Microsoft has unexpectedly announced the closure of Lionhead and Press Play Studios, with the immediate effect of the suspension of development on free-to-play Fable Legends. The news, as said, comes unexpected and is an effect of the will of Microsoft to restructure his gaming business in Europe.
The announcement was given by Microsoft Studios Europe’s boss Hanno Lemke through a post published on Xbox Wire, where he gives some explanations to this decision and reassure gamers about the ongoing process leading to make great games in Europe (Quantum Break and Sea of Thieves included).
“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.”
Pretty bad news for Xbox gamers, including the closure of such beloved studio as Lionhead, led in the past by founder Peter Molyneux and maker of the Xbox exclusive RPG series Fable. Press Play Studios was also quick to enter gamers’ hearts with the Max side-scroller platform franchise.