It's a hard life being a Fable fan. The hit series released over the course of the 2000s, providing Xbox gamers with an awesome RPG exclusive that still marks one of their strongest classics to date. The series had 3 mainline entries alongside several spinoffs, but it's been nearly a decade since the last main game. This is due to the fate of its developers at Lionhead Studios. The group closed down in 2016, resulting in a canceled title and putting the series in limbo. Naturally, that hasn't stopped recent rumors regarding a Fable IV. These rumors began as far back as 2018, with very suspicious hinting from Xbox head Phil Spencer. Now, the rumor mill is active yet again following a few weird, recent moves from Microsoft online. Let's see if there's more than meets the eye.


It all started with Twitter, as it usually does. Series fans quickly took notice of a placeholder Twitter account made for a new Fable game, though Xbox Games Marketing's Aaron Greenberg shot down speculation by stating it was simply a way to "secure social handles" for their IP. Despite his insistence that said account has been inactive for years, it was only just recently created this past year. To make things even weirder, Microsoft recently applied to renew the Fable trademark just the other day. While this wouldn't be suspicious by itself, as companies have to renew their trademarks every now and again, the strange bit comes from the information listed for the renewal. Current Use for the Fable property is, of course, listed as 'No', but Intent To Use has been marked 'Yes'. Time to put on your tinfoil hats, everyone. Really, this could all just be a coincidence, but it's awfully suspect timing from Microsoft, especially when rumors of a fourth game have been growing so much this past month.

Word on the street is that the new game would be developed by Playground Games, best known for their development of the Forza Horizon series. Playground notably became a member of Microsoft's internal Xbox Game Studios in 2018, and revealed that same year that they're working on an unannounced open-world AAA RPG. We haven't heard anything or seen anything about this project since then, but you can see how all of this would point the finger at Fable. The series would need new hands after the closure of Lionhead, a closure that hit especially hard after the buzz surrounding Fable Legends. Legends was a co-op spinoff developed by Lionhead that got revealed properly during E3 2013, three years before the studio ended up shutting down. That didn't stop some former members from trying to Kickstart another Fable spinoff project soon after.


The good news is we might hear more about this soon. Microsoft is planning on holding the next part of their Xbox 20/20 event sometime this July. This next special will be a doozy, with the company unveiling their first-party games in development for Xbox Series X. It'll basically be the equivalent to Sony's recent PS5 showcase, in which they too showed off the games we could expect for their next-gen outing. Chances are likely that if something's going on with the Fable series, this will be where we see it happen (it likely would've been Microsoft's E3 conference before COVID happened). There's no set date for the event just yet, and it's July now, so hopefully, we'll hear more on it soon. Whether the rumors are true or not, one thing's for sure: Fable IV would be a tremendous incentive for gamers to consider grabbing an Xbox Series X.


Tanner is a freelance writer. He enjoys all things video games, particularly the weirder ones, and can often be found drinking coffee and trying to get through his backlog.

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