As a staple franchise for the Xbox brand, Fable has earned millions of fans over the years. From its beginnings at Lionhead Studios to the canceled Fable Legends in 2016, the series has experienced some of the highest highs and lowest lows. Despite the lack of a standout title for many years, Fable diehards have been eagerly anticipating a new game in the series. Microsoft tossed these folks a bone last year when the formally announced development on a franchise revival from developed Playground Games. Many expected to get a closer look at the project during E3 2021, but Fable failed to make an appearance.
Where was Fable at E3 2021?
There have been rumors within the gaming industry for years that Microsoft had been working on reviving the Fable franchise under developer Playground Games. Playground gained notoriety for its work on the Forza Horizon series and the studio was officially acquired by Microsoft in 2018. There have been multiple reports of studio expansion which further field rumors that the team was up to more than just racing.
We reported back in the summer of 2018 that Playground was assembling talent from Bioware and Ninja Theory. The move would make a lot of sense if work needed to be done on a new RPG project. Most of the rumors were then confirmed last summer when the Fable revival trailer closed out the Xbox Summer Games Showcase.
Based on the various projects shown during the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase on June 13, it would seem that Microsoft has chosen to keep a focus on projects planned for release in 2021 and 2022. Presumably, projects like Fable are angling for a 2023 launch and can afford some time away from the spotlight while under construction. Similar games that were unveiled last year received the same treatment, such as Perfect Dark, Avowed, Everwild, and Hellblade 2.
Playground Games did show up for E3 2021 with the reveal of Forza Horizon 5 and it was confirmed that the racing title will see a release in November of this year. It is not unreasonable to think that the studio would abstain from launching two major titles in the same release window or even year, so Fable’s absence does make sense from a logistical perspective.
We will continue to monitor the situation and report on any new developments. It is possible that Microsoft will schedule an event later this year to tease some information for the Fable franchise, so keep your eyes out.