2020 was a pretty big year for people longing for remakes and reboots of classic games. Microsoft, for example, has revealed that both Fable and Perfect Dark are making comebacks after many years of silence. Fable and Perfect Dark are very different games, but they both have dedicated audiences who are glad to see them again. As a result, it’s great to know that original games like these are on the way for the Xbox Series X. They’ll be joining the ranks of some other much anticipated but rather far-off titles like Halo Infinite and Avowed, though it’s worth noting none of these games have precise release windows yet.
Fable and Perfect Dark‘s reemergence stand for something much more important for Microsoft, though. Leading up to the Xbox Series X’s release, some fans were disappointed that the console didn’t appear to have a ton of exclusives and original games. Microsoft has plenty of playable games, but it’s not always known for its in-house IPs. As Microsoft acquires more and more studios, however, it gains more access to known developers and remarkable IPs. If these games are received well, it could result in a lot more original games from the creators of the Xbox; if not, they serve as a test for what Microsoft fans want. It’s acquiring a lot of studios to deliver this Xbox experience, but these two games factor in long-term.
Both Microsoft and Sony had major digital conferences in 2020, finally revealing details on their consoles and some next-gen games that fans could look forward to. Many fans believed that Sony won this exchange of conferences in the area of release titles, as Microsoft’s conference didn’t really put an emphasis on the “now” or, arguably, even “soon.” Some of Microsoft’s most anticipated titles like Avowed are still a long ways away, and games that wanted to release with the Xbox Series X like Halo Infinite have faced delays. In order to compete with Sony, Microsoft could really use more strong IPs.
Fable’s announcement many months ago was a definite high note for Microsoft. Although very little was revealed about Playground Games’ project, the announcement established that Microsoft wants to make sure it’s developing its own blockbusters for the new console. Perfect Dark was revealed at The Game Awards 2020 and establishes a pattern. Now that it’s clear Microsoft is trying to develop a lot of games, there’s room for speculation about what’s next. Microsoft owns a ton of remarkable IPs that could get a comeback.
If Fable and Perfect Dark are anything to go off of, Microsoft is looking at storied franchises worth reviving. It has the rights to a lot of games that would make waves with a comeback. For instance, Banjo and Kazooie recently joined Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, but have gone a long time without a game in their original style. Additionally, Microsoft famously got the rights to Bethesda recently. While The Elder Scrolls 6 is already under way, Microsoft now also has the chance to collaborate directly with Todd Howard and the rest of Bethesda’s developers to come up with some head-turning Xbox exclusives.
Sony is proving the value of exclusive IPs after the success of Marvel’s Spider-Man, God of War, and Horizon Zero Dawn. Microsoft is more than capable of producing strong IPs that can compete with these games. It’s filled to the brim with remarkable studios known for producing quality games, so it’s mostly a matter of choosing and committing to projects. Both Perfect Dark and Fable are good signs on that front. There’s a lot of pressure on these games to deliver, but if they do, it’ll make a world of difference. In the long term, the Xbox Game Pass can’t be the console’s biggest selling point. The Xbox Series X will be much more memorable if it has games like Fable and Perfect Dark to its name.
Fable and Perfect Dark are in development.