Microsoft Studios are canceling the development of Fable Legends, Lionhead Studios’ Xbox One and Windows PC title, and is also “in discussions” to close down the studio, according to a statement released today by Hanno Lemke, general manager of Microsoft Studios Europe. Elsewhere Press Play Studios, the developers behind Max: The Curse Of The Brotherhood, is also set to close down, Lemke went on to say.
Here is Lemke’s statement posted on the official Xbox website.
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,
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 like Quantum 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.
Announced in 2013, Fable Legends was set to launch as a free-to-play title in the fourth quarter of 2015 and was set to feature cross play between the Xbox One and Windows PC. A beta was scheduled for spring 2016.
British developers Lionhead were founded in 1996. The studio’s first release was Black and White in 2001 with the studio then mostly focused on the hugely popular Fable series.
In 2012, Microsoft acquired Danish developers Press Play. The studio then released Max: The Curse Of The Brotherhood the following year before developing Kalimba.[Update] Fable Legends will stay Online until 15:00 GMT April 13th but no new players will be able to access the game, only players who have previously experienced the game will be able to do so until the 13th. Players who have invested money in Fable Legends will be refunded.