Lionhead's Peter Molyneux has revealed that Fable III will be released as a full retail game then shortly afterwards as an episodic download.
Speaking at the GameHorizon conference in Gateshead and reported by GamesIndustry.biz
, Molyneux said "Soon after the retail launch we're doing episodic. We break it down in chapters. We give away the first chapter entirely free, the first hour. When you reach a certain point in the game it says 'thank you for playing the pilot of Fable 3, do you want to spend an extra 2-5 or whatever dollars to buy the next episode, or buy the whole lot?' Press 'yes' and you will immediately continue playing."
He also revealed that the success of Fable II is adding to the weight of expectation for Fable III and that they are aiming to sell five million units and to make a profit in excess of $150 million, claiming that its those levels a franchise will be a success or it will wither.
Fable II was sold on Xbox Live in episodes and Molyneux claims that the first episode saw 1.6 million downloads and the episodes as a whole earned $15 million.
"It supports this freemium idea." he added, "It gets around this horrible concept of demos. Anyone out there who thinks a demo is a good idea is crazy. It's never a good idea, because demos are usually done at the end of a game and they require an enormous amount of design talent to make a demo. The other thing is you're more likely to satisfying the curiousty of a user rather than entice them to play more."