A new Fable game is in the works at Forza Horizon developer Playground Games, according to a new report. Eurogamer‘s sources say the new title will be a “story and character-focused open-world action RPG,” as opposed to a spin-off such as the multiplayer-centric Fable Legends or motion-controlled Fable: The Journey.
The game is apparently still in the early stages of development at Playground’s newly-opened second studio. The company has previously confirmed that it’s working on a non-racing open-world game, codenamed Project 2, but until now we had no idea what that might be. GameSpot has contacted Microsoft for comment on the reports.
Regarding the rumors, Fable co-creator Simon Carter told Eurogamer he has “slightly mixed feelings.” He continued: “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 was created in 2004 by Peter Molyneux’s company, Lionhead, and its sister company Big Blue Box. Each further game in the main series was made by Lionhead until Microsoft closed the developer down in 2016, canceling Fable Legends in the process. Fable has been dormant since, though Microsoft still retains the rights to the series and is therefore free to task other developers with making new entries. Eurogamer’s report states Microsoft’s desire to revive Fable was in part inspired by Sony’s Horizon Zero Dawn and its critical and commercial success.
Playground’s last game was 2016’s Forza Horizon 3. The company has released a new Forza Horizon title every two years since 2012, and that pattern would suggest a fourth entry in the spin-off series would be due this year. A second team could allow for the development of both a new Forza Horizon title and a new Fable game concurrently, however as yet the company has not officially confirmed either title. The studio’s founder, Ralph Fulton, has said Playground would not be abandoning racing games altogether.
“Our business with Forza over the last six, seven years has been great for us,” he said in February 2017. “It remains the cornerstone of our business–we’re not running away from racing, we still feel passionate about making new racing games and delivering new experiences for our players.
“Horizon 3 was a watershed game for us–it’s certainly our best-reviewed game critically, it’s our most commercially successful game as well. It’s the first time we’ve experienced that commercial breakout hit phenomenon–the other games have been successful but not on the level of this one. We want to keep doing that. In a way, that game took six years to make. So we want to keep developing that skillset and pushing new boundaries.”