As soon as Fable: The Journey was unveiled at the Microsoft Press Conference to be not a continuation of the series but an offshoot, Kinect-based title, many gamers wondered about the status of Fable 4. Game Rant was lucky enough to get some time with Peter Molyneux to see Fable: The Journey in action (more on that later), but we also were treated to a brief hint of the future of Fable.

Conceived as a title that exists in a world  set very soon after the events of Fable 3, Fable: The Journey’s hero lives in a land that is impacted by the player’s previous hero. It bares some similarities in terms of storyline and characters, but aside from that this is a big departure for the popular Xbox exclusive series.

Since Molyneux has always been touting Kinect as the future of gaming, and Fable: The Journey bringing Kinect to the series, the question was raised as to whether or not The Journey would ostensibly be considered Fable 4 and set the series on a new path.

In response, Molyneux revealed that Fable: The Journey, while a Lionhead developed game, will not necessarily rule out the existence of Fable 4. On the contrary, Molyneux said that if he were a betting man he would say that Fable 4 is still in the cards.

Molyneux’s statements about Fable 4 still being in the cards are sure to make those gamers who were underwhelmed by the Fable: The Journey demo at E3 rest a bit easier at night. There are many aspects of The Journey that are stark departures for the Fable series, or at least will alter the way in which gamers approach the title and experience the story, making the existence of two distinct franchises much more palatable.

Lionhead Studios has always been a developer that sticks to its franchises, especially the popular ones, and tries to keep their experiences growing and evolving within the context of a well thought out foundation. For Molyneux and Co. to abandon the core concepts explored in the Fable games not utilizing Kinect would have been a real shame, so it’s a pleasant surprise to hear that isn’t the case.

Stick tuned to Game Rant for our complete thoughts on the Fable: The Journey preview and to hear more details about the game.

Are you glad to hear that Fable: The Journey will not replace Fable 4? What are your thoughts on Fable: The Journey based solely on the E3 demo?

Fable: The Journey is slated to release in mid-2012 on Xbox 360.