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Lionhead to embrace games-as-service, starting with Fable Legends

Newly-crowned Lionhead leader John Needham claims he's guiding Lionhead Studios towards making games that operate more like content delivery platforms, starting with the upcoming Fable Legends.
"I am the person pivoting Lionhead into a games-as-service studio. Legends is quite different from previous Fable games."
- Lionhead Studios head honcho John Needham, speaking to EDGE. When UK-based Lionhead Studios hired John Needham to replace departing studio head Peter Molyneux last year, parent company Microsoft claimed Needham's experience with free-to-play titles and subscription-based MMORPGs would prove valuable to the studio's future plans. Now Needham, who previously served as CEO of online gaming companies like Cryptic Studios and Gazillion Entertainment, tells EDGE that he is guiding Lionhead Studios towards becoming a developer of games that operate more like content delivery platforms than discrete pieces of entertainment. Needham claims the studio's next game, Fable Legends, is expected to run for 5-10 years with regular content updates, obviating the need for other Fable games for the foreseeable future. "We can do other styles of Fable games, and keep them within Fable Legends," Needham told EDGE during a recent interview, snippets of which were published today on the EDGE website. "My plan is that Legends is essentially a platform for almost everything Fable going forward. It’s a long-range plan, of five to ten years, where we’re going to build and keep building onto Fable Legends. That’s the nature of games as a service – you keep adding systems and features and content." Fable Legends has previously been advertised as Lionhead's five-player multiplayer-focused action RPG for the Xbox One, in which up to four players guide a party of pre-defined heroes through brief, simple quests -- dungeon crawls and the like -- while a fifth player attempts to stop them by laying traps, spawning enemies and the like. You can read more excerpts from the interview on the EDGE website, where you can also purchase a subscription to the magazine to read the full interview.

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