In a piece of shocking news, Microsoft has announced the closure of Lionhead Studios and has ceased development on Fable Legends, the latest installment in the beloved Fable franchise. Hanno Lemke, General Manager of Microsoft Studios Europe had this to say about the closure (XBOX.COM):
“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”
The key phrase from this announcement is “want to play.” Most fans of the Fable franchise want a direct sequel to the 2010 game Fable 3 and have received nothing of the like. Lionhead has ushered out the lighthearted Fable: Heroes, and the failed motion-controlled Fable: The Journey to less than stellar receptions.
News of Fable: Legends, a multiplayer game based in the Fable universe was met with skepticism by fans of the franchise, who again simply wanted a direct sequel, and seemed like they were being open to disappointment from the studio once again. Whether Microsoft hands the Fable reigns to another studio is yet to be seen. Today though, marks the end of an era at Microsoft and a sad day for the employees at Lionhead Studios.
Nation, what are your thoughts on the closure of Lionhead Studios? Fire off your comments below and keep it locked here to GeekNation for all of your gaming needs.
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