The Fable franchise started off strong with the first installment on the original Xbox, despite even that game not living up to the monumental hype put out in by series creator Peter Molyneux. The installments after that got progressively worse in terms of both critical reception and public interest, which ultimately lead to developer Lionhead Studios being closed down last year by Microsoft.
Despite this seeming like it would be the end of the Fable franchise, that may not entirely be the case. Xbox’s Phil Spencer was replying to a fan on Twitter regarding the possibilities of a Fable 4, to which he replied with “Nothing to announce right now but I do think the IP has a lot of places it could go.”
Before Lionhead Studios was closed down last year, they were working on the next installment in the series called Fable Legends. Despite bearing the Fable name, it was set to be a very big departure compared to what the series was previously. It was going to be a free-to-play, multiplayer-focused experience, which was based around four heroes and a villain. However, the game was cancelled in March of last year, with the news being accompanied by the closure of Lionhead Studios.
The original Fable launched in 2004, which was followed by Fable 2 in 2008 and Fable 3 in 2010. The series got some spin-offs in 2012 with Fable Heroes and Fable: The Journey, though neither was received particularly well. The first game got an anniversary remaster in 2014 on Xbox 360, which served as the last full release that the series would see. Fable Legends was playable in some form thanks to a beta, though that was shut down a month after the cancellation announcement.
As a fan of the series’ earlier installments, it would be great to the series make a comeback at some point down the road. While it may not have been the game-changer it was propped up to be, the first game in particular nevertheless delivered a fun RPG experience that still holds up to this day.