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The long-dormant Fable franchise is finally awake after a years-long slumber. A recent trademark renewal suggests that Microsoft is finally gearing up to reveal Fable 4, the semi-reboot of the Lionhead-developed Xbox fantasy series that we've all been waiting for.
As spotted by IGN, the application was filed originally filed on June 26th and is still awaiting approval. Typically, a company has to renew a trademark every few years just they can hold on to the game, but the timing of this particular renewal is fairly suspect. We already know that Xbox is planning to show off a series of first-party Xbox Series X game on July 20th... could it be?
Interestingly, Microsoft has also filed an Intent to Use application for the Fable trademark. This basically means what you probably think it means: that the company has a "bona fide intention to use the mark in commerce". In other words, it has plans for Fable.
But what could those plans be? Rumours have been floating around for so long now that we all expected Fable 4 to show up at the last two E3 conferences. Of course, Microsoft has only just started to talk more about the Xbox Series X, and the new Fable is clearly intended to be a next-gen title. You know, assuming it exists.
A report from way back in 2018 suggested that Fable 4 is being developed Playground Games, the UK developer best known for its work on the Forza franchise.
It was around this time that Microsoft revealed they'd actually acquired Playground Games, and confirmed that it was working on a "AAA open world RPG". Unfortunately, we still have no idea what that RPG might be. Everyone seems to agree it's probably Fable 4,though.
A few months after that, multiple job listings from Playground Games surfaced, revealing that the studio was looking for 177 new staff to work on its AAA RPG/Fable 4. Gameplay Engineers, Character Artists, and Creative Directors were all being sought. This was nearly two years ago now, so we can assume/hope that the mystery RPG that is probably Fable 4 is far enough into development for some kind of reveal.
With the Xbox Series X gameplay event on the horizon, we can only hope that the beloved series is finally returning. The last full game in the series (Fable III) was released nearly ten years ago now, so it's definitely about time.
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