Lionhead Studios may have been shuttered by Microsoft and the latest Fable game may have been cancelled, but that doesn't mean that Fable as a brand is dead. In fact, some ex-Lionhead developers are bringing the IP back to life through a free-to-play card combat game called Fable Fortune.
According to Gamespot, the CCG from ex-Lionhead members Craig Oman, Mike West and Marcus Lynn will be the first title from their newly formed studio called Flaming Fowl. The studio has been given Microsoft's blessings to use the Fable license (something that they did not want to sell to any other publisher out there), but Microsoft is not financially backing the CCG from Flaming Fowl.
So if Microsoft isn't backing the game, then how is Fable coming back to life? Well, the developers are taking Fable Fortune to Kickstarter. They're going to get the crowd-funding campaign underway starting May 31st and run it for around 30 days. Their asking price? Well, they're looking for at least £250,000 just to get them started. They also have a lot of stretch goals planned, including, more voice-overs for the game given that some of the cards – when they're played on the field – don't actually have sound.
Additionally, they also want to take Fable Fortune to the eSports arena, getting the game into the competitive market. They've mentioned that they've already started reaching out to eSports organizers and potentially even adding an eSport tournament as a part of the Kickstarter rewards.
Of course, if a game is going to have any sort of focus on the eSports arena it's going to need to be competitive-friendly. So with that said, there's a 17 minute video below from IGN, where Flaming Fowl showcased the PvP combat in Fable Fortune, how the cards work, how players can run defensive strategies, offensive strategies, and even stack cards for multi-turn attacks. You can check it out below.
Not only are they gunning for the eSports crowd, but they're also hoping to attract another popular segment of the video game market: streaming culture.
The plan is to design Fable Fortune for the streaming culture, and potentially will see the team utilizing the technology to make the game integrated into Twitch (or at least, that's what they're hoping for if the Kickstarter goes over well).
This will be a rebirth of Fable following the cancellation of Fable Legends, which was a MOBA-style free-to-play game for the Xbox One and PC. The game was received with lukewarm responses from the gaming community and Microsoft decided it just wasn't worth pursuing. Many fans of Fable were hoping for a more traditional Fable 4, but that just wasn't on the table for Microsoft.
This card game has already been in development for 18 months, so the Kickstarter would be a way to finalize development and get the game published independently for home consoles.
Fable Fortune is expected to have a open beta later this year for home consoles and PC, and they expect to launch the game in early 2017.