Fable (video game series)

Genres Action role-playing
Developers Big Blue Box (2004)
Lionhead Studios (2005-2016)
Flaming Fowl Studios (2016- )
Publishers Microsoft Studios
Composers Danny Elfman
Russell Shaw
Platforms Xbox, Microsoft Windows, OS X, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Platform of origin Xbox
First release Fable
8 October 2004
Latest release Fable Anniversary
4 February 2014

Fable is a series of action role-playing video games for Xbox, Microsoft Windows, OS X, Xbox 360 and Xbox One platforms. The series was developed by Lionhead Studios until the studio was closed in 2016, and is published by Microsoft Studios.


The Fable series takes place in the fictional nation of Albion, a state that, at the time of the first game, is composed of numerous autonomous city-states with vast areas of countryside or wilderness in between. The setting originally resembles medieval Europe, or traditional fantasy settings like that of The Elder Scrolls or The Lord of the Rings. However, the period of time progresses with each game; in Fable II, Albion has advanced to an era similar to that of the Age of Enlightenment, and by Fable III the nation has been unified under a monarchy and is undergoing an "Age of Industry" similar to the real-world 18th-19th-century Industrial Revolution.

In the first Fable, players assume the role of an orphaned boy who is forced into a life of heroism when bandits attack his village, and kidnap his sister. The choices players make in the game affect the perception and reaction to their Hero by the characters of Albion and change the Hero's appearance to mirror what good or evil deeds he has performed. In addition to undertaking quests to learn what happened to the Hero's family, players can engage in optional quests and pursuits such as trading, romance and married life, pub gaming, boxing, and theft. Even so, set quests are the motor of the story development.[1]

Fable II takes place 500 years after the events of the first game.[2] The world resembles Europe between the late 1600s and early 1700s, the time of highwaymen and the Enlightenment. Science and more modern ideas have suppressed the religion and magic of old Albion. Its towns have developed into cities, weaponry is slowly taking advantage of gunpowder, and social, family and economic life present more possibilities - as well as challenges. The sequel basically expands most or all parts of the gaming experience from the previous game, without changing the elementary modes of playing. The continent of Albion is larger as a game world, but contains fewer locations, and the locations that remain are more developed and detailed. In contrast to Fable, the solving of set quests is not the basis of the story; rather, the story develops from the player's situation in time and place. This gives the game a sense of more interactivity than the first title in the series.

In Fable III the setting is 50 years after that of Fable II.[3] The historical development is further advanced since the last version: Albion is experiencing an industrial revolution and society resembles that of the early 1800s. In all of the versions, the moral development (in a negative or a positive way) is at the core of the gameplay. In this latest version, this moral development is expanded to include not only the personal or psychological but also a more political aspect, as the goal of the game is to overthrow the oppressive king of Albion, as well as defend the continent from attacks from abroad.


As a role-playing game (RPG), the Fable series constructs the development of a protagonist controlled by the player, and the development is related to the same character's interaction with the game world. A major part of this interaction is for the Fable series related to interaction with people, be it conversation, story-telling, education, trading, gaming, courting and relationships, or fighting.

The player is able to develop the protagonist following several parameters, such as magic, strength and social skills. The player may also direct the moral quality of the protagonist, so that skills may be developed in equal terms and conditions both in the negative and positive field.

In addition to this basis of the gameplay, some of the version focus on set quest that together give the protagonist the opportunity to develop, as well as unveiling strands of the story of the game.

Fable II and III also include cooperative gameplay, where two players with their own character can join forces in their different tasks.


Timeline of release years
2008Fable II
2010Fable III
2012Fable Heroes
Fable: The Journey
Aggregate review scores
As of 6 July 2014.
Game Metacritic
Fable (Xbox) 85[4]
(PC) 83[5]
(X360) 68[6]
Fable II Pub Games (X360) 53[7]
Fable II (X360) 89[8]
Fable III (X360) 80[9]
(PC) 75[10]
Fable Heroes (X360) 55[11]
Fable: The Journey (X360) 61[12]

The first game, Fable, was released for Xbox on 14 September 2004. An extended version, Fable: The Lost Chapters, was released for Windows and Xbox in September 2005; Feral Interactive ported the game to the Mac platform on 31 March 2008.

The first sequel of the series, Fable II, was released for Xbox 360 on 24 October 2008. It also featured a tie-in game called Fable II Pub Games that was released on the XBLA, and an interactive online flash game called Fable: A Hero's Tale that allowed players to open a secret chest in the main game.

A third game, Fable III, was released for Xbox 360 on 29 October 2010, and a Microsoft Windows release on 17 March 2011. This game also featured a tie-in phone game called Fable Coin Golf.

On 2 May 2012, Fable Heroes, was released for the Xbox Live Arcade.

Fable: The Journey a spin-off within the series, was released in North America on 9 October 2012 and in Europe on 12 October 2012. This game utilized the Kinect attachment for the Xbox 360.

On 4 June 2013, Lionhead Studios posted a teaser trailer to YouTube and updated their Fable display picture on Facebook with Jack of Blades, the antagonist from Fable, arousing speculation that he would return in the next Fable release. This was later confirmed on their official website as a teaser to their upcoming Xbox 360 remake of the original game, Fable Anniversary.[13] The game was released on 4 February 2014 in North America and 7 February 2014 in Europe.

Fable Trilogy, a compilation for Xbox 360 that includes Fable Anniversary, Fable II and Fable III was released on 7 February 2014.[14]

On 7 March 2014, Fable themed card games were released as part of the Microsoft Solitaire Collection for the PC.

On 20 August 2013, Lionhead Studios released a teaser trailer for Fable Legends, an Xbox One title set during the "Age of Heroes," long before the events of the first game. The trailer emphasizes that in the game you will play alongside four other players and may choose to be the Hero of the story or the Villain. On 7 March 2016, Microsoft announced that Fable Legends has been cancelled and that Lionhead Studios would be closing.[15]

In May 2016, former Lionhead developers launched a Kickstarter campaign to crowdfund Fable Fortune, a free-to-play collectible card game. The game was previously in development at Lionhead prior to the studio's closure.[16]


  1. "Fable". Lionhead.com. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  2. "Fable II". Lionhead. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  3. "Fable III". Lionhead. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  4. "Fable Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  5. "Fable: The Lost Chapters Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  6. "Fable Anniversary Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  7. "Fable II Pub Games Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  8. "Fable II Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  9. "Fable III Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  10. "Fable III Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  11. "Fable Heroes Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  12. "Fable: The Journey Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  13. "Fable Anniversary". Lionhead. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  14. Matulef, Jeffrey (18 January 2014). "Fable Trilogy confirmed for February". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved 19 January 2010.
  15. "Changes at Microsoft Studios, UK and Denmark". News.Xbox. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  16. Yin-Poole, Wesley (31 May 2016). "Former Lionhead devs take Hearthstone-style Fable Fortune to Kickstarter". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
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