For over a decade, developer Lionhead Studios has delighted fans with its Fable series of action RPGs, and while for the past few years its free-to-play title Fable Legends has been coming along in the development process, new developments and internal changes at Microsoft have led to the project’s cancellation and (potentially) the studio’s closure.
In an update on the Xbox Wire news page, Microsoft Studios Europe GM Hanno Lemke announced that “after much consideration,” the company has ceased development on Fable Legends and is currently “in discussions with employees about the proposed closure of Lionhead Studios.”
Along with the news on Lionhead Studios and Fable Legends, Lemke also explained that Microsoft has officially closed its Denmark-based Press Play Studios, which had previously worked on the titles Max: The Curse of Brotherhood and Kalimba. The studio’s closure there will also end development on its current title, Project Knoxville.
Lemke explained in the blog post on the changes and developments for Lionhead Studios and Press Play Studios:
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.
He further added that “despite this news,” Microsoft will “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,” citing the variety of the company’s recent and upcoming titles such as Quantum Break, Rare’s new IP Sea of Thieves, and last year’s successful Ori and the Blind Forest from Moon Studios.
Lemke closed the post by explaining:
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.