Today, I have some difficult changes to announce that affect some of our Microsoft Studios teams and projects in the UK and Denmark.
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, 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.
by Hanno Lemke, General Manager, Microsoft Studios Europe
Posted on March 7, 2016
at 6:45 am
Today, Microsoft has officially closed Lionhead Studios, ending production on Fable: Legends. They also decided to close Press Play, the creators of Max: The Curse of Brotherhood. Based on the information given, it appears that these companies have steadily been losing fan’s interest in their games. That being said, they will be working with the former studio employees to help them find a new place among the Xbox Development teams, or other studios elsewhere if they choose.
That’s a powerful statement, and proves that Microsoft truly appreciates all of their teams. They are dedicated to helping them find work in the industry, even if it means parting ways with Microsoft. Sad news, but it was followed by a huge display of appreciation and companionship. I certainly hope we’ll see these developers and designers again.
Below is the full excerpt from news.xbox.com, followed by the link to the announcement.
What are your thoughts on this? Did Lionhead or Press Play meet your expectations? Are you happy or sad to see them gone?