UK-based studio Playground Games is best known as the developer behind the Forza Horizon franchise and it is currently working on Forza Horizon 4. That’s not all that Playground is cooking up, however, as it also has an open-world RPG in the oven.
Rumors have been swirling for quite some time that the other game that Playground Games is working on is Fable 4. While the developer isn’t yet ready to reveal the mysterious project, which may or may not be Fable 4, it has announced several major hires with a huge amount of experience with games in the RPG genre.
Earlier today, Playground confirmed that it had added six industry veterans to its roster, including those who have worked at RPG powerhouse BioWare, Horizon Zero Dawn developer Guerrilla Games and EA’s Motive (the developer of a new, Assassin’s Creed-like franchise). The new hires are as follows:
- Principal environment artist Scotty Brown (Star Wars Battlefront 2)
- Lead environment artist Noel Lukasewich (Mass Effect franchise)
- Narrative director Martin Lancaster (Batman: Arkham Knight)
- Principal animator Chris Goodall (Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice)
- Lead UI artist Joe McKernan (Destiny 2 and Horizon Zero Dawn)
- QA team Lead technician Rob den Dekker (Fable and Fable 2)
Since the beginning of the year, there have been strong rumors to suggest that Playground is working on Fable 4. Just six months ago there was a report that Fable 4 is being made by the Forza Horizon developer, The game would be focused on characters and story and Playground would be going on a hiring spree in order to make that happen. These new hires would corroborate that – with the hiring of den Dekker standing out especially.
The same report also suggested that a “significant investment” would be made into the studio and the game. At E3 2018, Microsoft also announced that it had acquired five studios (including Playground Games), officially making them first-party studios. This again indicates a major investment and that Microsoft has a lot of faith in the studio to deliver with this RPG – whether that turns out to be Fable 4 or not.
Even if the secret Playground title isn’t Fable 4, the pedigree of these new hires could potentially make the open-world action RPG a real success. The six new hires have experience working on some of the most-esteemed games within the RPG and action genre and so know exactly what makes a game like that work. Hopefully, fans will get to see the fruits of their labor soon.