This morning, Microsoft made a very sudden, and shocking announcement, explaining that Fable Legends, the multiplayer RPG which had been in beta on PC and Xbox One, has been cancelled alongside the closure of at least one studio, likely two. In a post on Xbox Wire, it has been explained that the closure of Press Play Studios, the development team behind Max: The Curse of the Brotherhood, and the proposed closure of Lionhead Studios, the team most noted for its creation of the Fable series, are centered around Microsoft’s desire to focus resources on games and franchises gamers “want to play.” The full post on Microsoft’s site is as follows:
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.
The two studios have approximately 30 years of game development history between them, making this no small change in the landscape of gaming. It is uncertain as to what the future holds for the teams of either development company, but whatever the outcome, Analog Addiction wishes only the best for the future of all the affected employees and their families.
Eric is an Xbox editor for Analog Addiction where you can find all the latest gaming news, previews, reviews, and everything else that rhymes with those words. ‘Like’ Analog Addiction on Facebook to receive all of the updates as they’re posted.