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Peter Molyneux: Focus!

Peter Molyneux, I'm finally onto you.

Look, Fable and The Lost Chapters expansion were great. And after they came out, it almost didn't matter that you overhyped it all to hell, because they were still fun. It was almost refreshing to play a clever, simplistic RPG that did retain at least some measure of game-changing choices. You got to choose from one of four whole endings! That's pretty intense right there. With Fable 2, your team really improved on the game a lot. It had a better flow and a more expansive world, and even though you could turn a female character into a veritable amazon with just a couple of points in the Strength skill, it even looked a bit better. The spell system was refined and there were even more options for totally messing up your appearance. Good for you! We even got away with minimal hype on that one.

For a while I was angry at you from Fable 3. It was clunky, the plot was ridiculous and it seemed like all the hard work that was put into perfecting the features in the second game were tossed out for the third. It took me a long time to realize what was really going on here: Fable 3 was trying to tell us a message.

On the surface, you sort of start off playing one game (overthrowing your evil despot brother for the throne) only to have it interrupted by the gooey evil blackness of the Crawler. Your role as the new leader is to throw enough money at it to stop it from killing everything you love.  It was kind of confusing because it seemed like you were just mashing plots together. But there's more to it, isn't it? I don't know if your team made this game behind your back and slapped your name on as Lead Designer, or you if you were trying to save us from yourself, but it's about you, isn't it?

It made sense when I thought about it for a while. I was playing another Fable game, the third in a series that I hold in high regard. Everything seemed like it was supposed to, until the Crawler came along to mess everything up. The other day I realized that the Crawler was you, and you wanted to destroy the Fable series, for which the stand-in was all of Albion. It makes sense to me. I feel like this was some sort of message to stop you before you broke the series for good.

Where does this come from? Well, I'm still a little sore about the Fable: The Journey reveal. I know I'm not in the majority that actually enjoyed Fable 3 on some level (although I know I'm not alone) but I was hoping that afterwards you'd follow it up with a better idea. Instead, we got an on-rails magic shooter. Now I know that right now all we have to run off here is a press reel and an explanation, but even that you had to apologize for. You seem to be falling into the same rut of presenting something like it was made of solid gold and then apologizing later that it was just gold paint. Now I know that it's a totally new concept you're rolling off here because you're worried that the series is stagnating, but maybe give another RPG a chance. Maybe you could make a Fable game with a whole new setting and long-lost royal bloodline. Maybe you could just make your magic-shooter without pasting the Fable name on it. You have options. 

In closing, please just make a better Fable game instead of having to make a different one because you're afraid the series is stagnating. It takes some special skill to actually bore players when you've only released a few titles in a series.