Microsoft kills Fable Legends, mulls Lionhead Studios closure

In a blog post today, Microsoft has announced the cancellation of Fable Legends and are in talks with employees over the closure of Lionhead Studios in the UK.

The post was written by general manager of Microsoft Studios Europe, Hanno Lemke. Along with the game, the company is also closing down Press Play studios in Denmark and ceasing development on Project Knoxville.

In the post, Lemke says the decision was not made lightly and is not a reflection on the development teams.

Fable Legends was to be the next title in the Fable series, this time incorporating a heavier multiplayer element with character roles and online play. It was in development for the Xbox One and Windows platforms, and was one of the primary punts for Microsoft and Windows 10’s reinvigorated gaming focus.

Lionhead Studios was established in 1996 by long-time video game designer and programmer, Peter Molyneux. It was acquired by Microsoft in April 2006 to focus primarily on the software giant’s platforms.

In September last year, Xbox announced fans had chosen Project: Knoxville to be Press Play’s next video game for development. The studio had previously developed Max: The Curse of Brotherhood.

Read the full post below:

Today, I have some difficult changes to announce that affect some of our Microsoft Studios teams and projects in the UK and Denmark.

After much consideration we have decided to cease development on Fable Legends, and are in discussions with employees about the proposed closure of Lionhead Studios in the UK. Additionally, we will close Press Play Studios in Denmark, and sunset development on Project Knoxville.

These have been tough decisions and we have not made them lightly, nor are they a reflection on these development teams – we are incredibly fortunate to have the talent, creativity and commitment of the people at these studios. The Lionhead Studios team has delighted millions of fans with the Fable series over the past decade. Press Play imbued the industry with a unique creative spirit behind games like Max: The Curse of Brotherhood and Kalimba, which both captured passionate fans. These changes are taking effect as Microsoft Studios continues to focus its investment and development on the games and franchises that fans find most exciting and want to play.

I speak for all of Xbox when I say that despite this news, we remain committed to the development communities in the UK and Europe, and Xbox will continue to support new IP and originality in the games we offer on our platforms, whether they’re AAA blockbusters likeQuantum Break from Remedy, adventurous new IPs like Sea of Thieves from Rare, or unique new creations from independent developers like Moon Studios with Ori.

We have nothing but heart-felt thanks for the members of Lionhead and Press Play for their contributions to Xbox and gaming. We are committed to working closely with those affected by today’s news to find them new opportunities at Xbox, or partnering with the broader development community to help place them in jobs elsewhere in the games industry should they desire.

Thanks to @SaveTheQueenIX for the tip.



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