Following the cancellation Fable Legends and closure of Lionhead Studios last year, it wasn't clear if a true successor to Fable 3 could ever the see the light of day. A collectible card game called Fable Fortune is currently being developed by Lionhead Studios veterans, but this probably isn't the new Fable game that fans of the beloved franchise would like to see.
Microsoft still owns the Fable IP, but the company never said what it wanted to do with it going forward. Yesterday though, Xbox head Phil Spencer answered a Fable 4 question on Twitter, explaining that the IP has "a lot of places it could go" (via Digital Trends)
Nothing to announce right now but I do think the IP has a lot of places it could go.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) April 30, 2017
As a reminder, the cancelled Fable Legends was a quite a departure from the original trilogy, as Microsoft designed it as a free-to-play cooperative game with crossplay between Window 10 and Xbox One. We don't really know what Spencer could be thinking about, but his statement comes nearly a week after he said to The Guardian that single player, story-driven games like the original Fable trilogy can struggle to capture a big audience these days. "You’ll have things like Zelda or Horizon Zero Dawn that’ll come out, and they’ll do really well, but they don’t have the same impact that they used to have, because the big service-based games are capturing such a large amount of the audience," he explained.
Fable 3 was released back in 2010, and it didn't receive the same critical acclaim as its predecessors. The IP is still very valuable for Microsoft, but the company no longer has a dedicated studio to create a new Fable game. Moreover, AAA is now riskier than ever, and Halo 5: Guardians and Gears of War 4 (both games were not developed by their original creators, Bungie and Epic Games, respectively) didn't exactly set the world on fire. We'll see what happens in the future, but it could well be years before we eventually see a new Fable game, if ever.