In March last year, Microsoft made the announcement that it was closing long-running British studio Lionhead, which made the Fable and Black & White franchises, among others. The closure of the studio also meant that the Xbox One and PC game Fable Legends was being canceled. A digital card game called Fable Fortune was released, though this game was released by an outside studio (with support from Microsoft, which owns the Fable rights). But will there ever be another mainline Fable game? That remains to be seen, but if Microsoft were to bring it back, that would please Xbox boss Shannon Loftis, who heads up Xbox’s first-party publishing team.
She told GameSpot this week as part of her PAX Aus travels that Microsoft loves Fable as a franchise. One of the main reasons why Loftis moved to England years ago was to help lead the production of Fable II.
“Fable is very near and dear to my heart,” Loftis said. “Actually one of the primary reasons [I moved to England] was to work with the team on Fable II. Fable Fortune is now out, the card game. We love the IP. I can’t talk right now about whether we’re doing anything with it or not, but if I ever get the chance to go back to Albion … ”
Loftis’ role as GM of Xbox Publishing for first-party games means she would be a key player in bringing back the Fable franchise. Though as of yet, we don’t know if there have been any pitches internally at Microsoft to do so. She told GameSpot that her team receives between 350 and 400 pitches for games every year. Given the name and prominence of Fable as a franchise, we would be surprised if it never came back. But for now, it sounds like Microsoft is taking a similar to approach to how EA is handling Mass Effect, in that it is giving the franchise time to rest before potentially bringing it back.
Fable Legends had big ambitions. Microsoft envisioned the free-to-play cooperative game living for as many as 10 years, with Microsoft releasing updates constantly to keep players engaged. You would have played as a hero or villain, and the game was not in its earliest stages, as Microsoft was testing it in the wild. But it was not to be.
Lionhead was founded by Peter Molyneux in 1996 and was acquired by Microsoft in 2006. Molyneux left Microsoft and Lionhead in March 2012. Would you like to see more Fable games? Let us know in the comments below!