The Fable series is infamous for the many unfulfilled gameplay promises throughout its lifetime. With that kind of reputation, the cancelation of Fable Legends may seem inevitable in hindsight.
Announced in 2013, this continuation of the action RPG series was going to be a prequel title. A closed online multiplayer beta released in 2014, and the final product was going to utilize the Xbox One’s cloud integration and Smartglass functions. But throughout its development, several elements worked against Fable Legends.
First, Fable figurehead Peter Molyneux left his position at Lionhead Studios. Molyneux was, among other roles, a designer on multiple games in the series. With his departure, the studio was pressured to re-tool Legends as a free-to-play game, which Lionhead had no experience in. The team also tried to come to grips with Unreal Engine 4, which was reportedly still unfinished at the time.
To make matters worse, Fable Legends kept getting more expensive. The ongoing design and graphical enhancements subjected the game to delays and an ever-ballooning budget that allegedly reached $75 million. Microsoft axed the project not long after, despite the significant amount of time and money it had already invested.