Microsoft has cancelled Fable Legends, the cooperative 3rd-person action game for Xbox One and Windows PC that was originally announced in 2013. In addition to the game’s cancellation, Microsoft has also announced that they are “in discussions” to close the game’s UK developer, Lionhead Studios, as revealed in a statement released by Hanno Lenke, general manager of Microsoft Studios Europe.
Here’s Lenke’s statement, posted to the official Xbox website, which also notes that Play Studios, the Danish developer responsible for Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, will also be shut down:
Today, I have some difficult changes to announce that affect some of our Microsoft Studios teams and projects in the UK and Denmark.
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. Additionally, we will close Press Play Studios in Denmark, and sunset development on Project Knoxville.
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.
I speak for all of Xbox when I say that despite this news, we remain committed to the development communities in the UK and Europe, and Xbox will continue to support new IP and originality in the games we offer on our platforms, whether they’re AAA blockbusters like Quantum Break from Remedy, adventurous new IPs like Sea of Thieves from Rare, or unique new creations from independent developers like Moon Studios with Ori.
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.
Fable Legends was previously set to launch in late 2015, with an open beta planned to hit sometime this spring. Lionhead was founded in 1996 and was known for series such as Fable and the Black & White strategy games. Their most recent release was the Fable Anniversary edition, which hit Xbox 360 and PC in 2014. We wish the teams at Lionhead and Play Studios the best in this difficult time.