Fable 4 is officially in development, though it’s just called Fable for now. It was revealed back in 2020, alongside a brief, albeit admittedly exciting trailer. It was more of a tone-piece rather than anything close to a full reveal trailer, showing a fairy flying around before being eaten by a toad.
Fable will mark “a new beginning for a legendary franchise” when it releases, with developer Playground Games (the studio behind Forza Horizon) looking to put its own stamp on the beloved series. It’s likely to be very different to what we’ve seen from the series in the past, with modern visuals and a rumored open-world structure.
It’s clear that whatever Fable 4 is at this point, it’s likely to benefit massively from the expertise of the team at Playground games. The team are world-leaders in environmental design, with weather effects in games like Forza Horizon 5 being genuinely breathtaking at times.
Fans are certainly eager to see what the developer has in store for the fantasy RPG, as it’s been 12 years since a mainline Fable game was last released. Here’s everything we know so far.
Fable 4: cut to the chase
- What is it? The fourth installment in the mainline Fable franchise
- When can I play it? There’s no release date yet but don’t expect it soon
- What can I play it on? TBC, but it’s an Xbox exclusive
Fable 4 release date and platforms
No release date or release window has been set for Fable 4 yet. The earliest we’d expect it is late 2023, though 2024 is more likely.
At the very least, Phil Spencer hinted during an IGN podcast (opens in new tab) that we’ll get it before The Elder Scrolls 6, though that game doesn’t have a release date yet either and isn’t expected to land until sometime after Starfield’s release (which has since been delayed to 2023). That’s backed up by the June 2022 Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase focusing on games launching “in the next twelve months,” and Fable wasn’t present.
We do, however, know the platforms we can expect Fable 4 to land on. As an Xbox exclusive, Fable 4 will release for Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and PC, where it’ll be available on Xbox Game Pass from day one. It’s unknown if it’ll arrive on Xbox One consoles, but we’re not holding out hope as Microsoft hasn’t confirmed anything.
Fable 4 trailer
World premiere trailer
Right now, only one Fable trailer has been released: the world premiere announcement trailer.
The trailer doesn’t reveal a whole lot, but does suggest that the game could be set well before the later entries in the series as we don’t get as much of a sense of a Victorian-style industrial revolution as we did in Fable 3’s setting. Instead, it appears that Fable 4 will have a medieval fantasy setting perhaps more like the original game, with the trailer showing a sword, fairies, overgrown toadstools and greedy toads.
Check it out below:
Fable 4 news and rumors
Xbox boss explains lack of news
Development is still underway on Fable 4 but after the game didn’t make any appearances during the Xbox showcases at both Summer Game Fest and Gamescom 2022 fans have been wondering when they’ll hear more.
Head of Xbox Game Studios, Matt Booty, acknowledged the lack of news during an interview at PAX West 2022 (opens in new tab) but explained that the game will only be shown when developer Playground Games is ready to show it.
“Every time I see something, I say ‘We should show this’… because there’s a lot of cool stuff,” said Booty. “The team has made it very clear that I’m not going to be able to show anything until it’s ready.”
Booty went on to express support for Playground Games, saying that while choosing the studio predominantly known for Forza Horizon to work on Fable 4 might seem like “a little bit of a head scratcher”, they “get it” and he’s “excited for when the time comes to be able to show more.”
In development for at least 4 years
Fable 4 has been in development for longer than you might have expected. In a tweet back in November 2021, a developer at Playground Games who is working on the game celebrated “four years of working on Fable”.
That means the game’s been in development for at least four years now and that development possibly started just a year after series creator, Lionhead Studios, was closed. Though we don’t know a huge amount about Fable at the moment, the idea that it’s been in the works for multiple years gives us some hope that we could learn more in the near future.
4 years of working on Fable at @WeArePlayground. So excited for this game. pic.twitter.com/KO099HnYSdNovember 5, 2021
Fable 4’s combat could feel like The Witcher
A developer from CD Projekt RED (The Witcher series, Cyberpunk 2077) will be working on the game’s combat system. As reported by PCGamesN (opens in new tab), gameplay designer Paweł Kapała is heading up the combat at Fable developer Playground Games, with his LinkedIn page confirming the role entails “designing and implementing combat in Fable.”
In our opinion, the kind of sword-and-spells combat of The Witcher 3, one of the bestselling video games of all time, would be a perfect template for a Fable game, especially given how similar some of the in-game spells are.
Take confidence in Playground Games, says Phil Spencer
Fable 4 is being created by Playground Games, the studio perhaps best known for its work on the Forza Horizon series but Phil Spencer wants fans to have confidence in the studio. Speaking on the Dropped Frames podcast in June 2021(via VGC (opens in new tab)), Spencer said:
“The only thing I can really say about Fable is, seeing the pedigree of the team and Playground, and where they set the bar for themselves in building a game—I think that showed with the Forza Horizon 5 preview that they had—I think people should just take confidence in that [studio director] Gavin [Raeburn] and the team there have that same level of focus on doing something amazing with an IP that we know is really important to a lot of Xbox fans, so we can’t wait to get to show more, but the team is just amazing.”
Forza Horizon 5’s weather system bodes well for Fable 4
Forza Horizon 5 has the series’ most dynamic and impressive weather system yet and, given developer Playground Games is also working on Fable 4, we’re pretty excited about how this technology could translate to an open-world Albion. We think that by implementing those dynamic weather systems into the new Fable, Playground Games has the opportunity to give the new Fable its own stamp which neither previous developer Lionhead, or many other RPG developers, have been able to before. The idea of an Albion where each region has its own seasonal weather is an exciting one—it could reflect the passing of time more effectively and genuinely improve immersion and uniqueness to each part of the game’s map.
It could be years away
As far as we can tell, Fable 4 is still in the early stages of development and it could be a while before we get the chance to play it. In fact, speaking on a VGC Off the Record podcast (opens in new tab) in April 2021 , industry reporter and head of GamesIndustry.biz Chris Dring said that (at that time) the game’s release, along with other announced Xbox exclusives, could be many years down the line.
Based on conversations he’s had with employees at Xbox Game Studios, Dring said, “Those games that they announced – Everwild, Perfect Dark, Fable – are so far away. As in, there might even be a new Xbox (a mid-tier upgrade) by the time those games come out.
They are so far away, and no wonder Xbox is looking at investing and signing certain products at the minute, because they don’t have a lineup of big exclusives at all.”
Fable is set to use ForzaTech engine
According to a previous job listing (opens in new tab), which was for a Software Engineer at Turn10 Studios, Fable will be built using the ForzaTech engine, which powers the Forza Motorsport and Forza Horizon games. The listing states that the team is looking for a candidate who can enrich “the toolset to support an open-world action RPG – Fable” and also add new features like “ray tracing to support the next console generation”.
Lead writer confirmed
Anna Megill, the senior writer and narrative lead at Remedy Entertainment during the development of Control, is joining Playground Games as the lead writer for Fable.
Megill announced on Twitter (opens in new tab) in December 2020 that she was leaving her current role at Ubisoft’s Massive Entertainment to join Playground Games.
The team behind the game
Shortly after Fable itself was revealed, we got some insight into the impressive team that’s working on the game thanks to VGC (opens in new tab). We now know that there are a host of veteran game designers working on the Fable reboot, including the lead quest designer for the Borderlands series, a level designer for GTA V and GTA Online, and a whole load of writers who worked on Batman: Arkham Knight.
There have been rumors that Fable will go down the route of being an MMO but the experience of those working on the project certainly suggests it’s going to take a more open-world RPG approach, perhaps with an online multiplayer component. That said, we can’t really be sure until Playground Games and Microsoft reveal some more official details.
That wild pre-announcement rumor
Before Fable 4 was even announced to the world, there was a 2019 video leak that claimed to give insight into the game’s setting and story. The video disappeared from the internet but a Reddit thread with what it described remained and some of the details sound pretty wild. We’re talking “Albion and Aurora destroyed by an asteroid, a new continent with time and interplanetary travel” wild.
Although it sounds pretty out there, it would create the opportunity for a setting reset for the Fable series, making it easier to take the series back to its medieval fantasy roots with some extremely different elements to still make it feel fresh. In the game’s reveal trailer, brief as it was, we didn’t get any obvious sense that the new game will be more advanced in time than Fable 3’s Industrial Revolution setting.
Of course, this is a leak from an unverified source so until Playground Games or Microsoft start revealing solid details about Fable 4, we’d say take it with a big pinch of salt. You can read the full leak in the tweet below.
Rumor: first Fable IV details have been leaked (includes story details as well)https://t.co/RLWgpy0S9r pic.twitter.com/V6W74TDLV9June 4, 2019
Fable 4 is likely an open-world game
In January 2018, Eurogamer said that according to sources close to the project, a brand new high-budget Fable game was in the works. Now, we know that to be true.
This news came less than two years after the closure of Lionhead Studios, and the report correctly stated that Playground Games, best known for its work on the Forza Horizon series, will be the new developers for the series.
Eurogamer’s sources said that a team of more than 200 will be working on Fable from the team’s new offices in Leamington Spa, though development was still in the very early stages.
Just what kind of Fable might Playground be working on? Well, the report said that the game is planned to be an open-world action RPG with a focus on character and story. That certainly tallies with everything we saw in the reveal trailer, with the final shot showing off a big world that looks ripe for exploration.
It would also make sense that Playground would bring its open world expertise from Forza Horizon into a game like this. Either way, we can’t wait to see what it’s come up with. Fable has been dormant for far too long.