Former Lionhead art director reveals what Fable 4 might have been

fable 4 lionhead studios microsoft fablelegends
Earlier this year, Microsoft announced the closure of Lionhead Studios after some 20 years of working on titles like The Movies, Black & White and Fable. Now, former employee John McCormack has shared details of an intriguing project that never saw the light of day.

Following the release of Fable III, the team was under pressure to take the popular RPG franchise to new heights. The now-canceled Fable Legends was set to implement a free-to-play model in order to expand its audience, but a more conventional Fable 4 was at one point being discussed.

A rejected pitch for Fable 4 is detailed at length in an exhaustive exploration of Lionhead Studios that was published by Eurogamer on Thursday. According to McCormack, the game would have continued the franchise’s habit of enlarging the setting of Bowerstone with every new release.

The fourth instalment would see Bowerstone resemble a sprawling city like London, with more advanced technology like tram cars and flying machines. “We wanted to hit the late Victorian proper far-out Jules Verne shit,” said McCormack, who would have acted as the game’s art director.

McCormack also said Fable 4 was intended to be “darker and gritter” than its predecessors. One example of this shift would be some bawdy humor related to characters working as prostitutes, who would enter the narrative during a quest based on Jack the Ripper.

However, Microsoft wasn’t interested in the idea of making such broad changes to the tone of the series, and instead pushed Lionhead Studios in the direction of Fable Legends — much to the disappointment of those enthused to be taking Fable in a new direction.

Lionhead Studios may have been shuttered, but it remains to be seen whether or not Fable is dead. Given the success the series enjoyed at its peak, it seems unlikely that Microsoft won’t try to capitalize on its popularity in one form or another.

Movies & TV

Pedro Pascal officially cast as 'The Mandalorian' as Disney show fills out cast

The Mandalorian, Jon Favreau's live-action Star Wars series planned for Disney's streaming video service, will be one of the most expensive television shows ever made. Here's everything we know about it so far.

Hey, Sony! If you make a PS2 Classic, it needs these games

158 million PS2 consoles were sold worldwide during its lifecycle, making it the most successful video game console of all time. It was hard, but we narrowed down the PS2's vast library of games. Here are the best PS2 games of all time.

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now, from Super Mario Odyssey to Fortnite.

Relive Nintendo’s handheld golden age with the 25 best Game Boy Advance games

The Game Boy Advance was the swan song of the Game Boy era. It also happened to have a boatload of amazing games. We decided to countdown our 25 favorite GBA games. Check it out and let us know your favorites in the comments below!

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in 'Destiny 2: Forsaken'

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.

‘Fortnite’ removes the Infinity Blade weapon after player backlash

Following player backlash over the Infinity Blade weapon's inclusion in Fortnite's battle royale mode, Epic Games decided to remove the weapon from the game completely. It was not limited to a special mode.

Want every suit in 'Marvel's Spider-Man' for PS4? Here's how to get them all

Marvel's Spider-Man features a whopping 33 different suits for Peter Parker to wear as he swings across New York City knocking out baddies. Here are all the suits and how to unlock them.

Everything about 'Red Dead Online', including its new microtransaction store

Red Dead Online will gradually rolled out to Red Dead Redemption 2 players via a beta. We've got all the details about the beta's suite of competitive and cooperative modes, as well as what to expect going forward.

HDR monitors are beginning to have an impact. Here are the best you can buy

HDR isn't the most common of PC monitor features and is often charged at a premium, but the list of available options is growing. These are the best HDR monitors you can buy right now.
Virtual Reality

Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive: Prices drop, but our favorite stays the same

The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are the two big names in the virtual reality arena, but most people can only afford one. Our comparison tells you which is best when you pit the Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive.

Xbox One X vs. PS4 Pro: Which console is more powerful?

Far from cooling down, the console wars are only getting more intense. We compare Microsoft's Xbox One X to Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro to help you decide which premium console is right for you.

Find the perfect weapon in 'Call of Duty: Black Ops 4' multiplayer with our guide

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 has several different guns to choose from in its multiplayer mode, and they're split across multiple classes. Here's a guide to all of them and when you should use them.

New ‘Stardew Valley’ content on the way, as game’s maker freezes next project

Stardew Valley creator Eric Barone said that he will continue working on new content for the indie farming simulator. The developer previously said that he will devote all his time to his next game, but that has been placed on hold for now.

Underwater survival game ‘Subnautica’ free on Epic Games’ online store

The award-winning underwater survival game Subnautica is currently available as a free download on the Epic Games store. The Steam challenger looks to attract players with a new free game every two weeks.