Spencer said the Milo
project was what he called "off-the-grid incubation," wherein a small group would splinter off to work on new ideas. "It's always one of the fears when some of the names become a little more public," Spencer admitted, "because then it's, 'What happened to that?'" In the case of Milo,
the project wasn't leaked to the press; instead, it was put on stage at E3 as a vision of what's possible with Kinect."
Did parts of Fable show up in Milo? Absolutely. Will parts of Milo show up in future Fables? I absolutely expect that they will.- MGS' Phil Spencer
"We felt like we wanted to put it on stage at E3 because it showed a unique use of Kinect," Spencer said. "We never talked about it as a retail game or as a game even. We did that deliberately. People don't believe us, or didn't believe us then, but we did that deliberately because we knew, 'Is this really going to come out as something called Milo?
I don't know.'" He did add that, while they may have been skeptical of Milo's
commercial potential early on, they were always confident that "the learning there will show up in projects" coming from Microsoft Game Studios. But what projects?
report claimed that the Milo
tech would be applied to a "Fable themed Kinect game." Spencer told us, "In the end, if it makes Fable
better, that's a win for us. That's great. Did parts of Fable
show up in Milo?
Absolutely. Will parts of Milo
show up in future Fables?
I absolutely expect that they will, and that's the kind of circular path that most of the creative teams go through." We're certain we'll see parts of Milo
in future Fables;
now, the question is whether or not those future Fables
include next month's Fable 3
The actual truth of the story is, we did experiment with a few prototypes for Fable. They were okay.- Peter Molyneux
With none of the proposed Fable 3 Kinect support
visible just weeks before launch, it's certainly possible that Lionhead has shifted its strategy to something standalone. "The actual truth of the story is, we did experiment with a few prototypes for Fable
. They were okay," Molyneux told us in Tokyo. "If we're going to do Fable
and we're going to do Kinect, and we love Fable
and we love Kinect, it would be great if there was something I could show you that would blow your socks off and that would be great to do. That is so much more appropriate than doing some minigame." He continued, "It would be better to think of Kinect as being a proper part of the game."
To that end, even with the rumored 19 contractor layoffs, the majority of the 50-person Project Milo team
is still hard at work at Lionhead. "The [Milo] team at Lionhead, under Gary Carr working for Peter, they're still there, yes [...] and they're working on technology. But I want to make sure what we're delivering a very understandable consumer proposition with what we're putting forward."
And the circle continues. Spencer said that Project Dimitri -- one of the publicly known "off-the-grid incubation" projects that we now know as Project Milo -- began life "before Fable 2,"
so it's anyone's guess where and when we'll see it turn up next.