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Microsoft and Playground working with Eidos-Montreal on Fable reboot

The Embracer-owned Deus Ex developer is assisting with development ahead of a proposed 2025 launch.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

June 10, 2024

2 Min Read
A screenshot from the latest Fable trailer
Image via Microsoft

Microsoft has tapped Embracer-owned studio Eidos-Montreal to assist with development on Fable.

The franchise reboot has been in development at Playground Games, best known for its work on the Forza franchise, for some time. It was unveiled by way of a brief teaser back in 2020, but it was another three years before the studio offered another look at the long-gestating project during the 2023 Xbox Games Showcase.

Another trailer was bundled into this year's showcase, this time spotlighting a retired hero played by UK actor Matt King (who you might recognize for his turn as Super Hans in Peep Show) alongside a fresh-faced protégé. It also provided us with a more detailed look at the world of Albion and the people, creatures, and monsters who call it home, but actual gameplay was notably absent.

Microsoft and Playground are currently targeting a 2025 launch and have enlisted some extra help to bring the project home. In a post on Xbox Wire, Microsoft confirmed Eidos-Montreal is working with Playground to support the "ongoing development" of Fable. It's unclear when Eidos-Montreal joined the production.

In a separate post on X, the studio said it has been "a blast collaborating with the talented team at Playground" but didn't provide more details. It's interesting to see Microsoft look beyond the Xbox Game Studios family for help with one of its core franchises.

Xbox turns to Embracer for development support

The company has recently bolstered its roster of internal studios with the seismic $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, but that move signaled the beginning of a tough period for the company. Studio closures and layoff have followed in the months since.

At the beginning of the year, Microsoft laid off 1,900 workers across its video game divisions and then closed key studios within its ZeniMax subsidiary, including Hi-Fi Rush maker Tango Gameworks and Redfall developer Arkane Austin. 

There's a sense that Microsoft is still searching for a global first-party slam dunk after spending billions expanding its internal studios with a view to supporting Xbox Game Pass and its growing platform ecosystem.

The 2024 Xbox Game Showcase featured a litany of eye-catching updates and world premieres (including newer reveals such as Gears of War: E-Day and Doom: The Dark Ages), but it remains to be seen whether they'll connect with players when they eventually touch down. 

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About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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