The rumor about a new Fable game just got a little more serious, thanks to a recent comment by a former Lionhead employee.
Don Williamson, who was a lead engine programmer at Lionhead and worked on Fable II and Fable III, recently tweeted (and then deleted said tweet) that “having no inside information, I totally know who’s building Fable 4 now. Interesting choice…”
When asked to clarify if the studio was based in Brighton, England, where Williamson is located, Williamson responded that “there’s nobody here in Brighton that could take on a task of that magnitude.”
That eliminated Electric Square, a smaller studio in Brighton that is confirmed to be working on a game for Microsoft. One of the only other U.K. studios working on a game for Microsoft that isn’t located in Brighton is Playground Games, best known for the Forza Horzion series.
So is Playground Games taking over the Fable franchise? It might seem ridiculous at first, considering the studio is best known for racing games. But a quick perusal of its career page shows a slew of listings for programmers and artists to work on Playground’s “our brand new open world action / RPG development team.”
Even if Playground Games is working on Fable 4, the project sounds like it’s still in the very early stages of development. A listing for senior game designer notes that they’d “join the team and the project at an early stage, giving you the rare opportunity to shape the future of an exciting, large-scale open world action / RPG AAA title from the outset.” Even if it’s still a ways out, “shaping the future” makes it sound even more like Fable, or at least a preexisting RPG franchise.
Microsoft is clearly interested in continuing the Fable franchise. Heck, one of the main reasons it shut down Lionhead in the first place was because it couldn’t find a buyer for the studio who didn’t also want the rights to the series. But when will there be an announcement? Some are speculating about an E3 2018 reveal for Fable 4, but after announcing Crackdown 3 much earlier than it should have, Xbox might keep this one a little closer to the chest before getting fans excited about a proper return to Albion.