If you're a fan of either Fable or Perfect Dark, then any possible hints at comebacks for the long-dormant franchises might get your imagination going. At least in the case of two Microsoft-associated Twitter accounts that surfaced over the weekend, those shouldn't be taken as signs that we'll be seeing Albion or Joanna Dark any time soon.
On Saturday, Tom Warren of The Verge pointed out the existence of locked Twitter accounts for both Fable and Perfect Dark, listed as having been created in March and June of this year, respectively. Warren noted that one account, @PerfectDarkGame, was being followed by a Microsoft employee, later identified as Creative Director Ken Lobb. The @fable account appeared to have been registered with a Microsoft email address. With rumors about revivals flying around for both franchises and the launch of the Xbox Series X looming, these accounts and their creation dates could, at first glance, seem to suggest some future activity.
It turns out, though, that only one of the accounts is a genuine Microsoft registry, and it's supposedly only there for placeholder purposes. Microsoft's General Manager of Xbox Games Marketing Aaron Greenberg responded to Warren, shooting down the notion that the accounts were made in anticipation of new reveals. "I know everyone is hungry for news, but sorry to get your hopes up," Greenberg writes. "These accounts have been inactive for years, it's standard practice to secure social handles for our IP."
Had both accounts been Microsoft-made, this story might have ended with Greenberg's comment on the matter, but then @PerfectDarkGame unlocked and began tweeting. The person behind the account claims to have grabbed the handle after hearing about the Fable account, locked it in a similar manner, and then received a follow request from Ken Lobb a short while later. The account operator says they haven't received a response from Lobb about giving up the handle and has changed the account information to specify that it's not affiliated with Microsoft.
While it might seem a bit odd, then, that Greenberg talked about "these accounts" being inactive for years given that one doesn't belong to Microsoft and the other is listed as being made in March 2020, there's only so much to read into the situation. New games in the works or not, registering placeholder social media accounts is a common corporate practice even for properties that aren't actively being worked on.
Still, there are reasons to think we might see new entries in both series soon. In 2018, Eurogamer reported that Forza Horizon makers Playground Games had started work on a new Fable title in lieu of the canceled Fable Legends. Recently, the LinkedIn profile of a designer at Microsoft's new studio The Initiative also got people abuzz about its secret project. A hush-hush title involving "weapons, gadgets, and a camera surveillance system" is more to go on than a Twitter account that is, evidently, the work of a fan who is just as curious about the possibility of a new Perfect Dark as the rest of us.