Microsoft has applied to renew the Fable trademark

By Heidi Nicholas,
Microsoft has applied to renew the Fable trademark, and confirmed "intent to use" it, fuelling rumours that we could see Fable 4 in the not-too-distant future.

Fable III ~ HeroArt

Fans in the Fable subreddit have been quick to point out that renewing trademarks is a standard practice for businesses, yet the significant part of this trademark is the "intent to use" section, which Microsoft has answered with "yes." Rumours of Fable IV have been circulating the internet for some time, with fans hopeful of seeing the next instalment of the Fable series. Speculation rose most recently when two placeholder Twitter accounts, one for @fable and one for @PerfectDarkGame, were spotted and further noted by The Verge's Tom Warren.

Microsoft was quick to respond to these rumours: Aaron Greenberg, the head of Xbox Game Marketing, replied to Warren's tweet to say, "I know everyone is hungry for news, but sorry to get your hopes up. These accounts have been inactive for years, it’s standard practice to secure social handles for our IP." However, fans then pointed out that both accounts had joined Twitter in early 2020, had been followed by Microsoft employees, and seemed to be registered to Microsoft email addresses. Since then, the Perfect Dark account was found to have been created by a fan, and is now live with the description of "not affiliated with Microsoft". Warren maintains, meanwhile, that "the Fable one appears to be the genuine one Microsoft references as IP protection."

It's also widely rumoured that Playground Games is the studio behind Fable IV. Back in 2018, a report from Eurogamer said that had handed the development of Fable IV to Playground Games. Job listings from Playground Games around the same time referenced an open-world RPG. In 2019, Playground Games seemed to ramp up recruitment, hiring in droves both for what looks like another Forza Horizon, and for its AAA RPG project.

There's been no word yet to confirm a new Fable game, but we can hope to hear more at Microsoft's Xbox 2020 event this month. Microsoft promises to show first-party games Halo Infinite and Psychonauts 2 have already been confirmed for the event; could we perhaps see Fable IV too? Let us know what you think in the comments!
Heidi Nicholas
Written by Heidi Nicholas
Hey, I'm Heidi! I've just finished studying a Masters in English Literature, but I've been obsessed with gaming since long before then. I began on the PS2 with Spyro, before graduating to the Xbox 360 and disappearing into Skyrim. I'm now a loyal RPG fan, but I still like to explore other genres — when I'm not playing Assassin's Creed Odyssey, or being lured back into Red Dead Redemption 2 or The Witcher 3!