With a new mainline Fable entry in the works after a decade-long hiatus, Microsoft looks to revive its weird world of fantasy and wonder. The once-staple franchise during the early years of Xbox, Fable returns reimagined through the lens of Forza Horizon developer, Playground Games. Our first look at Fable comes through a brief reveal trailer, setting the stage for its arrival over the years ahead. While details remain scarce, we've rounded up everything you need to know so far.
Latest Fable news
New Fable trailer shown at Xbox Game Showcase 2023
After years of little-to-know new information regarding Fable, we finally got a brand new trailer with in-game footage during the Xbox Game Showcase 2023. Here we're introduced to Dave, a vegetable enthusiast (played by Richard Ayoade of IT Crowd) who tells us that the time for heroes is over. Then we soon realize that he is actually a giant and pursues a small woman who is in his home.
Microsoft unveils Fable at Xbox Games Showcase 2020
Microsoft unveiled its Fable reboot at the Xbox Games Showcase on July 23, host to our latest sample of Xbox Series X gameplay. The one-hour show wrapped with a one-minute trailer, exploring the vision under developer, Playground Games.
Microsoft debuted Fable with a mystical reveal trailer
While rumors of Microsoft's Fable reboot had circulated for several years, the project finally materialized with its unveiling in late July 2020. The next Fable entry received its debut teaser at Microsoft's summer Xbox Games Showcase, primarily geared towards titles targeting the next-generation Xbox Series X console.
Fable returns almost half a decade since the closure of franchise creator Lionhead Studios and the cancelation of its last project, Fable Legends. Recent entries included an on-rails Kinect spinoff, a stylized beat 'em up, and a digital card game — but a true successor has been absent since 2010's Fable III.
The return of Fable isn't unexpected, with developer Playground Games openly discussing its self-described "AAA open-world action / RPG project" since 2017. The U.K. studio, famed for past work on the Forza Horizon series, assembled a dedicated ancillary team in Leamington Spa exclusively for the upcoming title. While the studio itself fell silent, multiple reports, copyright filings, and leaked artwork suggested that Fable was ready for a comeback.
The studio continued to onboard additional names, described as "world-class talent" by Gavin Raeburn, studio director at Playground Games. Microsoft reportedly secured veterans from BioWare, Motive Studios, Guerrilla Games, Ninja Theory, and Rocksteady Studios, all assigned to this illusive RPG.
While Fable's return only raises more questions for the franchise's future, its appearance provides a tease of what players can expect. The trailer shows a fairy flying through a mystical background — eaten by a toad, in classic Fable humor. The trailer pans to reveal a fantasy metropolis on the horizon, wrapped with the new Fable logo.
Fable gameplay: What to expect
Microsoft reportedly scaled up investment in a new Fable after the release of 2016's Horizon Zero Dawn, which saw critical acclaim on PlayStation 4. As a single-player experience, the game's success marked a major step away from the industry-wide shift to online experiences. While this could indicate the next Fable will put single-player front and center, we'll have to wait on official word.
Fable is expected to be a story and character-focused open-world action role-playing game (RPG), with similar mechanics to what made the first game so unique. The flexibility and depth of the Fable sandbox was a crucial component of the original games, with outstanding morality and player choice systems for the time. Between its narrative and environments, the world of Fable emits unmatched character, even today. However, the inconsistency of the Fable timeline makes it hard to pinpoint an expected era for the title.
Is Fable coming to Xbox One?
Microsoft unveiled its return to Fable, pushing its next-generation Xbox Series X in tandem with PC availability. The project is seemingly at least a couple of years from release, so the trailer made no mention of a planned Xbox One launch. While the first next-generation titles aim to bridge platforms, as seen with Halo Infinite, Fable appears to be among those strictly bound to the cutting-edge hardware. You'll likely need to upgrade to play the latest from Fable.
Is Fable included with Xbox Game Pass?
Yes, Fable will be playable on Xbox and PC via Xbox Game Pass at no additional cost. Microsoft continues to invest in Xbox Game Pass, its Netflix-style subscription service for games on Xbox One and PC. The company previously extended its library to all first-party Xbox Game Studios-published titles, available from launch day at no additional cost. Fable falls within that same category, positioned alongside titles like Halo, Gears of War, and Forza. However, alongside its inclusion with Xbox Game Pass, Fable will be available for standalone purchase, too.
Fable release date for Xbox Series X & PC
Microsoft hasn't given a firm release date (or window) for its next Fable entry. The reveal trailer provided our first confirmation of the project's existence and an early glimpse into the setting. Now with the second trailer during the Xbox Games Showcase 2023 showing us a bit of gameplay, it seems likely that the game won't come out until late 2023 or later.
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Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.
- Rebecca SpearGaming Editor