Fable: Everything we know

Fable — a hero showboats after guzzling a taven patron's ale. Reactions range from delight to exhaustion.
(Image credit: Playground)

My god, Fable is actually on its way. While the Fable reboot was first revealed at the 2020 Xbox Games showcase, the three years of silence left a lot of question marks about the returning folk fantasy. Was Fable 4 still in the works? Would it end up being called something awful like "F4ble"? Luckily, we can breathe a little easier: the new Fable caretakers at Playground Games brought a fresh look for this year's Xbox festivities.

We're still waiting on details for how Fable will play, but what we've seen so far is very reassuring. And very British. And weirdly obsessive about produce. Here's everything we know about Fable.

Is there a Fable release date?

Fable doesn't have a release date yet. We're still waiting for announcements of an official release window. Since we haven't seen any gameplay, it's probably still a ways off.

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

Here's the latest Fable trailer

Fresh from the 2023 Xbox Games Showcase, we've got our first real idea of what Fable looks like in the current day. And who better to handle the narration than Richard Ayoade? Playground Games is nailing the vibe: As aggrieved farmer Ayoade describes the world's heroes with his deadpan delivery, we see just how exhausting it would be to live in a world with sword-swinging magical yahoos traipsing through it. Just leave the man to his pumpkins. Please.

When a wheelbarrow-toting gent watches the trailer's heroine punt a chicken into the sunset and wearily mutters "Yeah, well done," I felt it more deeply than maybe any other line of games dialogue I've ever heard. Excellent stuff.

Here's the Fable 4 reveal trailer

Fable debuted with a reveal trailer 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.

Fable — A hero nails a bandit mid-chest with a thrown fireball.

(Image credit: Playground Games)

How will Fable play?

We have to wait and see. So far, aside from a few official descriptions on Xbox websites and devteam job postings describing the game as "an open world action RPG," we've got nothing to go on. However, using my keen journalistic instincts, I can derive some insights from the sword-swinging, magic-throwing hero in the 2023 trailer: Fable will probably have swords and magic.

Forza Horizon's Playground Games is developing Fable

Forza Horizon developer Playground Games, who'd been previously rumored as the Fable 4 studio, is definitely the team in charge. 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 — Richard Ayoade stars in the latest Fable trailer, as an exhausted farmer who, in a just world, would be considered more heroic than the gallivanting adventurer class. Also, he's a giant.

(Image credit: Playground Games)

Fable is using the Forza game engine

This doesn't come as a big surprise: 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."

Fable — the trailer's hero gazes off into the sunset, in which direction they'd punted a chicken just seconds before.

(Image credit: Playground Games)

Fable 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.” 

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 summoned 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 reveal trailer for Fable 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.

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.