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Microsoft Officially Kills Lionhead

Screenshot from the cancelled Fable Legends
Screenshot from the cancelled Fable Legends

In early March, Microsoft announced plans to cancel Fable Legends and put forth a “proposed closure” of the iconic studio Lionhead. Today, it’s official: Lionhead is no more.

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“We can confirm that after much consideration over the six week consultation period with Lionhead employees, we have reached the decision to close Lionhead Studios,” Microsoft told our friends at Kotaku UK this morning. “We have nothing but heart-felt thanks for the team at Lionhead for their significant contributions to Xbox and the games industry.”

Said “consultation period” was just a formality: British law requires companies to go through a very specific process before they officially shut down. Lionhead employees had been prepared for the end. Even the website is no more.

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Lionhead, best known as the studio behind Fable and Black & White, was founded in 1996 by former Bullfrog employees including Peter Molyneux. Molyneux left the company in 2012.

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DISCUSSION

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Jupiter-is-Alive

Sad because the Fable series is very redeemable. It seems like Microsoft has made a habit of giving up on high potential franchises. Like Mechwarrior before it, I’m sure the Fable franchise will go unused for years now, while all it would take is handing it off to the right studio to make a great, new game. The problem is that Microsoft doesn’t have enough in-house talent to hand these properties off to. So instead, they just try to go out and buy exclusivity from third-parties.