Fable 4 is Happening…Maybe?

Last week the rumor mill churned out a new one: Microsoft, owner of the (overly)touted but beloved (by me, sometimes) franchise Fable, may have tapped Playground Games for a new entry into the RPG series. The UK-based game studio is responsible for the highly successfully Forza Horizon series of racing games. It seems that Playground Games is or has been planning to considerably ramp up its team to take on the challenge of “Fable 4.” This news comes at something of a surprise considering that Microsoft only just canned Lionhead Studios in early 2016, shutting down Fable Legends in the process. Perhaps inspired by the success of Horizon: Zero Dawn, should Fable 4 come to pass, it would apparently be an open-world, action RPG, complete with a hero in the world of Albion, I should think. But who knows? I’m not making the game, so I sure don’t. And Microsoft itself is remaining tight-lipped about the whole thing.

In principle, I’m jumping up and down at prospect of a new Fable game. For better or worse, this was the series that introduced me to RPGs generally and led me into the world of non-Nintendo gaming just over a decade ago. In practice, I’m wary, primarily because of the mish-mosh that was Fable 3, but I’m also okay with a different kind of Fable from a different game studio. At least, I hope that if we do get a new Fable game, it’s something new. Something that maintains Fable’s essence as an enjoyable RPG, while representing a departure from Peter Molyneux’s visions of grandeur.

Granted, “enjoyable” is a relative term here, as nearly everyone I know who’s played at least one game in the series has his or her own notions of what’s fun in the game and what isn’t.  Having recently replayed Fable and Fable 2, I was reminded at just how nice it can be to play and simple, and silly, game. I don’t have Fable 3 at my disposal anymore (though I might have to rectify that…), but I certainly do recall that not only did it not bring anything new to the table, but it also mucked up all that simple silliness in some confounding ways. Considering Playground Games’ track record – literally, as its history is steeped in racing games – I’m intrigued by the possibilities of what they could bring to the Fable-verse. For one, I hope that they at least keep the chickens. Just not the chicken suit.

(Article source: Eurogamer)

Are you excited or dulled at the notion of a new Fable game? What things would you hope to see in its revival?

Lede image by Flickr user Scott Vandehey (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

9 Comments Add yours

  1. “Perhaps inspired by the success of Horizon: Zero Dawn…”

    I think this is why right here! For whatever reason Microsoft don’t have the same level of first- or second-party support they used to on the Xbox. Fable was one of its well-regarded franchises, so why it closed Lionhead two years ago, and just now decided to do another Fable, speaks to its sudden realization that Sony has taken the lead in terms of exclusive games.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. cary says:

      Ah, good point there! I can’t imagine, though, that the Fable name is still strong enough to manage with exclusivity. I mean, if this comes to pass, Microsoft and Playground are *really* going to have to hit a home run. Anything less just won’t cut it. I am, as they say, cautiously optimistic. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hatm0nster says:

    Hard to get excited for Fable these days. Series has been on a downward trend since the original, and this is coming from someone who really liked Fable 2 back in the day. Still, maybe bringing in some fresh minds will enable this series to finally realize some of its latent potential.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. cary says:

      That’s a good way to look at things. Maybe getting some new eyes on things will help turn the series back around to what it was originally – a basic but solid and charming RPG. I agree that there’s no reason to set off fireworks just yet. This is definitely a case of “wait and see.”

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Kim says:

    I’ll be there waiting with money in hand if this does actually happen. I loved the Fable games (we don’t talk about number 3) and it’ll be interesting to see what influences a new studio and titles like Horizon bring to it. I just hope they don’t lose what made it so special…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. cary says:

      Yes! And see, that’s just it. I know that tend to go on about Fable as a “simple” RPG, but that’s what sets it apart from bigger, and all too often blander games. Goofy mechanics aside, its straightforward approach to adventuring and storytelling is what makes Fable *Fable.* If they chose to make this new game anything but…well…I guess we’ll always have Fable and Fable 2.


      1. Kim says:

        That’s what I liked so much about Fable: it was more about the fun of playing than strict RPG mechanics! I hope Playground Games do us proud…

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I reckon, if the rumours are true, this is a really good move by Microsoft. For all its foibles Fable is a well-loved series and there was a lot of gnashing of teeth when they closed Lionhead right before the release of that Fable multiplayer game. Fable Legends? Something like that. This’d earn a lot of instant good will, like it did with the Age of Empires 4 announcement (am I noticing a trend there?)

    What I’m most interested in seeing is how Playgrounds would do with a completely different genre than they’re used to. I’m usually leary about passing beloved franchises to random studios. Often seems to just be a publisher trying to falsify pedigree (remember when EA got one of the Bioware studios making a Command & Conquer: Generals sequel?) But I’m willing to give Microsoft and Playgrounds the benefit of the doubt.

    As long as they don’t go all Peter Molyneux on us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. cary says:

      Totally. Please just give us an enjoyable RPG set in an interesting world, populated with interesting characters. No BS. No overhype. Just a solid fantasy, action-adventure game. I hope it’s not too much to ask. Given Playground’s work on what it knows best, I don’t necessarily worry that whatever they give us will be automatically “bad,” I just wonder what it might look like. Oh, to be a fly on the wall there. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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