In a statement made by Hanno Lemke, the General Manager of Microsoft Studios Europe, Microsoft is cancelling development of Fable Legends
and is in "discussions" to close Lionhead Studios, which seems pretty ominous about the studio's future. An open beta for Fable Legends
was expected sometime this spring for what would be a free-to-play take on the popular Fable
Denmark developer Press Play Studios, who was behind games such as Max: The Curse of Brotherhood
, is also set to be closed. The studio was currently working on the fan-voted Project Knoxville
Here is the bulk of Lemke's statement
on this news:
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 like Quantum 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.
Our best goes out to everyone at both Lionhead and Press Play affected by this news.