Fable Legends cancelled, Microsoft possibly closing down Lionhead Studios

There is unfortunate news today in regards to Microsoft Studios teams and projects in the UK and Denmark as Microsoft Studios Europe general manager Hanno Lemke has announced that Fable Legends has been cancelled.

Lemke also announced via Xbox Wire that they are in discussions with employees about a proposed closure of Fable Legends developer Lionhead Studios.

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.

Lion head studios which was co-founded by Peter Molyneux is responsible for some of the most ground breaking titles in the gaming industry. Titles like Fable, and Black & White have a tremendous fan base and you can be sure that this news does not resonate well with many of them, myself included. Fable Legends, a free-to-play, four versus one game set in the Fable universe had been in closed beta for months before today’s announcement.

Additionally, an announcement was made that Press Play Studios the team behind Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, Kalimba and the currently in development title Project Knoxville will also be shuddered, Lemke stated in his post.

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.

Despite today’s unfortunate news Lemke also noted that Microsoft remains committed to the development communities in the UK and Europe and they will continue to support new IP and originality in games.

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.

He also went on to express his gratitude to members of both Lionhead and Press Play for their contrabutions to Xnox and gaming.

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.

It’s unfortunate when any studio may close and it will be even more heartbreaking if this is indeed the case with Lionhead going forward. We at EXL Gaming would like to send our heartfelt condolences the talented individuals at Lionhead and Press Play studios and hope you find success in any future endeavors.