Fable From Microsoft Game Studios Becomes Fastest-Selling Xbox Title in Europe
LONDON, 14TH October 2004 – Thousands of European gamers have embraced the ground-breaking Xbox® role-playing adventure game “Fable”, making it the fastest-selling Xbox title ever in Europe according to independent research groups Chart-Track and GfK. It helped make the weekend of 9th and 10th October the biggest Xbox launch weekend ever in Europe, showing that both casual and committed gamers are drooling over the fantastic gaming experiences that Xbox has to offer.

“Fable”, developed by Lionhead and published by Microsoft Game Studios, made an exceptionally strong debut across Europe when it was released in most markets last Friday. For example, “Fable” sold through more than 30,000 units[1] in the UK, taking number two in the all-formats chart and number one in the all-time first week sales ranking for Xbox. “Fable” also performed strongly in France, where more than 18,000[2] units were sold through.

“We’re very excited that so many gamers are experiencing the world of Albion in ‘Fable’,” said Michel Cassius, Senior Director, Xbox Platform and Marketing. “The success of ‘Fable’ is a tribute to the vision of Peter Molyneux and Lionhead and to the fantastic open-ended and accessible gameplay experience that ‘Fable’ offers. The choices the gamer makes during the course of the adventure creates a completely different experience each time the game is played, offering outstanding replay value and widening the appeal while satisfying the core gamer audience. This title is a great example of how the Xbox portfolio is broadening, encompassing titles for the committed gamer as well as more casual gamers.”

Alex Croft, Buying Director at GAME said "‘Fable’ was the best performing first-week Xbox title that we have sold to customers since the console launched. Feedback before and after the launch from staff and customers has been very positive, and we're confident that ‘Fable’ will continue to sell well."

The success in Europe of “Fable” was echoed by a similar record-breaking launch at retailers across North America in its first week of release. The game was EB Games' best-selling title ever and it broke Game Rush's first-day sales record for any game. ”Fable” even grossed more money than the No. 1 box office movie launched at the same time, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.

In “Fable”, the players’ every action determines their character's skills, appearances and moralities. Character's life stories are created from childhood through adulthood and on to old age. They can grow from an inexperienced child into the most powerful being in the world, spoken of by all and immortalized in legend. Players may choose the paths of righteousness or dedicate their characters' lives to evil; observing as they transform into reflections of their actions and decisions. Age leaves characters wizened, battle leaves them scarred, gluttony affects obesity. With experiences come advancement and physical change; whether it is by expanding muscles, a keen eye and nimble form or the buzz of magical energies around their finger tips. As players' characters develop, the world reacts to them and their actions. People comment on their successes, failures, appearances and behaviors. Their many opinions are expressed through applause, mockery, trepidation, panic and even flirtation. With each person characters aid and every creature they slay, the world is changed forever. In “Fable”, gamers decide: “Who will I be?”

About Lionhead Studios
Lionhead Studios is based in Guildford, Great Britain and was founded in 1997. The company’s first game, Black & White for PC, was released in 2001 and worldwide sales have now topped over 2 million copies. Its second game, “Fable” for Xbox, has only recently gone on sale but sales are already approaching the one million mark. Through its unique satellite scheme the company currently has four other products currently under development

About Xbox
Xbox (http://www.xbox.com) is the video game system from Microsoft that brings people together for the most exhilarating game and entertainment experiences. Xbox delivers an expansive collection of breakthrough games, powerful hardware and the unified Xbox Live online service. The new tagline, “it’s good to play together,” captures the spirit of Xbox as the social hub of the new digital entertainment lifestyle. Xbox is now available in Europe for an estimated street price of €149.99/£99.99.

About Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

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[1] Leisure software reports © ELSPA compiled by Chart-Track’
[2] Estimate based on GfK data
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