Thing Of Legend: Fable III’s Platform Choices

Sooo, here’s a thing (not of legend, but of PC gaming distribution news): Microsoft have decided to ship Fable III simulataneously on Steam and Games For Windows Marketplace. That says something about who is boss in the digital download market, I think. There are even bonus things for both: preorder via Games for Windows Marketplace and you receive Fable: Lost Chapters for nowt, and if you purchase it on Steam, you’ll get the “Rebel’s Weapon & Tattoo Pack”, which is a collection of uh… weapons and tattoos? Look, over there! A inverted bee!

And yes, the game is out on May 20th on both platforms. Any reason to be excited? Check here to find out.


  1. CMaster says:

    Buy it on Steam for the worst of both worlds!
    You need to run it through the Steam client (maybe – actually quite a lot of Steam games will run happily if you just find the appropriate exe) and then have to log into GfWL (and hope it doesn’t just refuse for no good reason) to actually play! Plus you get to mix up Steam’s horrifically unfair regional pricing with Microsoft’s even more bizzare “if you are from this region, you simply aren’t allowed to run our software” actions! Excellent.

    That said, sensible move on Microsoft’s part. It’s getting more and more that if you want to shift decent amounts of a PC game, you have to be on Steam. Or be Blizzard.

    • Torgen says:

      Is it confirmed that the Steam version will also require GFWL? Link?

    • Brumisator says:

      Games of old like GTA4, Fallout 3 and Batman Anti-Aliasing, when bought on steam, required GFWL, so I think it’s very likey steam will just be used as a purchase platform, and all the achievemnts and savegames will use the god-forsaken GFWL framework.

    • GenBanks says:

      I run even my non steam games through steam so that I can use the overlay, so having steam running in the background really doesn’t bother me…

    • Kryopsis says:

      Interesting. According to the Steam game page (link to, the copy-protection is “SecuROM™ (5 activations per month)”. Games that feature Games for Windows – Live usually list it as a copy-protection as well (look up Operation Flashpoint: Red River). Perhaps the Steam release of the game won’t have the accursed GfW-L after all? This said, I wonder why Microsoft wouldn’t use Steamwork’s own DRM option…

    • StingingVelvet says:

      It’s very possible MS is using SecuROM on top of GFWL like BioShock 2 and GTA4, as well as other games. Buying the game on Steam therefore is like volunteering yourself for a third DRM on top of that. Of course GFWL is not DRM be default because you can make an offline profile, you have have to use the special “zero day piracy prevention” option to make GFWL into DRM.

      I’ll be getting the boxed version, so we’ll see what happens.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      GFWL, Steam AND SecureRom? Um, no thanks. I made an exception for Bioshock 2 because it was so damn awesome (thanks RPS for that article, one of your best), but I don’t think I will for this one.

    • StingingVelvet says:

      @ Lars

      Well it only has all three if you choose to buy it on Steam. For example Batman: Arkham Aslyum on Steam has GFWL, SecuROM and Steam DRM. The disc copy however has only GFWL, and without their zero day piracy prevention mechanism, which basically makes the disc copy DRM free (just use an offline GFWL account).

      The SecuROM thing could be digital or even Steam only, we don’t know, and obviously Steam is Steam only. My disc copy might have nothing other than GFWL. That’s why I said we shall see what happens.

    • Daedalus says:

      If it uses GFWL SSA then the game will provide a cd key when you purchase it from steam.

      Steam>GFWL marketplace/downloader

    • terry says:

      “Look! We’re being even-handed and putting it on a competitor’s service! We are keeping it real! PC gaming!”

      *adds extra layers of DRM to make competitor’s service less attractive*

    • Christian says:

      After seeing and experiencing what GFWL did to the Steam-version of Batman (and don’t get me started about GTA4, which as another layer even included the Rockstar Social Club), this is not good news at all.

      Batman simply refused to work with the latest version of GFWL (that got installed with either Fallout or GTA) and forced me to search an older version. I Haven’t tried playing Fallout 3 or GTA since then, so that might be fun.. surely they won’t work before updating again.

      As much as I like the thought of Microsoft focusing more on PC-games again..and as much that I hope someone will step up and be a worthy competitor to Steam (as monopoles are never good).. they should accept their failure and move on to something that actually works. So recent experience tells me: stay away from GFWL-titles. I’m not sure they’re doing themselves a favor with this..

    • edit says:

      If the Steam version uses GFWL as well I’m passing, but has anyone found any information which confirms either way? It’s at least possible that this release is being treated differently to GTAIV etc. The steam game page looks hopeful (although the addition of more DRM induces a sigh) but unclear.

  2. TillEulenspiegel says:

    It’s almost as if Microsoft have remembered that they also happen to sell something called “Windows”, which I hear is quite popular nowadays.

    A step in the right direction, surely.

    • Phoshi says:

      They don’t get money for every sale of a PC game, though, nor can they get money for selling things we take for granted, nor can they get money from DLC sales, or indie game sales – so it’s plainly obvious why their preferences have been heathenish for so long.

    • bwion says:

      Well, I can totally see why the makers of the XBOX 360, wouldn’t want to compete with their hated foes, the makers of Windows, er…wait.

    • Daedalus says:

      But they can provide games that force you to upgrade to the latest os.

  3. roryok says:

    I’m glad Ringo Starr is still a playable character

  4. Giant, fussy whingebag says:

    I pity this poor game, coming out so close on the heels of the Witcher 2… Who will actually buy it?

    • roryok says:

      Quite right. So many great games coming out this year. Portal 2, Fable III, Witcher 2, DX:Human Revolution, Mass Effect 3, Skyrim, Rage, Prey 2, even DNF for flip’s sake.

    • Scilantius says:

      Unfortunately, Prey 2 is TBA 2012,… too bad, eh?

    • Bilbo says:

      Yeah, I skipped the Prey 2 preview out of basic preyjudice (lol) but I read it this morning and *damn*… that’s shaping up to be a fine slice of game

    • Nissanthen says:

      @Giant, I will definitely buy Fable 3, I have been looking forward to playing it.

    • Nathan says:

      My impression is that they’re pretty distinct games mechanically, so I don’t think that they’ll necessarily canabalise each other’s sales.

    • Giant, fussy whingebag says:

      Nissanthen – I hope you enjoy it! I expect I would enjoy it, somewhat, but I’d rather spend my overdraft on the Witcher 2, as I think I will want its babies.

      Nathan – you’re right, of course. I do think that the overlap in target market isn’t negligible, though. On top of that, Fable 3 isn’t a new game, but they’re selling it as one…

      I just don’t think it will be very successful, which is a shame because this will ‘prove’ to Microsoft that the PC ‘still’ isn’t worth bothering with. That said, I don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve thought a Microsoft game was worth bothering with, so…

  5. SquareWheel says:

    “There are even bonus things for both”

    Kay, skipping the game.

    • Teddy Leach says:

      I don’t understand this mentality at all. With one option, you get a free game, with the other, you get stuff you can ignore. Truly, this is the worst thing ever.

    • SquareWheel says:

      It’s a trait in gaming that I don’t like at all, and I intend to continue skipping games that use it.

  6. shoptroll says:

    Interesting move, especially hot on the heels about Dawn of War II’s devs talking about the uptick in sales once they switched to Steamworks instead of GFWL.

    • idiotapocs says:

      surprise, surprise

    • Creeping Death says:

      Except in that case they actually gutted GFWL from their game and used Steamworks. Chances are this’ll still have GFWL, you just also have to have Steam running. Think Batman: AA on Steam

  7. Schadenfreude says:

    I honestly feel Microsoft would be better served getting Lionhead to make a PC release of Fable 2. It’s by far the better game and now it’s just strange having parts 1 & 3 for PC whilst 2 is absent.

    • Stromko says:

      I would be tempted to have the whole series on PC– I already have Lost Chapters– but I thought Fable II was quite good and Fable III clearly isn’t, so what’s the point? When it comes to gaming, Microsoft is batshit insane. When they can sell a cardboard box with a DVD in it for 200-300$, instead of an expensive to make console at a loss, why do they keep trying to push us to buy their console? The thing is good for what it is, I think, but 95% of the games I want to play don’t get released on consoles.
      I suppose it comes down to X-Box Live and its premium fees. That would explain why they don’t let you quit except by canceling your credit card.

  8. deadstoned says:

    Jesus Christ Monkey Balls! Whats going on here?! Are they doing this just to sell more? (Because not selling through Steam these days is a fools move). Is this to try and infect a larger audience with GFWL? Is this Microsoft throwing in the towel and saying Steams won? Whats going on?!

  9. Torgen says:

    Well, we should support this game if only because the female doesn’t have ta tas larger than her head.

  10. GenBanks says:

    If only it used steam achievements/friends etc instead of gfwl. Impossible, I know.

  11. Paul says:

    This game will get crushed by Geralt, both quality and sales wise. Cannot wait.

  12. Schaulustiger says:

    An inverted bee? Mr Rossignol, that is quite a sight. What were you talking about again?

  13. Linfosoma says:

    I know that none of you folks really care about this issue, but since Microsoft started with this whole “double down on PC” thing I’ve noticed that all games with GFWL are blocked in my region (south America).
    Case in point, Bullestorm, Dirt 3 (which considering that I’ve purchased pretty much every Codemasters title ever pisses me off) and now Fable III.

    I used to be able to access these games by simply using a Live ID that said I lived in the US, but it seems that now I can’t even purchase these titles.

    My country has no video game restrictions what so ever, so it feels kind of shit to be left out of the world like that. My only option to access any of these games is to pirate them, which I wont do, but it’s annoying to know that pirates get access to things I dont.

    Again, I dont expect the media to cover this issue ever since it doesn’t affect relevant rerritories, but Im here dammit, and I want to buy your games!


    • StingingVelvet says:

      I’m as anti-piracy as anyone but if they offer you literally no other recourse I would say go ahead and play the damn things. If they ever do go on sale in your country buy them then.

      If importing is not that expensive you could purchase an import copy to support the devs and publisher, then pirate the games to get around the activation they block you from.

    • allanschnorr says:

      In Brazil at least, you can buy GFWL games on Steam, including Fable III and Dirt 3, and also on retail stores, if you can find them. Although Steam blocked GFWL games for a few months last year until Brazil became a country officially supported by Xbox Live. I guess your country is not supported, so that’s why you can’t buy those games. But let me ask you something, are those games not available in retail? You could always find GFWL here in retail stores, although there are not many that sell PC games.

  14. bluebogle says:

    Damn it people! Stop releasing so many cool PC games! I only have so much expandable time and money!

  15. Moonracer says:

    This sounds promising, And I’ve always been interested in the Fable series but never tried it. Unfortunately I will only buy a non GFWL version so I’ll have to keep my fingers crossed that the steam version removes it.

  16. Shivoa says:

    Does this mean Fable (1) now works on Win7? Last time I looked Vista had broken Fable and Win7 carried on the ‘not that old game made by a MS studio you cannot play without a dual-boot to an older OS’ thing.

  17. somnolentsurfer says:

    Woah, not all that revolutionary, I know, given that it’ll probably still have garbage GfWL stuff bundled with it, but a major step nonetheless. I’d be far more likely to buy from Steam though, and I’d quite like to play Fable 1. Any indication of whether that’ll come to Steam at all, even outside the free deal? Also, Fable 2…?

  18. bansama says:

    The good news: Fable 3 is now available for pre-order on Steam.
    The bad news: It’s not available on Steam in the UK, Japan or several other regions.

  19. heretic says:

    I kinda like the art style that it would make me want to play it, but I haven’t heard great things about the gameplay and the silly binary choice: be a bastard and save people, or help people but all die in the end choice ._. dis still true?

  20. Hoaxfish says:

    An inverted bee!

    so.. pee?

  21. NPC says:

    “This item is currently unavailable in your region”, so this game will now be inaccessible in two online shops instead of one. May be there are no oceans, but there still are lots of borders!

  22. int says:

    Do we know for sure if DLCs from the Xbox is included?

    Wikpedia states so but there is no citation or reference.

  23. derella says:

    Releasing it for PC this long after the console release is bullshit.

  24. Christian says:

    Also: will it be using Steam Cloud to save your games and make them (and your keybindings etc.) available on any install of Steam you have? Now that would be news..

  25. thebigJ_A says:

    Nope. Played it on my 360toy. Even though I enjoyed 2 and played it to completion (the story was silly, but the gameplay fun), I just couldn’t finish 3. It’s really bad.

    Not in a mechanical way, mind you, it’s solidly put together (except for the breadcrumb trail, which breaks more often than not). It’s just that it isn’t any fun. The charm of the first two games is inexplicably missing.

    If you do decide to give it a try, know one thing. There’s a point at which the game makes it very clear you have a certain amount of time before something big happens. DO NOT BELIEVE IT! The game screws you over. When about half the time has elapsed, it decides to jump way forward to right before time is up. This can have catastrophic effects on your world. Fair warning. (This is not a spoiler. There is absolutely no story or mechanical reason for the game to do this, it just does.)

    • Mark says:

      Most of it comes down to poor design choices, and I can only assume, Lord bless him, that Molyneux is responsible for that.

      I remember discussing this at the time with someone while I was playing the game. There seems to be a design philosophy in the game geared towards extraneous functionality and away from expediency.

      In short, I think he’s designed a game for his young son rather than adults. Children tend to animate a world with their own imagination, whereas we as adults (and jaded hobbyists) are more able to see the cracks and artificial veil which forms Albion. For adults, time is at a premium, about always getting somewhere in the shortest amount of time; we often, therefore, forget to smell the flowers. Children don’t feel this kind of pressure, and don’t have the same strong awareness of time.

  26. wazups2x says:

    Even if I wanted Fable 3 I wouldn’t have any time to play it. There’s just too many games I need to play.

  27. poop says:

    excuse me while I go play a shitty console port of a terrible RPG for children loaded with the worst drm imaginable

  28. poop says:

    on a more positive note microsoft admiting defeat and moving outside of gfwl for distribution means that they may one day release all their oldass games on gog :D