Fable II Won't Ship With Online Co-op

 September 26, 2008 - Fable II, scheduled to ship to retail stores on Oct. 21, will not include online co-op functionality right out of the box and will require a downloadable update afterward, according to a post on Microsoft's Gamerscore blog this afternoon.

Offline co-op will work on day one, but Lionhead and Microsoft Game Studios are still hammering out the kinks in the online co-op. According to the post, the game's developers are "looking to get the update out within the first week of launch in North America." As of today, there's no specific date set for the patch, and there's no word on when other regions might see the update.

Although you won't be able to join up with a friend right away online, the Gamerscore post says you'll "still see your friends as glowing orbs as well as chat and trade with them."

Fable II boasts an ambitious co-op mode that allows you and a friend to interact and affect one another's game worlds to a large degree. And although we've previewed the offline co-op, we haven't yet seen the online functionality in action.

We'll keep you posted as we hear more from Microsoft and Lionhead on the feature and when gamers can expect to see it.

Other info,

Lionhead Studios' Peter Molyneux has a reputation for promising features for his games that don't always make it into the final product that ships to retailers. Today in a post on GamerScoreBlog, Microsoft that confirmed that will happen once more with Fable II.

When Fable II arrives in stores, it will lack the online co-op multiplayer mode Molyneux touted at a 2008 Game Developers Conference presentation.. On the bright side, Microsoft is promising that the feature will be added in a downloadable update, possibly within the game's first week on North American shelves. For those who can't wait for a patch to adventure with friends, the game will include local co-op play out of the box.

However, the game won't be entirely offline when it ships. Players will see gamers on their friends list as glowing orbs in-game, and will be able to chat or trade with them! :)