Fable Co-Creator Says He ‘Ripped Off’ Devil May Cry to Create the Xbox RPG’s World

By | November 15, 2022

The original Fable could have been entirely different before co-creator Dene Carter turned to an unlikely source of inspiration – Devil May Cry.

“When you’re feeling lost: steal it,” he said via Twitter. “100% rip it off from another game.”

Of course, Fable doesn’t do that – at least, not in the way you’re thinking. The themes, ideas, and story of the 2004 RPG are entirely different from Devil May Cry… but the game’s creator revealed that it almost spiraled out of control until he turned to DMC for an idea about the game’s scope.

“How did the world of Fable become that size? Because I’d played [Devil May Cry] and noticed that the world was something like 82 zones,” he explained. “It didn’t seem excessive. It re-used and re-contextualised areas. It worked for a relatively short, but high-quality game.”

Carter goes on to explain how that helped. Essentially, he copied the way DMC used these zones in order to map out the world of Albion.

“I literally counted the number of zones, the size of those zones, and the average time spent in those zones, and used that to block out the entire world of Albion,” he said. “At the time we were spiraling out of control, convinced we had to make something ‘big’ (whatever that meant).”

Yes, it looks as though Fable developers had quite a grand vision. Instead, Carter refocused the game’s development with the scope of DMC in mind… and there were a few other inspirations, too.

“Literally copying the scope of DMC, the interaction density of Silent Hill, and the encounter style of the first Way of the Samurai changed Fable from a floppy, undefined, never-ending death march to something we could actually complete *without* ever having worked on a 3D game.”

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IGN’s review of Fable gave it 9.3/10 and said: “Fable opens a door for you, lets you see this wondrous treasure that the idea of an open world, competing heroes, and NPC interactions can offer — but it doesn’t let you through. There are a lot of great notions in the game that aren’t fully realized. As I played, I kept thinking, ‘Why didn’t they do this or that,’ but in the end, I still had a blast playing Fable, and to me that makes all the difference.”

Want to read more about Fable? Check out what Fable creator Peter Molyneux wants from a new Fable as well as our top 10 best original Xbox games.

Ryan Leston is an entertainment journalist and film critic for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.