Lionhead Studios announces Game Episodes -- a new way of consuming video games

Fable II: a tale of marketing genius

Lionhead Studios, one of the world's leading video game development companies, based in Britain, is pioneering an innovative new way for gamers to consume video games -- "Game Episodes". Under the new pricing model, the customer can purchase the game as a series of separate episodes. If the customer doesn't enjoy the game at any stage, they don't have to pay for the rest of it.

The first game to be made available in this way will be Fable II, a hugely successful role-playing adventure game which was released last year on the conventional disc-based format. From the end of next month gamers will be able to download Fable II in separate instalments. The new product format, called Fable II: Game Episodes, was revealed yesterday at the end of a press release announcing the eagerly-anticipated sequel, Fable III. (Watch this blog for more about Fable III soon!)

I suspect this is the brainchild of Peter Molyneux, the Creative Director of Lionhead Studios and mastermind of the Fable games, has been a leading figure in the gaming industry for years. No wonder they made him Creative Director of Microsoft game studios earlier this year. The guy is a creative genius. When I encounter an intriguing feature in Fable II -- like finding a full set of Halo 3 armour for my character, complete with Energy Sword -- I know I'm probably experiencing the Molyneux effect. Fable is famous for the creativity of its beautiful concept art, stunning graphics and genre-defining gameplay. The reader is encouraged to follow that last link and check out some of the artwork, and not just because it's a good example of a well-designed ASP.NET web site -- Fable II is truly an artistic masterpiece in its own right.

Game Episodes is made possible by the new Games On Demand feature recently added to Xbox Live. It's a stroke of genius.

Video: Fable II gameplay trailer

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20 August 2009

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Tim Acheson (15 Sep 09, 11:34)

I couldn't resist showing-off some of that fantastic concept art I mentioned by the artists at Lionhead Studios. The concept art is reproduced pristinely in 3D in the HD graphics in-game -- Fable II is worth every penny for the art alone!

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