Just the other day, Microsoft revealed that Fable Legends had sadly been cancelled. At the moment, there are also “discussions with employees” regarding the closure of Lionhead Studios.
Far from improving the mood, another Microsoft studio is being closed as well. Press Play Studios, who were developing the Xbox One exclusive title Project Knoxville, are being shut down.
Microsoft Studios Europe General Manager Hanno Lemke had this to say:
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.
Specific reasons for the cancellation of Fable Legends hasn’t yet been given. However, there were signs prior to this announcement of the game’s ominous fate.
For example, Fable Legends was eerily absent from Microsoft’s “Spring Preview”. But not everything Lemke said was negative.
He reiterated Microsoft’s support for UK and European studios in the announcement, including new IPs and original game ideas.
The number of employees being laid off isn’t known at this point, but Microsoft has promised to help the affected individuals find new jobs.
This comes as an unexpected move from Microsoft when you consider that Microsoft was still actively promoting Fable Legends beta not long before this announcement.