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Fable Legends Cancelled; Lionhead Studios to Close

Stephen Welsh

Stephen Welsh

Stephen (or Steve(or Tojeka Steve)) is a kind young man who cares more about games, fiction, sleep and chicken than is probably healthy.
Stephen Welsh

Today Microsoft announced on their official Xbox news site that Lionhead Studios’ fantasy multiplayer title Fable Legends has ceased development. A spinoff of their decade-old Fable franchise, Legends was to be a free-to-play game for Xbox One and Windows PCs, featuring asymmetric multiplayer with 4 players controlling Heroes, while 1 player could take on the role of a Villain in similar fashion to Evolve. The game was originally announced in 2013, but was delayed numerous times. With Fable Legends cancelled, Microsoft has also revealed that they are in talk to close developer Lionhead Studios.

Fable Legends cancelled

The UK studio was founded in 1996 by Peter Molyneux, and went on to develop god game series Black & White, film production simulator The Movies, and most notably the fantasy RPG franchise Fable (alongside developer Big Blue Box). Despite reception to the game being defined by Molyneux’s unfulfilled promises, Fable was popular enough to spawn 2 sequels, a handful of spinoffs, and a 2014 remaster entitled Fable Anniversary. With the closure of Lionhead, it remains to be seen if the Fable franchise will live on, especially with the outright cancellation of Fable Legends.

Fable Legends cancelled

The same announcement also reveals that Microsoft are closing Denmark developer Press Play – the studio behind Kalimba, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, and Max and the Magic Marker. Their Xbox One and PC title Project: Knoxville has also been cancelled. Here’s Microsoft’s statement explaining the decision:

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. 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 and the Blind Forest.

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.

About Stephen Welsh

Stephen (or Steve(or Tojeka Steve)) is a kind young man who cares more about games, fiction, sleep and chicken than is probably healthy.

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