Microsoft has announced that it is to cancel the upcoming Fable Legends and has proposed closing Lionhead Studios, along with another game studio subsidiary based in Denmark.
Known for games including the Fable series and god-'em-up animal abuse simulator Black and White, Lionhead was founded by games industry giant Peter Molyneux in 1996 and acquired by Microsoft ten years later. The company hasn't had a good time of late, however: its latest entry in the Fable franchise was poorly received by fans, while Molyneux promised much about a Kinect-powered life simulator dubbed Milo and Kate which would never see the light of day. Molyneux, known for making bold statements about upcoming games which are never quite realised, left the company in 2012.
Microsoft confirmed today that Fable Legends, Lionhead's latest title, has been cancelled, and suggested that the company will be shuttered altogether in the very near future. '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,
' explained Microsoft Studios Europe general manager Hanno Lemke in a statement
issued today. '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.
Lemke also confirmed that Microsoft has opted to 'sunset development
' on Project Knoxville and will close Denmark-based Press Play Studios as a result. No reason was given for the cancellations.