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Xbox apologizes for getting your hopes up

With the next generation of consoles approaching, everyone wants to know what kinds of games they can expect to see. We already know a good number of the games coming to the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, but it's always exciting to see hints of what else our favorite companies have in store. Now, we may know of two dormant franchises that are making a long-awaited return for the Xbox Series X — or do we?

Those two series are Fable and Perfect Dark, both of which are IPs owned by Xbox. Fans on Twitter have spotted two accounts that were recently registered, @fable and @PerfectDarkGame. This has fueled speculation that we may finally be seeing official announcements for Fable 4 and perhaps a remake of Perfect Dark in the near future.

As pointed out on Twitter by The Verge's Tom Warren, the two accounts were initially locked and labeled as "Placeholder" accounts, which would indicate that there would be some kind of official use in mind for them. Additionally, Warren says, "a Microsoft Xbox employee is following one, and the other is registered to a Microsoft email address."

This is pretty compelling stuff, but the theory was seemingly shot down by Xbox's head of marketing, Aaron Greenberg. Responding to Warren's tweet, Greenberg wrote, "I know everyone is hungry for news, but sorry to get your hopes up. These accounts have been inactive for years, it's standard practice to secure social handles for our IP."

In other words, Greenberg is saying that Xbox is just covering its bases for if/when the company decides to return to these franchise. While that's not the immediate confirmation that fans may be hoping for, it's not the worst news. At least Greenberg isn't entirely shooting down the possibility of new Fable or Perfect Dark games in the future.

In an odd twist, the person who owns the @PerfectDarkGame Twitter account has also apparently unlocked their account and assured followers that they aren't connected to the franchise in any official capacity. According to them, they're "just a normal guy" who managed to secure the account handle. However, the owner of the account also admitted to having received a follow request from Ken Lobb, who worked on the original Perfect Dark. This apparently led the account holder to wonder if the folks who are working on the new Perfect Dark installment want to acquire this handle, which would make a lot of sense.

However, another fan claims to have discovered that both Twitter accounts are actually registered to a Microsoft email address. If this is true, it confuses things even further. Is this fan mistaken, or is the person running the @PerfectDarkGame account playing a long con to throw fans off the scent? If that's the case, it would be a video game conspiracy worthy of the Perfect Dark series.

We've been hearing rumors surrounding Fable 4 for quite some time now. Though Xbox head Phil Spencer has refused to officially comment on the title, speculation abounds regarding the next game's plot. We've heard everything from time travel to planet-hopping action, but seemingly nothing substantial has surfaced besides rumors on Reddit. 

On the other hand, there are plenty of signs pointing to a brand new day for the Perfect Dark franchise. For one thing, Microsoft renewed the series' trademark back in 2018. However, this isn't even the first time this year that we have heard hints of a new Perfect Dark installment in development. 

Back in April, fans on LinkedIn noticed job postings for The Initiative, the developer that has been rumored to be linked to a new Perfect Dark. The listing described a Technical Director position, and The Initiative was looking for someone "responsible for scripting and creating various world interactables and gameplay objects, such as doors, destructibles, hazards, triggers, and much more." The job listing also described someone who "scripted various weapons, gadgets, and a camera surveillance system for an unannounced project."

These descriptors immediately caught the attention of Perfect Dark fans. The original game featured all kinds of James Bond-style gadgets that could be used against enemies. While none of this has been confirmed as being meant for a Perfect Dark sequel, these new Twitter accounts sure seem to lend some credence to fan theories. Also, considering the original Perfect Dark took place in the year 2020 — and it's the 20th anniversary of the first game — it seems like this would be the right time to bring the franchise back in a big way.