Fable 4: everything we know about the new beginning for Fable

Fable 4 teaser video - A large medieval city on a hill surrounded by green, forested hills with a sunset.
(Image credit: Microsoft, Playground Games)

Fable 4 is coming. It might just be called Fable, or it might be named “F4ble” if we’re in a particularly unlucky timeline. But a new Fable is heading our way, at long last. While series creator Lionhead Studios is a distant memory, the Forza folks at Playground Games are taking the Fable wheel, trading ray-traced racing cars for the heady fantasy of folksy English accents.

We’re a little over two years past the reveal of Fable’s return at the 2020 Xbox Games Showcase. Since then, we’ve heard and seen nothing, aside from an unintentionally cruel Twitter bait-and-switch. Whether we hear more about Fable in 2023, or sometime further into the mysterious future, we’ll gather that information here.

Here’s everything we know about Fable 4.
 

When is the Fable 4 release date?

We have no clue yet, but it seems like it could be a ways off. Since we've only seen a quick teaser reveal so far, Fable 4 may still be a year or more away. Microsoft basically pulled an Elder Scrolls 6 on us, really, a quick cinematic trailer ending with a title over a huge vista. At least this Fable 4 teaser came with some voiceover narration and a little skit to set the tone. 

Oh, but we will be playing Fable 4 before Elder Scrolls 6, according to Phil Spencer. So that's something to go on, at least.

Will we see Fable 4 at the 2023 Xbox summer showcase?

It's certainly our best chance. If Fable 4 makes an appearance this summer, a Microsoft event is the most logical place for it. With the Xbox showcase scheduled for 10 am Pacific on June 11, we might be just weeks away from our first real look at Fable 4. Only time will tell. For the full rundown of showcase stream dates and times, check out our complete summer showcase schedule.

Here's the Fable 4 reveal trailer

(Image credit: Microsoft, Playground Games)

First thing's first, check out the reveal trailer that Playground Games debuted at the Xbox Games showcase in July 2020. It's light on detail—more than likely this is just a fun cinematic that doesn't indicate much about the final game. It does have that familiar vibe of Tolkien-like fantasy being trod on by the messy reality of medieval life though. Fable remains silly.

What will Fable 4's gameplay be like?

Forza Horizon developer Playground Games, who'd been previously rumored as the Fable 4 studio, is definitely the team in charge. That lends a bit of credence to some of the other rumors we already heard about its take on Fable gameplay.

According to a 2018 Eurogamer report, Playground had been chipping away at Fable 4 for a few years with a team of about 200 on an open-world action RPG. Playground beefed up a new Warwickshire studio just for it, so this definitely isn't a small-time Fable spinoff.

"Fable’s clearly [...] always been a little more light-hearted and a little more British, I think I could say, and I think Playground will keep it there," Phil Spencer said in 2021. That doesn't tell us a whole lot, but it seems to reinforce that Fable's sense of humor may be one big thing that isn't changing.

Fable 4 picked up a new narrative lead 

Anna Megill, already the lead writer on the Fable reboot, was promoted in July to Fable’s narrative lead, as Megill confirmed on Twitter. Megill has an extensive history in games narrative, having worked on franchises like Guild Wars and Dishonored, and recently as narrative lead on Control.

While “lead writer” and “narrative lead” might sound interchangeable, narrative design is a wide-reaching discipline that shapes the player’s interaction with a game’s story. As Megill said, “Narrative encompasses more than writing.” 

Fable 4 is using the Forza game engine

This doesn't come as a big surprise, given that Forza series developers Playground Games are developing Fable 4. Microsoft put out a job posting in early 2021 for a software engineer at Turn10 Studios who will focus on the Forza Tech engine. 

"ForzaTech is the engine, tools, and pipelines that drive both the Forza Motorsport and Forza Horizon series of games," the job description says. "In addition to adding new features like raytracing to support the next console generation, we are also enriching the toolset to support an open world action RPG—Fable."

(Image credit: Microsoft, Playground Games)

What Fable 4 rumors are out there?

Several scriptwriters from Batman: Arkham Knight joined Playground Games to work on the rumored Fable 4, as reported by VGC. As of August 2019, Arkham Knight senior scriptwriter Kim MacAskill, Martin Lancaster, and Craig Owens are all apparently on the project.

Fable 4 setting rumors were drawn from a video leaked from an unverified source, allegedly providing a brief overview of Fable 4's setting and structure. Problem is, it's since been scrubbed from the internet. You can check out the commentary on the original Reddit thread where the video was shared if you like, but here's the gist: 

  • It'll feature first- and third-person perspectives
  • Guns are gone
  • It's possible to ignore the main quest
  • Players can build towns
  • There will be a multiplayer component
  • It's built in the Unreal Engine
  • Time travel and interplanetary travel will feature

Hold on. Interplanetary travel? Yeah, that sounds completely buckwild. The original post states that Albion and Aurora were destroyed by an asteroid willed to strike by the wish of a mad king. You allegedly play a character in the far-flung future, at a point when humanity has managed to reach a medieval-like civilization again. Talk about a reset. It sounds too ridiculous to be true, but it also sounds like a perfectly fine excuse to wipe the slate clean, which would allow a new studio more creative freedom. 

We don't have any confirmation on the rumor itself, but the official trailer for Fable 4 gives the description "Fable returns with a new beginning for the legendary franchise. Explore a land of fantastical creatures and wondrous places." We can't say for sure that Fable is getting a new beginning based on an asteroid, but hey, that would be a heck of a way to clear the slate.

Will they put the 4 in middle of the name because it looks like an A?

F4BLE. F4BLE. 

Thank goodness they didn't.

(Image credit: Microsoft, Playground Games)
Lauren Morton
Associate Editor

Lauren started writing for PC Gamer as a freelancer in 2017 while chasing the Dark Souls fashion police and accepted her role as Associate Editor and Chief Minecraft Liker in 2021. She originally started her career in game development and is still fascinated by how games tick in the modding and speedrunning scenes. She likes long books, longer RPGs, multiplayer cryptids, and can't stop playing co-op crafting games.