Microsoft is to close Lionhead Studios having already made the decision to cancel development of Fable Legends, Microsoft Studios Europe general manager Hanno Lemke has announced.
"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," stated Lemke in a post on Xbox Wire.
Microsoft will also close Press Play Studios in Denmark, and cease development on Project Knoxville. The Danish studio is best known for Max: The Curse of Brotherhood.
"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," added Lemke. "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."
Lemke concluded: "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."
Lionhead was founded in 1996 by Peter Molyneux before being acquired by Microsoft in 2006 following the success of Fable for Xbox in 2004. Besides the Fable franchise Lionhead is also known for the Black & White titles, and the never materialised Milo & Kate for Kinect.
Source: Xbox Wire