Everyone ready for some bad news? No? Too bad, because Microsoft Studios has plenty of it.
In a recent post on Xbox Wire, Hanno Lemke, GM of Microsoft Studios Europe, announced that all development of the long-awaited Fable Legends will cease, and that acclaimed developer Lionhead Studios may be shut down.
The post states that the decision to cancel Fable Legends was reached “after much consideration”, but it doesn’t go into any detail regarding the reasons. Furthermore, Microsoft says it is “in discussion” with Lionhead Studios and its employees regarding closing down the studio. Additionally, Microsoft is also closing down Press Play Studios, a Danish developer whose work includes Max: The Curse of Brotherhood and the in-development Project: Knoxville.
As for Fable Legends, which is an asymmetrical multiplayer RPG first announced in 2013, a post on its official website explains that the game’s closed beta will end on April 13th. No new players will be permitted to the beta, and all microtransactions were immediately disabled. Furthermore, all players who made purchases in the beta will receive full refunds.
The news about Lionhead closing is quite a surprise, especially because their Black & White and Fable series were quite highly regarded. However, the studio may have been seen as underperforming, seeing as their last major title, Fable III, launched nearly six years ago. Since then they’ve only released Fable spin-offs (which received mixed reviews) and Fable Anniversary, a remake of the first title.
Regardless, it’s always a shame when studios close, and we wish the employees of Lionhead and Press Play all the best.