Rarely do game makers offer specific sales and profit targets for upcoming games, but Lionhead boss Peter Molyneux did just that in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz
"We are driving to sell more than 5 million units and to make a profit in excess of $150 million," Molyneux said. "We have to do that because if a franchise doesn't reach that level it will inevitably wither."
At the Game Developers Conference in March this year, Molyneux said that Fable II
sold 3.5 million units.
The designer has previously stated the unit sales targets for Fable III
, detailing how exactly Lionhead plans to reach a wider audience with the title. Earlier this month, he told Gamasutra
his studio would be streamlining Fable III
to make it more accessible to a wider audience than was 2008's RPG Fable II
. Part of that streamlining will involve making Fable III
more of an action-adventure game than a role-playing game.
In the GamesIndustry.biz report, Molyneux also said that Fable III
would launch as an episodic series "soon after the retail launch" of the game, with the first chapter available for free. Lionhead and parent Microsoft used the same model for Fable II
, releasing it on Xbox Live in episodic format about a year after the game's retail release.
With Fable II
episodes, users downloaded the first free episode 1.6 million times, Molyneux said. The episodes reportedly earned $15 million in contribution margins.
That episodic model in which the first chapter is free is better than working on and releasing a game demo, argued Molyneux. "Anyone out there who thinks a demo is a good idea is crazy," he said.