Microsoft may be resurrecting Fable, according to rumors.
Anonymous sources speaking with Eurogamer say that Microsoft has decided to dust off one of their dead franchises to give it another shot. They’ve apparently tasked Playground Games, the makers of the successful Forza Horizon series, to create the latest “big-budget Fable game."
According to sources, the latest Fable is going to be just like every other Fable: a story-focused, character-filled, open-world action RPG. No word yet if it’ll be filled with big-name British actors like Fable III was, but if the budget is big enough anything is possible.
It’s somewhat of a surprise move from Microsoft considering they canned the franchise’s original developers, Lionhead Studios, back in in 2016. At the time the studio was hard at work making Fable Legends, a free-to-play MMORPG based in the same world. That game was canceled when the studio was closed and staff re-assigned to other divisions within Microsoft.
Now that Fable 4 is rumored to be in development, ex-Lionhead staff are a little miffed. "I have slightly mixed feelings," Fable co-creator Simon Carter told Eurogamer. “On the one hand it's great for the UK games industry, and very pleasing that Fable isn't dead; indeed, it will be lovely to play one as a punter, without coming out in hives.”
However, Carter has some criticism for Microsoft on who they picked to create the game. "On the other hand it is a little curious to get rid of the team that is uniquely expert in making Fable, and then try and make Fable. Fable is a weird game, and a tough one to deconstruct for a new team. That said, the team in question is very talented, and I'm sure they'll do a fantastic job."
Although Carter seems confident, others aren’t so sure. A quirky action RPG is a very different animal from a racing game, and so far, Playground hasn’t shown anything that would convince a random passerby that they’re capable of creating a Fable game.
Also, don’t expect Fable 4 anytime soon. Microsoft hasn’t confirmed any of the rumors, and Eurogamer’s source says the game is still very much in early development.