Reports that ambitious action-adventure franchise Fable is to receive a new entry gather pace, as two independent outlets publish corroborating stories.
One of the Xbox's biggest franchises appears to be on the comeback trail.
Brainchild of Peter Molyneux, the first three Fable games pushed at the boundaries of action role-playing adventures and boosted the Xbox and Xbox 360 by way of console exclusivity.
But the medieval king-making series, famed for its nuanced moral choices system, came to an ignominious end when 2010's Fable III was followed by Fable Coin Golf for Microsoft's doomed Windows Phone platform, then 2012's unappreciated motion-tracking experience Fable The Journey and lite-take Fable Heroes.
Multiplayer adventure Fable Legends was cancelled in 2016 and the franchise's studio, Lionhead, closed down.
None of these were what fans were longing for – another expansive epic in the land of Albion – but it looks like Microsoft has put "Fable" back on the table.
Speculation started when Playground Games, best known for open-world race car franchise Forza Horizon, opened a sizable new studio in 2017, plucked project leads from the highly rated Metal Gear Solid, Grand Theft Auto V, and Hellblade Senua's Sacrifice, and said it would get to work on an open-world action RPG.
The studio's continuing association with Forza owner Microsoft, and the deep pockets required by Playground's new offices and hiring drive, led to suspicion that the Xbox's back catalogue was being raided for a new Fable game.
That now appears to be increasingly likely, with console rival PlayStation having enjoyed considerable success with its own open-world action adventure Horizon Zero Dawn, which released in February 2017 – a few weeks after Playground started talking about opening new premises and a working on a new genre.
UK site Eurogamer reports that Playground is indeed working on a new Fable, while cautioning that the project is still in its early days.
And US site Kotaku backed up the claim, saying that it had heard the same thing from its sources.
Perhaps an official announcement will provide more clues as to how long fans – and Microsoft executives – will be waiting. — AFP Relaxnews