Playground Games has announced today that they've hired three more developers for roles in their second, newly opened studio for an undisclosed project. For years, rumors have swirled that Playground has been handed the torch to carry on the now defunct Lionhead's Fable franchise, and today's hiring roundup certainly fits the bill.
Noting that the trio is joining their "RPG team," Playground has announced hires of Milly Parkes, Hunter Wright, and Alejandro Lois. Parkes joins Playground as a Character Artist following freelance work with EA, Sumo Digital, and Amazon. Wright comes to the team from Starbreeze Studios and will serve as the Lead Character Artist. Meanwhile, Lois joind Playground as a Producer after working for Globant, a tech company which specializes in an array of services including AI, UX design, and "cloud ops," so it's difficult to distinguish where Lois' specialties may be best used for Playground from the outside looking in.
Playground Games was acquired by Microsoft in 2018 after developing the Forza Horizon series for years, garnering better reception and a bigger audience each time. Their latest release, Forza Horizon 4, is the first to launch directly into Xbox Game Pass at launch alongside its retail release, and boasts a Mighty OpenCritic score of 92, making it the highest-scoring first-party title of Microsoft's 2018 calendar. Its central mechanic of in-game seasons that change weekly has become the foundation for a constantly evolving live-service game.
Rumors have pointed to their next game being a revival of Fable even before the company declared the grand opening of a second studio location. Since then, they've confirmed in various channels that their next game is an open-world RPG but have not gone as far as to say its name or hint that it's Fable. Still, plenty of speculation persists and leaks here and there seem to suggest it was at least one time something on the table. It will likely be a while before we find out for sure.