Head of Xbox Studios Matt Booty has stated the Fable reboot will be brought forward “for today’s sensibilities,” and be a “modern take.”
RELATED: Xbox Head Phil Spencer Is Well Aware That “It’s Been Too Long” Since Microsoft Released A Major First Party Title: “In General, We’ve Been A Little Light”
Not much information about this new Fable title has been shared by the developer, in spite of it being the first entry in the long-running series to be announced since 2012’s Fable: The Journey — not including the Fable Trilogy in 2014, the cancelled Fable Legends, or the Kickstarted Fable Fortune card game in 2018.
During a recent appearance on the Skill Up podcast, Booty was asked about his start in the industry, what he missed in his position as Head of Xbox Game Studios compared to being a developer, how studios work with each other, discussing how Xbox Game Pass can help smaller studios with weirder projects, and more.
Along with discussing Halo Infinite‘s launch and development on the Perfect Dark reboot, Booty was asked how Playground Games- typically a developer of racing games- become involved with the Fable reboot.
“Playground does make racing games but if we deconstruct that a little bit, I think the thing that Playground does is high craft, high quality, high attention to detail, and so I’ll separate that out as a starting ingredient,” Booty explained.
He then revealed, “They had a particular passion for the IP, and I think they also demonstrated that they understand what the heart and soul of Fable is about, and how they can bring it forward for today’s sensibilities and, just, you know, make a modern take on Fable.”
Making a game for a “modern audience” has become an infamous buzzword, usually suggesting a remake or new entry in a series would remove content some could deem offensive. To illustrate, this has resulted in titles like Resident Evil 4 VR being censored and is also one of the reasons the Saints Row reboot failed to resonate with both critics and independent reviewers.
RELATED: Xbox Execs Admit Mismanagement Of Fable Developer Lionhead Studios Was One Of Their “Biggest Missteps”
“There’s stuff I wish I could share and show, because some of the things that I’ve seen are just so encouraging,” Booty reassured. “You’re point is really spot on, there’s a danger sometimes; you don’t want to give… you know, the RPG team to go make a racing game or vice-versa. You don’t want the shooter team to go try to make a kids’ building block game, I mean you can get in trouble there.”
“But they’ve got a great technology base, they’ve got a passion for the IP, and they’ve just got such a dedicated commitment to craft and quality,” Booty said of developer Playground Games.
“You put all that together and, admittedly, I think the team would share that during some of the first reviews I shared a little skepticism,” he conceded. “The ‘Look, I think we’re going out on a limb here to do this.’ But they’ve since put that to rest, and I’m excited for everybody to see it when we are ready to show stuff.”
Booty had previously emphasized that Playground Games were the right team for the job, and discussed how desperately he wanted to show off the Fable reboot, during an interview at PAX 2022.
“They don’t want to show stuff early before it’s ready to go, but if there’s one game where that’s kind of flipped around, where every time I see something I say, ‘We should show this’, it’s Fable. Because there’s a lot of cool stuff,” Booty admitted, jokingly declaring that “the team has made it very clear that I am not going to be able to show anything until it’s ready.”
That faith seemingly wasn’t shared by former Playground Games developer Juan Fernández de Simón. In March of this year he accused that his former employer “lacked people with the knowledge to design gameplay for an open world” outside of racing titles. “Open world action RPGs are incredibly difficult to make, require a lot of time, a lot of people, and at Playground they have a ‘do more with less’ mentality.”
NEXT: ‘Harvestella’ Producer Justifies Inclusion Of Non-Binary Options In Character Creator: “Using Gender-Neutral Pronouns Takes A Relatively Small Amount Of Effort”