Lionhead Studios Didn’t Know They Were On The Verge Of Being Shut Down

That’s not a good look for Microsoft.

Posted By | On 09th, Mar. 2016 Under News | Follow This Author @Pramath1605

Fable Legends

The surprise cancellation of Fable Legends, and the closing down of Lionhead Studios came as a complete surprise to everybody- especially since the game had featured prominently in Microsoft’s plans and marketing for the coming year.

But surely Lionhead themselves knew that they were possibly in trouble? Surely they could tell that they were on thin ice? That’s what you would think- but as the dust is beginning to settle on the issue, it is emerging that Lionhead themselves may have been kept in the dark about the issue all along.

WCCFTech has gathered evidence that points at Lionhead not knowing about their impending fate- for instance, just hours before the game was closed down, Lionhead’s community manager had promised that Fable Legends would be a ‘late but good game,’ rather than ‘an instant but not as good as it could be game.’

Even Lionhead’s senior staff were not in the know- Lionhead’s Creative Director David Eckleberry (who was often the face for Fable Legends in interviews on the game) confirmed on Twitter that the move came as a complete surprise to him- there even seems to be an unsubstantiated rumor floating around that Lionhead were only called together in a meeting to have the news broken to them right around when Xbox Wire first announced it.

In which case- this is honestly a bit of a scummy move. Studio closures and game cancellations happen all the time, yes, even this late in development- in the end, I can’t blame Microsoft for making a strategically sound decision. But misleading your employees like this and taking them completely by surprise is not a good look at all, Microsoft.

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  • Indie

    It is a total scumbag move on the part of Microsoft. I understand that sometimes projects must be cancelled or put on hold, but this was far beyond a simple strategic move. Being a fan of the Fable franchise and Lionhead Studios since the very first Fable game was released, I am utterly disgusted. I have chosen Xbox over PS every time a new console has been released simply because the Fable series was exclusive to Microsoft. The Fableverse inspired me to begin writing through some pretty tough times in my life, and through that, my stories gained a great deal of following and fan art. It’s about more than dollars and decimals. The Fable community has remained loyal through the flops as they eagerly awaited a true Fable 4 RPG. Now that hope is gone, and what’s worse is how many gifted and talented Lionhead Studio employees were just steamrolled. I’d love to hear the justification behind this “tough” decision from Microsoft.

    <3 Indie
    Twitter: @indiegarona

    • Alistein

      It was sudden move but surely the writing was on the wall. According to Phil Lion head chose this Fable game and not a standard rpg to work on and they missed so many deadlines. Who knows they probably proposed another extension for the release date to MS at which point MS was just fed up and decided to cut their loses. Don’t forget MS operates a business not a charity if you’re putting so much money in and getting nothing in return that is equivalent to loss and to top it off MS is now under new management from Nadella down and this new management has reined in the budget and control of Xbox.
      It’s never a good thing when people loose their jobs so I sympathize and would have hoped for a restructure rather than a closure

    • SuperGamewarrior101

      I’m worried that the Fable games will get removed from Steam.

    • Alistein

      You know I do wonder if MS is bringing in the head of Crystal Dynamics who left the studio sometime last year, as they had a good working relationship, they could decide to hire him for similar experiences on their platform. In anycase it’s just a thought.

  • Starman

    No one ever knows when they’re being fired … wth do they think they are … Like Al , said …they missed too many deadlines , they chose this and not a traditional RPG… they screwed up , as Crytek did with RYSE … good game that could’ve been great, Phil told them ..(and yes gamingbolt showed the article as did IGN and gamespot )…take your time if you need it , you don’t have to rush it out for the holiday , but they did … and it wasn’t a great game , had potential but rushed it….FACTS ??? it will all come out soon enough .

  • Mr Xrat

    Classic Phil. What a guy! Saving the Xbox brand and not breaking a sweat.

    • Truth™

      Modeling himself after Shuhei Yoshida who closed three AAA studios including one still producing amazing games all in one year. What a forward thinking man 🙂


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