Microsoft is bringing Fable back, a Eurogamer report confirmed this morning. We're not talking about another spin-off card game, or a safe, low-budget mobile venture. No, this is going to be the AAA Fable revival that (hopefully) fans have been waiting years to see.
You may remember a report we ran a while back about the future of Fable, and which Microsoft team might possibly be responsible for bringing the series back from its untimely grave. We speculated that Playground Games, the developers of the Forza Horizon series, could be behind the project, though at the time we had no evidence to support that hypothesis -- it was simply widely-spread guesswork. Eurogamer is claiming in its report that the newly expanded Playground is in fact developing the next Fable, and that it's putting together a sizable team for the project.
So what will the new game be like? It will be a while before we know for sure. Eurogamer's sources are reporting that it will be a character-focused, open-world action RPG. So, basically, it's going to be a Fable game. Whether or not it will attempt to tie into the world events or story of Fable 3 is unknown, but we feel that it is unlikely given the entirely new studio and the timeline projected. We're looking at a pretty blank slate, here.
The news came as a bit of a sting to Fable co-creator Simon Carter. The ink is still metaphorically drying on the paperwork that led to Lionhead's closure, and news of another studio taking over the Fable IP is bittersweet.
"I have slightly mixed feelings," he 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. 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."
Very classy, and we can quite understand how strange it must feel to congratulate another team on acquiring something you were so intimately and creatively tied into for so long. Fable does have a wholly unique charm and quirkiness to it which set it apart from all other RPGs, and it's not something we expect will be replicated. Playground will have to make its own signature mark on the Fable universe, and we hope with the utmost sincerity that it will do the original team proud.
The new Fable game is still very, very early in development, so you can expect to play this one in a couple of years. Stay tuned for more information; we'll be following this project closely.