Your hopes are low – do you have any sources, or facts? This weekend, a very select group of FPS and action-RPG fans were elated to discover that Fable and Perfect Dark – two franchises that have gathered dust under Xbox’s stewardship – may have been preparing for a comeback. Well, sorry team. Microsoft have stepped in to confirm that, no, you can’t believe everything you read on Twitter.
If, like me, you’re unbearably online at all times, you’ll have noticed the buzz around the two long-dormant Xbox properties started when The Verge’s Tom Warren discovered “placeholder” Twitter accounts for Fable and Perfect Dark, both with minor – if noteworthy – ties to the publishers.
I’m not sure who discovered the @fable and @PerfectDarkGame placeholders, but a Microsoft Xbox employee is following one, and the other is registered to a Microsoft email address 👀 pic.twitter.com/MagqUbPiZf
— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) June 27, 2020
Unfortunately, news of the two series’ return has been greatly exaggerated. General manager of Xbox games marketing Aaron Greenberg slid into Warren’s replies to confirm that no, this was simply a routine job to “secure social handles for our IP”.
The Perfect Dark account is a stranger story, though. After spotting the Fable account, an unrelated Twitter user snagged the Perfect Dark handle, admitting as such later on their timeline. Microsoft creative director Ken Lobb followed the account. At the time of writing, it isn’t clear why – though the current owner of the PD account is certain the follow wouldn’t have happened “if they didn’t have something in the works”.
With only two entries on the Nintendo 64 and Xbox 360, Perfect Dark never found its way to PC. But Fable did – and while Fable 3 was unceremoniously dropped from Steam with the death of Games For Windows Live, Fable Anniversary (a Halo: Anniversary-style remake of the first game) is still kicking about on Steam. While the remastered visuals are pretty naff, it’s a good game, too – a solid action-RPG populated entirely by west-country accents.
While it was briefly a tentpole property for Microsoft, it seemed like the pubs didn’t know what to do with it after Fable 3. Hopes of a proper, numbered sequel were dashed for good when Microsoft shut down Lionhead, prematurely killing asymmetrical multiplayer entry Fable Fortunes. Rumours of a Fable 4 have been floating about for years, but it seems we may be back to square one on that.
Still! Microsoft haven’t yet had their big not-E3 Xbox 20/20 showcase, currently planned for later this July. Is this some galaxy-brain double-bluff to keep us all quiet before the surprise reveal, or am I reading way, way too much into this? Check the guild– err, the site, for more
quests deets when that event kicks off next month.