Holy shit, is that open world RPG the Forza Horizon team is working on actually Fable 4?

By Brenna Hillier
7 January 2018 23:39 GMT

Fable 4 – from a studio previously dedicated to car games? Hell, why not.

Fable 4 may be in the works at Forza Horizon developer Playground Games, according to a trail of Internet sleuthing that caused me to bite through my teacup in excitement.

Let’s start with some established facts: Playground Games is working on an open world RPG, and has expanded its office space and poached a bunch of UK talent to do so.

Now let’s look at something less concrete: according to a user on ResetEra, the quasi-successor to NeoGAF, a bunch of upcoming Xbox One titles were leaked to developers via the Xbox Live API.

As reported by WCCFTech, the alleged former Xbox game developer did not share the full details of the leak, they hinted at imminent Sea of Thieves and Crackdown 3 betas, a third-person Perfect Dark game developed by The Coalition and another team, four-player campaign co-op for Crackdown 3, a Forza Horizon game set in Japan, Age of Empires 4, a Halo mode with a really large number of players, something to do with Mechs (possibly Mechwarrior? I don’t know) … and a project set in “Albion” with codename “Wisdom” from a UK team.

Some Guy On The Internet is not a reliable source, even with a good track record as in this case, and we wouldn’t normally pick up any of these rumours – but WCCFTech did a bit of digging and put together a list of studios who are known to be working on Microsoft-published titles. It also managed to get former Lionhead dev Don Williamson to say that there are no teams in Brighton with the resources for such a task – following up from a comment in which the dev said he’d worked out who’s making Fable 4, showing that the leak is being taken seriously in industry circles.

To cut a long story short, it sure looks like Playground Games might be making Fable 4. As WCCFTech points out, when Playground first started hiring it said it was making an “all-new” RPG, which could be interpreted as meaning “new IP” – but that wording isn’t concrete, and doesn’t rule out scenarios like Microsoft offering the IP after Playground showed what it could do, for example. Also, there’s no mention of “all-new” in subsequent job ads

If this seems like a bananas pivot to you, please remember that Forza Horizon already has a lot in common with open world RPGs. It’s also not the first time we’ve seen a team pull off such an astonishing U-turn, and the grand success of Guerrilla’s excellent Horizon: Zero Dawn just shows that even in this era of enormous budget and expertise, where there’s a will there’s a way. And Fable fans know all about will, don’t we?

Anyway, it might all be rubbish and perhaps we don’t really want a Fable 4 made by someone other than Lionhead. Get out your salt shakers, stop dreaming about running around Albion in hotpants with a great big crossbow.

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