Is the idea of another Fable game pure fantasy at this point? It certainly seems like that’s the case. In early 2016 Microsoft cancelled the Xbox One title Fable Legends and shuttered Lionhead Studios, the acclaimed developer behind Fable and Black & White. Most people took that as a pretty clear message, but, apparently, Microsoft still holds out hope for the Fable series.
Recently, a fan on twitter asked Xbox boss Phil Spencer if a Fable 4 could ever happen, and he gave a surprisingly upbeat response…
@dragen_Light Nothing to announce right now but I do think the IP has a lot of places it could go.— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) April 30, 2017
Well, Spencer isn’t wrong – Fable certainly could go a lot of places, but it seems unlikely with Microsoft no longer having any studios that know how to make RPGs as part of their stable. Crazy thought here, but if Microsoft still saw potential in Fable, maybe they shouldn’t have shut down Lionhead?
Whatever Microsoft is doing with Fable, it doesn’t seem like series creator Peter Molyneux is involved. In a recent interview he stated he also wants Fable 4, but didn’t give any indication he’s making it.
“If I could whiz back in a time machine and make sure Lionhead wouldn't close, how I'd do it is say, 'Right, you guys work on Fable 4' rather than Fable Legends.
At the end of the day, whether you're an internal first-party studio or an external third-party studio, you've got to look at the bottom line. But as free-to-play has evolved, we've realized it actually can only be applied to a certain type of game. And that certain type of game certainly isn't Fable."
Hopefully Microsoft gets their in-house developers in order, and we do start to see series like Fable return, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. I have a feeling things are going to get worse before they get better.