bit-gamer.net

Microsoft lays off Lionhead staffers

Microsoft lays off Lionhead staffers

Fable: The Journey has done little to impress reviewers and has clocked up a series of mediocre scores.

Microsoft has made an undisclosed number of employees redundant from Lionhead. The company states that it is less than 10% of Lionhead's current headcount.

The job cuts come after Xbox Kinect title Fable: The Journey was completed and shipped. The latest instalment to the Fable series was released last week and has so far performed poorly, generating lacklustre review scores and poor sales.

Microsoft told Develop that the job losses were perfectly common for the industry stating that smaller teams are needed for the start of new projects.

Despite the job cuts, Microsoft is still intending to hire approximately 100 people across its UK studios over the next year. These studios include the aforementioned Lionhead alongside Soho Productions and Rare.

Microsoft also announced back in July that it is opening a fourth UK studio that is expected to have a focus on casual, free-to-play and tablet-based titles. It is scheduled to open its doors in November and recently recruited former Rare developer Lee Schunerman to head up the studio.

What Lionhead is currently working on is unconfirmed, but the studio is reportedly aiming for a 2013 release of Fable 4 and job adverts posted earlier this year suggest it is working on an MMO-style RPG for a hypothetical future Xbox console.

Lionhead co-founder, Peter Molyneux, left the studio in March to start up his own company, 22 Cans, although he remained on as a consultant on the recently released Fable title. He is currently building up for the release of 22 Cans' debut social experimental game hybrid Curiosity: What's inside the Cube? Molyneux reports the title is finished and undergoing Apple's app certification process.

10 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
The Infamous Mr D 18th October 2012, 08:19 Quote
Hang on a tick... the game isn't a sales smash, and they sack the developers...

I hadn't even heard of this game! Isn't that the fault of the marketing team?!
GuilleAcoustic 18th October 2012, 08:31 Quote
Bad games comes from poor game design, i.e. the lead of the team. As mentioned, there was a lack of communication, didn't even knew this game existed.

Studios are too much pressured to released a new opus per year, often at the cost of game mechanics. Just use the same graphics, throw a ligth story and increment the opus number.

Developpement only impacts the look and the performance of the game. It's the job of the game designers to create a gameplay that will make the developpers job worth buying. Then it's the job of the marketing team to make a good publicity.
Guinevere 18th October 2012, 10:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Infamous Mr D
I hadn't even heard of this game! Isn't that the fault of the marketing team?!

I don't think you can entirely blame the marketing team when an on-rails Kinect-controlled fantasy-themed horse and cart simulator fails to capture the audiences imagination.

It's very hard to market something that will generate a "WTF?" response from everyone you show it to.
GuilleAcoustic 18th October 2012, 11:06 Quote
Do not underestimate the WTF factor in game industry :p. A WTF game will catch more curiosity than a common game that looks like all the other game out there :)
Glix 18th October 2012, 11:13 Quote
This is typical for the games industry these days though... project/game complete, bye bye developers spare a few to fix anything going belly up and those to do any DLC work.

New project, new teams, same brand, how do you enjoy having the wool pulled over your eyes?
GuilleAcoustic 18th October 2012, 11:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glix
This is typical for the games industry these days though... project/game complete, bye bye developers spare a few to fix anything going belly up and those to do any DLC work.

New project, new teams, same brand, how do you enjoy having the wool pulled over your eyes?

I agree, and new devs have to relearn what the previous team discovered mistake after mistake. Just look at Diablo 3 .... new team .... they made the same errors that the D2 team made with D2 (and fixed with updates). The learning curves restart from its beginning.
ShinyAli 18th October 2012, 12:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere
I don't think you can entirely blame the marketing team when an on-rails Kinect-controlled fantasy-themed horse and cart simulator fails to capture the audiences imagination.

Horse and cart sim..LMFAO

yWFJQsOznfg&feature=fvwrel

I've also not heard of it but as keen as some people are to play Kinect-controlled sporty and jumpy up and down games maybe people don't want to spend days/weeks waving their arms about playing a long RPG, I certainly don't, Kinect-controlled games have their place but not every game is suited to it.

Oh, and I think the original 1996 "Fable" is probably a better game and it's now Abandonware and playable on Dosbox B)

http://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l/65792-fable-dos-screenshot-main-menus.png
ferret141 18th October 2012, 19:30 Quote
I played it at eurogamer. Wasn't that bad. I could make it much more funbeneficial. Strap weights to your wrists and elbows and turn it into an endurance challenge.
ShinyAli 18th October 2012, 21:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ferret141
Strap weights to your wrists and elbows and turn it into an endurance challenge.

Mmm, I can see the cases of Kinect-controller related RSI going through the roof :D
Dedlite 22nd October 2012, 10:08 Quote
Peter Molyneux (re. 22 Cans) is now making iOS games? My, how far those have fallen!
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums