We haven't heard from Peter Molyneux in a while. The creative game designer has been laying low after a few missteps with some projects at his new studio 22Cans. But now Molyneux is back, and this time he's talking about Fable 4.
Games Radar posted up the interview from OXM where Molyneux talked about his career, his time in the limelight, and the franchise that really defined how gamers saw Molyneux over the last 15 years: Fable. On the question of whether or not we could get a new Fable game, Molyneux had this to say,
The question about Fable was right there at the end of the interview, so we couldn't find out whether or not there are any efforts being put in by Molyneux or the time to get back into the good graces of Microsoft in order to make another game.
The last title that was in the works was Fable Legends, which was supposed to be a sort of hybrid, third-person MOBA hack-and-slash, multiplayer game. Things didn't really turn out so well for Lionhead Studios, who were working on the game before Microsoft pulled the plug.
They didn't really explain why things didn't work out with Fable Legends, but for the most part the community at large just didn't seem very interested. A lot of it may have been due to the fact that there were already lots of other MOBAs out there, and Fable as a brand seemed to be losing its identity.
Originally the series was known for its odd and uninhibited interactions within a sandbox-style world. It wasn't quite like GTA or True Crime or Saints Row, where there was just a giant city with cops to lay turmoil upon and citizens to run over and kill at leisure. Fable tried targeting a more grounded system of interactions with NPCs. You could talk and chat various NPCs up who had quests or goals for you, and simply walking around and exploring the town(s) opened up various activities for you to do. It was a series that was about rewarding players for interacting with the world, rather than throwing them into a sandbox where it only seems like you're being rewarded when you destroy the world.
After the lukewarm reception of Fable 3, the series tapered off and headed in the direction of Fable Legends, Microsoft and Lionhead Studios' attempt at reinvigorating the brand with something different. Things didn't quite work out and Microsoft cancelled the project while alpha testing was still taking place.
If a Fable 4 ever did happen it would likely need to head back to the roots of what made the brand popular in the first place and give gamers something more grounded in unique sandbox interactions as opposed to trying to mimic games like League of Legends or Heroes of the Storm.
Microsoft still has the rights to the property, so they're likely waiting and biding their time for the right moment to reintroduce the gaming community to the Fable brand. Maybe if Molyneux can regroup the original team it might not be outside the realm of possibility of seeing him and the rest of the group having a go at the next Fable title.