Fable Legends is dead and its studio, Lionhead, appears to be going with it.
Today, Microsoft released a statement that said as much.
“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.”
This is a remarkable turnaround, as just ten years ago, pundits were trumpeting the purchase of Lionhead as a coup for Microsoft, who went on to develop Fable II and Fable III exclusively for the company.
Since 2013, Lionhead has been working on Legends, which would have changed the core mechanic of the game, and made it team based as opposed to a traditional standalone RPG. It would have been exclusive title to Xbox One.
I was able to get my hands on the demo at Xbox’s annual showcase X14 (in 2014) in Toronto, and I really liked what I saw at that early stage.
There must have been severe problems with the game for Microsoft to abandon it. Think about it: the Xbox One console has sold fewer units than PS4 to date (full disclosure I’m a huge supporter of Xbox One, it’s the only current gen console I own) and one of the main complaints I’ve heard from gamers about the Xbox one is the lack of signature games relative to the PS4.
Losing a massive exclusive in an established franchise must have meant some really disappointing results at Lionhead for Microsoft to cancel the project.
Additionally, there’s the human cost. If Lionhead closes, as it appears it will, many people will lose their jobs, which is never easy.
The release also noted that Microsoft is closing Press Play Studios in Denmark, and will sunset development on Project Knoxville.
This is surely disappointing news to Fable fans and Xbox One fans in general.
If you want to read the full text of the release you may do so here.
Feature image via mn36.finomaf.top