Fable, a Peter Molyneux’s creation that made its debut in 2004 on the original Xbox console. The game was well received though highly criticized in some circles because in true Molyneux fashion, some of the promised groundbreaking features did not make it to the final game.
The action RPG series would produce two sequels under Lionhead studios, which were exclusively made for the Xbox 360 (Fable 2 being one the best action RPG’s yours truly has played). The franchise did not make an appearance during the Xbox One’s entire lifecycle.
The disbandment (shut down) of Lionhead Studios was partly responsible for the franchise’s disappearance, and it put Xbox One’s exclusive catalog at a further disadvantage to Sony’s. Sony debuted its now 10+ million selling Open World Action RPG Horizon Zero Dawn to rave reviews, and Microsoft’s didn’t really have answer for it (or Nintendo’s Breath of the Wild).
As a Fable Fan, I, myself wondered, why Microsoft would abandon the one franchise in their exclusive line-up that had the potential for a wonderful open world gaming experience. A 2019 leak kindled the hope that game would be made for the Series X, but “Fable 4” has been absent in every Microsoft game reveal to this point.
The big question in our minds is whether game will see a reveal trailer on Microsoft upcoming Xbox Series X event in July. Coming from Sony’s ‘exclusive filled’ event, there is a growing perception that Microsoft needs a bit more than just Halo Infinite and New Forza (as exclusive AAA franchises) to combat the PS5 hype, and Fable 4 reveal would go a long way in helping it accomplish just that.
Why we can Hope
Reputable Eurogamer.com sources revealed early in the year that the game was in development under one of Microsoft’s top studios, a studio with vast open world experience: Playground. Playground is perhaps Microsoft’s best first party studio right now, as Forza Horizon 4 remains the Highest Metacritic Rated First Party Xbox One game around. So, it should be comforting that they are the ones tasked with bringing the series back from its hiatus.
Though understandably some former Lionhead members feel a bit bitter- sweet about the turn of events (the shutting down of their studio and the project being taken out of their hands),
“I have slightly mixed feelings. 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. 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.”- Fable co-creator Simon Carter
And so, we keep our fingers crossed for a Microsoft reveal of the game in their upcoming July presentation. Playground has become Microsoft’s most reliable studio, and I am sure whatever they have come up with for Fable 4 (which remains under development) will be mind-blowing if the Forza Horizon Series is any indication of the studio’s capabilities. Microsoft needs an alternative to The Legend of Zelda, and Horizon Forbidden West, Fable 4 would fit that bill perfectly.