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At the moment the Fable series is on hiatus. The game was supposed to receive a MOBA-style entry in the form of Fable Legends but Microsoft ended up pulling the plug on the project. Well, Xbox head honcho Phil Spencer thinks that there might still be a future for the franchise on Microsoft's home console.
Over on Twitter, answering some questions from the Xbox loyalists, someone posed a hefty one on Spencer's plate in the form of asking if there would ever be a Fable 4. Spencer mentions that they may not have anything to announce right now but the Fable intellectual property has a lot of places that it could possibly go.
He's not wrong. There's a lot of possibilities for the game and a lot of different directions they could take. Even the original creator, Peter Molyneux, expressed interest in working on a Fable 4.
When Peter Molyneux and Lionhead Studios introduced Fable back in 2004, it was a breakthrough game with a heck of a lot of potential. The combat was airy, the art-style was fantastical and the world was unique compared to other games out there.
One of the big selling points was that the game centered around the choices the player could make in how their character developed, whether that was into a hero of the town or the villain of the village.
Fable was a bit like the BioWare games of old but a lot more emergent. NPCs would react to your decisions and you could very well complete missions in sometimes unorthodox ways; you could steal from one person to give to someone else. You could kill NPCs and take their goods instead of escorting them from one place to another. You could break into homes and ravage the place and maybe even kill the inhabitants and claim it for yourself.
The game had some interesting dynamics that let players experiment with how they played. Unfortunately as the series progressed it sort of became pigeonholed into a typical fantasy-RPG design that felt less intuitive and emergent as the original, and then eventually -- after Fable 3 -- Microsoft ended up shelving the franchise.
They later tried to revive the IP in the form of the multiplayer battle game, Fable Legends, following the release of the Kinect exclusive Fable: The Journey and the XBLA title Fable Heroes. However, a lack of innovation and the retread of content and gameplay already present in many other titles ended up seeing Fable fade by the wayside.
Further down in the Twitter thread some gamers are hoping that Microsoft will make a big announcement at E3 this year and announce that Fable will be coming next year in 2018. Personally? I think it still needs more time in the oven.
Fable Legends was just cancelled early last year in February of 2016. Announcing a revival of the series so soon after the cancellation of the MOBA game seems imprudent. Hopefully they focus on new IPs at this year's E3 and maybe next year they can announce a new Fable for a 2019 release... hopefully.