While it's certainly welcomed news to hear Lionhead Studios confirm that Fable III is coming out next year, the more surprising news is that Lionhead also announced that it will releasing its acclaimed RPG Fable II via episodic downloads over Xbox Live starting September 29th.
Fable II: Episodes will consist of five downloadable chapters, each of which will contain a particular chunk of the full game. It includes all of the achievements and content found in the retail game, plus all the additional content from the DLC packs Knothole Island and See the Future.
General manager of Microsoft Game Studios, Phil Spencer, said in a statement:
“With the launch of Games on Demand on Xbox LIVE, we have a great tool in place to deliver classic titles in an incredibly convenient fashion...With the Fable II episodic model, we’re encouraging people to experience the first chapter of the game for free, then move onto other chapters when they are ready. It’s a unique model and one that will appeal to gamers who’ve been hesitant to dive full into the original retail release.”
And should you decide to purchase the retail disc after playing through a few chapters, not to worry. Your character will be carried over, meaning you won't have to start from scratch. Aside from the first episode, which is free, Lionhead has not revealed how much each episode will cost, how much content will be available in each one, or how often the episodes will be released. But seeing as they start rolling out next month, it shouldn't be too much longer before more details are revealed.
Anyone thinking about checking out Fable II via episodic downloads?