When is the Fable 4 release date? It looks like Lionhead’s fantasy RPG is real and coming to PC, so it’s the first thing that comes to our mind. If that’s true, though, it’ll arrive against the unlikeliest of backdrops, with its original creators scattered to the four winds, and the series mostly dormant for the best part of a decade. Not to mention the spotty history of platform choice which meant that the series’ finest hour, Fable II, never left the Xbox. But thanks to the efforts of a new developer and Microsoft’s new policy of releasing first-party exclusives on Windows 10, we’re now confident that chicken chasing is back on the schedule.
There’s still a lot we don’t know about Fable 4, but we’ve got enough to start working out what form it’ll take. In the absence of an official announcement, we’re leaning on plenty of rumour and some of the sleuthing we’ve done ourselves into job listings.
Join us while we dig through the details, discuss what’s likely, and gush openly about what would be wonderful to see in Fable 4.
Hey, we didn’t think we’d ever see this one happen. We’re enjoying it.
Fable 4 release date
An announcement would mark the first formal acknowledgement of Fable 4 from Microsoft, which means no release date is currently forthcoming. The information we do have on the team we believe to be working on the game, however, suggests it’s still early in development – so don’t pack for Albion just yet.
Fable 4 E3 2020
We may, however, learn about the next Fable game and its release date at E3 2020. In a recent interview with Eurogamer, head of Microsoft Game Studios Matt Booty teases that he would love Fable fans to be around for next year’s expo: “A lot of great stuff [is] waiting in the wings for next year. Hope to have you back in a year.”
Microsoft held their usual showcase, unveiling a swathe of games their various studios have been working on. At E3 2018, Xbox revealed that it acquired developers such as State of Decay creator Undead Labs and Ninja Theory, which showed off its new multiplayer game Bleeding Edge at this year’s E3 2019.
“We need to pause and give some recognition to the studios which, less than a year after we did the acquisition, we’re already seeing things on our stage,” Booty says. “Equally, I’m excited for the things waiting in the wings. We have a lot of stuff we did not show. Stuff which, as you say, will be coming online as we get further into this.
“We have 14 games here from Xbox Game Studios but we’re not emptying the tank, getting everything we’ve got and just throwing it on stage.”
It’s quite the tease, though it does read that something Fable related is coming from one of Microsoft’s studios. To further fuel our excitement, Microsoft’s official streaming service Mixer lists Fable IV in its database of games – which must have been done by someone at Microsoft, as users can’t add new games themselves.
Fable 4 rumours
We’ve got the name of a new developer. Lionhead might have been sadly beheaded just a couple of years ago, but reliable leaker Klobrille says that a different UK studio is working on a Fable sequel. Eurogamer, meanwhile, have sources who go one further, claiming the Leamington Spa-based Playground Games is behind Fable 4. That also being the same Playground Games which Microsoft revealed it snapped up at E3 2018.
Playground is responsible for Forza Horizon, so have plenty of open-world expertise in-house. None at all with RPGs, of course, but they did open a new studio last year to work on an “open-world action RPG”, according to Gamesindustry.biz. Among their new hires are veterans of Kojima Productions and Rockstar North, which sounds like a potent mix for any open world Fable. Playground have since posted several new job adverts on ArtStation in March 2020 – they’re looking for artists for ‘an unannounced open-world action RPG’. Sound familiar?
Fable 4 gameplay
Skyrim. Dragon Age: Inquisition. The Witcher 3. That’s just a shortlist of the open-world RPGs that have come out since Fable III. The genre has transformed, and in many ways surpassed anything Lionhead ever built. Fable 4 would need to take new strides to catch up to the reactivity of CD Projekt or the palpable atmosphere of Bethesda. That’s not really optional: new standards have been set.
There’s also an opportunity, however. In chasing after the depth and detail of Skyrim, open-world games have started to become more ponderous and less focused. Even Far Cry 5 has side quests and fishing. But Fable II stood out because it offered the fantasy of setting out on an adventure, trekking over rolling hills, defeating a band of hobbes in a mine, and then returning to town all within about 20 minutes. If Fable 4 can boil down the thrills of contemporary RPGs in a more accessible form, it could repeat the sale successes of its predecessors – especially if it can do so in co-op.
What’s more, Fable 4 gets to be something very few RPGs are: genuinely funny. Pillars of Eternity II might take place on the water, but the best you’ll get from it are extremely dry jokes. Fable is willing to mess about with chickens, farts, and playground insults. It’s time for Playground Games to earn their name.
Read more: some of the best PC RPGs to help you bide your time
And there you have it, everything we know about the Fable 4 release date, which developer may be at the helm in Lionhead’s absence, and some idle speculation as to what the gameplay may be like. All we can do, sadly, is wait – but if we find anything else out we’ll be sure to fling it in here.