If you’re an Xbox One owner, you might have noticed the console’s lineup of exclusive games is in pretty bad shape as of late. Sure, we get a new Forza game each year and an occasional one-off like Sea of Thieves or Cuphead. But compared to the heavy-hitting exclusives on PlayStation 4 (Horizon: Zero Dawn, Persona 5, Nioh, Spider-Man, The Last of Us Part 2), Xbox’s lineup doesn’t look too hot. So when a rumor arises suggesting a new Fable game is in the works, our ears perk up.
Citing several anonymous sources, Eurogamer reports Microsoft tasked the U.K. studio Playground with making the sequel. And unlike the doomed game Fable Legends, this one will be more like its predecessors. Which is to say, you can expect a single-player open-world action role-playing game.
Playground Games is known for pumping out a new Forza Horizon racing game every two years. To make a new Fable, the company will reportedly open a new office and hire around 200 people. Since the project is so early in development, don’t expect to play it in this decade.
When asked if this information is legit, Microsoft replied that it doesn’t comment on rumors and speculation.
If you’re wondering what the big deal is about a new Fable game, it goes beyond simply beefing up Xbox One’s lineup of exclusives. The series dates back to the original Xbox, when Lionhead Studios, led by the eccentric game designer Peter Molyneux, released the fantastic open-world action RPG Fable.
The sequel, Fable II, came out in 2008 to critical praise and became the best-selling RPG on the Xbox 360. Fable III launched on the console two years later, to respectable (if less glowing) reviews. In those years, Fable was one of Microsoft’s premier franchises. It sat beside Halo and Gears of War, offering a more lighthearted tone and a grander sense of adventure.
Microsoft had been planning to continue the series on Xbox One with a free-to-play game called Fable Legends. But development must have been troubled, because Microsoft canceled the game and shut down Lionhead Studios in 2016.
It would be a shame for a beloved franchise like Fable to go to waste. And with the recent dearth of Xbox One exclusives, it would be foolish on Microsoft’s part. Xbox head Phil Spencer recently said he planned to devote more resources to getting more exclusives. If this rumor is true, it looks like he’s backing up that statement.