Rumors have been swirling the past few weeks that a new Fable game was in development, with Playground Games supposedly taking the reins of the franchise from Lionhead after it was shuttered. Just last week an ex-Lionhead developer on Twitter stated that Microsoft made an “interested choice” in Fable’s new studio. Now a new report from Eurogamer indicates that Fable is indeed returning, and it will be helmed by Playground, the developer of the Forza Horizon series.
Sources close to the project have told Eurogamer that Microsoft tasked the UK developer with Fable’s future at its newly-established second office in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire. Unfortunately for those itching to get back into Albion, it appears that the game is still in early development. Playground is apparently staffing up the team from double digits to a triple digit target.
Playground has been working away at an unnamed open-world RPG, which was previously stated to be “entirely new.” However, recent job listings on Playground’s website have dropped the “entirely new” part and changed the wording to say “exciting, large-scale open world action / RPG AAA.”
Eurogamer spoke with ex-Lionhead staff about the rumored Fable 4 and how they felt about Playground reviving it while Lionhead was never given the chance after Fable Legends was shut down.
“I have slightly mixed feelings,” said Fable co-creator Simon Carter.
“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.”
Microsoft said in a statement it does not comment on rumor or speculation.