Rumor mill begins to speculate as Lionhead Studios begins hiring MMO producers and designers.
Peter Molyneux has intrigued the gaming world for years through games like Fable and projects like the iOS and Android mystery box - Curiosity-What's Inside the Cube? As Curiosity nears completion, Molyneux was asked what the plans are for the Fable series he created while he was head of Lionhead. He has since moved on to start creating Godus, the successor to his Populous. In a recent interview with IGN though, Peter Molyneux mentioned that during planning meetings for "What to do next in Fable?" there was a general feeling that an MMO was the way to proceed. Molyneux went on to say that role-playing games make the transition to the MMO model very well so it is almost a no-brainer. These rumors gained solid footing as his replacement at Lionhead was recently appointed. John Needham, former CEO of Cryptic Studios (City of Heroes) and Gazillion Entertainment (Marvel Heroes), has stepped up as head of Lionhead Studios and the drive to produce an MMO seems more likely a reality than ever before.
Aside from this interview, there have been several other clues about a possible MMO in Lionhead's future though each of these clues are job postings. According to a recent Lionhead posting on Microsoft.com, the studio is currently searching for a technical director who has the following qualifications:
Demonstrated knowledge of several of the following genres, with specific programming experience of at least one - MMORPGs, Multiplayer Games, RPGs Demonstrated knowledge of any of the following platforms - Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC or browser based games.
That doesn't necessarily mean anything, of course, but it's funny that MMOs were specifically mentioned. Perhaps Lionhead just wants to be prepared. You know, just in case.
It remains to be seen if a Fable MMO will see a release. The real question is whether or not this game could see a console and PC release at the same time, possibly using Microsoft's soon-to-be officially revealed new console. Fable has made a history of sinister choices and dire consequences and the MMO market is currently filled with anesthetized moral grounds whereupon a choice has absolutely no consequences (even for the player). Could Fable bring the old MMO models from Ultima Online and Everquest where bad choices meant a staggering loss? Sometimes I just want to be a jerk in a game but all I can do now is troll trade chat in WoW!