difference between streamlining and just taking stuff out that worked fine.

    #27 3 years ago
  28. Espers

    he should be ashamed from himself…the game sucks, this is not 2007 anymore

    #28 3 years ago
  29. ExxonValdez

    Yeah fable does suck…a lot lol

    #29 3 years ago

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