Well balls, I’m somewhat at a loss for words… I will try my very best to overcome this sudden bout of mutism, if only to express through gritted teeth the enormity of my frustration at what I can only describe as a cruel withholding of the beloved Fable franchise, during the Microsoft E3 2019 expose. Certainly, I am not the first disgruntled fan to bemoan the dearth of Fable content during Microsoft’s Sunday 9th June E3 conference, and I’m going to go out on a limb and hypothesize that I may not be the last.
As the curtains opened on Microsoft’s wares, I and many others sat eagerly on the edge of our seats, waiting with baited breath for all the juicy content to come, safe in the reasoned belief that this would surely include the unveiling of the latest incarnation from the Fable series. “What a fool you are!”, you may jeer, with the benefit of hindsight. Like the proverbial blind date no-show, the subject of my eager anticipation failed to materialise, and I was left feeling a dizzy combination of deflation and incredulity.
I mean, come on… this is FABLE we’re talking about… and Microsoft gave us nothing! Perhaps not the flagship role-playing game on the planet, the Fable series has nevertheless earned its place in our hearts and in our game collections. It has encountered its fair share of adversity and set-backs, not least of all the closing down of Lionhead Studios in 2016, but in spite of this, Fable fans had hoped for some indication as to the series’ revival.
I would not have you, dear readers, mistake my misgivings surrounding Fable for an overall feeling of disappointment with Microsoft’s E3 2019 conference. Indeed, with such revelations as Xbox Scarlett; and its inevitable inauguration courtesy of Halo Infinite, not to mention other highlights such as validation of the Elden Ring leak, and confirmation of Cyberpunk 2077 hitting the shelves a mere ten months from now, there was many a reason to be joyful. In spite of this, Fable’s absence simply cast too great a shadow over the whole affair, and has been niggling away at me ever since, necessitating this inevitable literary rant.
There’s just an inescapable allure to Fable, and such vast potential to build upon the series that was – no – is, in pursuit of the series that could be. Just imagine the scope for profound cause and effect role-play gaming, backed by the raw processing power of the Xbox One X, and beyond. Imagine optimal realisation of Peter Molyneux’s original vision for the Fable series: Refined visuals, fully integrated NPC narratives, each and every action undertaken permeating far-reaching consequences, be it the food you eat, the company you keep, the people you love, the losses you endure, the lives you take, the lives you spare, the very principles by which you abide…
There is still so much potential for a chart-topping reinvigoration of the Fable series. For the reasons set out above, and many, many more, we so yearned for some great unveiling, so yearned for an answer to our cries for more; cries that have spanned some ten years in the wake of the increasingly aged, albeit coveted and enduring Fable III.
Microsoft has a lot to answer for so far as Fable fans are concerned, and potentially, much to gain from the action role-playing genre fan-base, when it belatedly discloses the genuine intentions for the long awaited fourth instalment in the beloved Fable series. “But when is it coming, and what form will it take?”, I hear you cry. I am sure you will join me in patient solidarity, as we await that sweet, sweet announcement confirming all that the Fable IV leak promised us, and more.
Be it a re-imagining of Albion, ravaged by the scourge of neoliberalism; or a leap into inter-planetary conquest, Fable is sure to return to us, and return to us a refined beast, the culmination of all that we have learned about our action role-playing selves. The wait will soon be over, and our patience will soon be rewarded. Watch this space, Fable fans, and in particular, be sure to tune in to XO19 taking place this coming November. Whether it is then, or in the interim, news will surely break before long…