Fable 4 – Will We See a Trailer at the Xbox Showcase?
Trademark renewals for dormant intellectual properties are nothing new for the video game industry. While a handful of filings serve as placeholders for future projects, most simply offer protection against competitor use. But every so often, a series of events aggregates into the confirmed revival of an iconic franchise. Although Microsoft has yet to announce a sequel, a Fable 4 reveal is imminent and could occur at this month’s Xbox Showcase. Let’s dive in.
Agency has always been a key component of video game storytelling; however, few games introduced the level of choice quite like the Fable series. First released in 2004, Fable offered players consequences for every dialogue option and combat decision. The culmination of a player’s interaction with the game world influenced the story and resulted in multiple endings.
The series achieved critical acclaim with the 2008 release of Fable II; however, Fable III received mixed reviews from fans and critics. Nearly 10 years since the last mainline installment, Fable has lied dormant in the Microsoft Xbox library. Until now.
During her monthly YouTube Q&A, industry insider Alanah Pearce confirmed that Microsoft is actively developing Fable 4. Alanah spent years working for IGN and has multiple connections with a myriad of video game studios. Given her level of confidence in the video below (skip ahead to 8:40), we strongly doubt that Alanah would sacrifice her credibility for a mere rumor or fan speculation.
The next piece of evidence is a recent trademark filing. On June 26, 2020, Microsoft filed a trademark update with the US Patent and Trademark Office for the Fable brand. At face value, this news is commonplace as video game companies routinely update trademarks. However, Microsoft filed an Intent to Use (ITU) trademark. This designation requires that a company also file a “Statement of Use” (SOU) report within six months. The SOU demonstrates that the company is actively developing the product in question. Although Microsoft can request five extensions to the SOU requirement, we can expect a Fable reveal in the near future.
The combination of Alanah Pearce’s revelation with Microsoft’s ITU patent filing essentially confirms that a Fable 4 release is imminent. The only question that remains is the timing. If Microsoft does not want to file an ITU extension, the Xbox Showcase event is perfect for an announcement. While unlikely, fans can take comfort in knowing that another installment in the storied franchise is forthcoming.
But we want to know what you think. Do you Microsoft will reveal Fable 4 during this month’s Xbox Showcase? What do you think about the “intent to use” trademark filing? Let us know in the comments below or the social media links on the right. Also, be sure to check out our other news items on Pokemon, Modern Warfare, Capcom, Blizzard and more.
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