Microsoft reportedly reviving Fable with a story-focused RPG

After shutting the doors of the Fable creators, "Lionhead Studios," Microsoft has remained quiet on what lies ahead for its hit role-playing franchise. Aside from Fable Fortune, a free-to-play digital card developed by ex-Lionhead employees, the world of Albion has laid dormant since the cancellation of Fable Legends. Despite this, rumor of a new Fable game has been circulating for some time now, with many expecting a franchise return.

A new report has emerged today supporting these rumors, with sources telling Eurogamer that a new Fable game is around the corner. According to the report, the next Fable will be a story and character-focused open-world action role-playing game (RPG), headed by "Playground Games" – the studio behind Forza's Horizon spin-off series.

Sources have told the publication that development will take place at Playground's recently opened office in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire. Work on the project is supposedly still in the early stages, with development among a dedicated team of 200. If true, this would indicate its public debut is still some time off, let alone its final release.

According to Eurogamer, Microsoft drew inspiration from last year's success of Horizon Zero Dawn on PlayStation 4. As an exclusive to Sony's consoles, the game proved that strong single-player experiences can still see success in the industry, despite a widespread shift toward "games as a service" titles.

Although the revival of the Fable franchise would be welcomed by many, it remains to be seen how Microsoft would approach this project. Not only did Microsoft Studios cut ties with the franchise's former developers – the project is reportedly starting from scratch and ditching all previous assets from Fable Legends. With a fresh team, this may offer a unique take on the franchise, though abandons much of the talent that backed previous entries.

For now, the future of the Fable franchise remains uncertain. Signs have pointed towards Fable's revival in the past and this latest report further backs these claims. As always, make sure to take these rumors lightly until an official announcement from Microsoft – although we may be waiting some time for it to do so.

Matt Brown

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.