The underlying principle of the Fable games is freedom. "What we’re proud of more than anything is the ability of people to express themselves," says Atkins. "We’re enormously proud of the fact that game allows you to be gay, straight, whatever you want to be."
The introduction of an orphanage to allow same-sex couples (or players who prefer not to get married at all) to have a family is another significant change in Fable 3. Previously, gay or lesbian characters had to choose between getting married or having children — only opposite-sex couples could do both.
"More and more, there are same-sex couples choosing to have a family, and we just wanted to reflect that in Fable 3" Molyneux explains. "It’s a charming thing, having a baby, and we didn’t want to exclude gay people from that."
Unfortunately, the orphanage isn’t available until late in the game, and it’s a little hard to find — but at least it’s there.
Lionhead’s Peter Molyneux
The only inequality in the game’s relationships is that same-sex couples can’t have protected sex (opposite sex couples are given a choice between protected or unprotected sex). Atkins and Molyneux both told me this was a bug from Fable 2 that was transferred over to Fable 3 and didn’t get fixed before the game shipped. It should be fixed in the future, but in the meantime, at least gay and lesbian players don’t have to deal with accidental pregnancies.
All of this inclusiveness wouldn’t matter as much if Fable 3 wasn’t a good game. Fortunately, Lionhead delivers here, too; Fable 3 is by turns challenging, entertaining, and a lot of fun (read my new Fable 3 review here).
Throw in the improved multiplayer and customization options, and I predict Albion will soon be populated with virtual families of all kinds.
Just remember, an Albion marriage license isn’t valid in the real world. Except possibly in some parts of California. And Amsterdam.