Almost a year after Fable II, Microsoft and Lionhead re-released the game in episodic chunks over Xbox Live.
And the game’s creative director Peter Molyneux feels digital is the way to reach an even broader audience.
“Retail will get you to 70 or 80 per cent of the people who were going to buy the game,” he says.
“For Fable II that was about 3.5m people. But guess what? At the time it came out there were 30-odd million Xboxes out there. We only hit ten per cent of the market. That’s pretty poor. Successful, but not runaway successful.
“So how can I get to the other 30 million? I could ask my marketing friends to spend loads more on TV advertising. But you know, price is a big barrier. So what I think would be interesting is if I say, ‘have the first episode for free.’
“I hate demos. It is like me saying to you: ‘Okay, do you want to watch this film?’ and then me showing you 15 minutes of it. That’s just rubbish. I’d much prefer the idea that our demo is the first episode.
“The first episode is free, and then you can ask the gamer to buy all the episodes or if they are still not entirely sure, you make the next episode reasonably priced.”