Fable Legends Cancelled As Microsoft Plans To Shut Down Lionhead Studios

Written by Neil Soutter on Mon, Mar 7, 2016 3:05 PM
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Fable Legends developer Lionhead Studios is to be closed down, Microsoft has announced. The Black & White studio, based in Guildford, UK, has ceased development on Fable Legends and will shutter in the near future.

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,” said Microsoft Studios Europe general manager Hanno Lemke.

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.

I have to admit to being a little blindsided by this one. Fable Legends is currently in beta with an open beta planned for this spring, so we were only a matter of months away from its launch. It’s been trumpeted as an early proponent of DirectX 12 and was set to unite PC and Xbox One gamers with its cross-platform play.

Fable Legends looked to flip the irreverent RPG franchise on its head with asymmetric multiplayer, as teams of up to four adventurers took on player-controlled dungeon masters who could set traps, place enemies, and generally be a bit of a nuisance.

There's also the small matter of Fable being one of the most popular IP in the Xbox stable. Only Halo and Forza have shifted more copies, beating out even the likes of Gears of War. 

It's sad to see them go, whatever you thought of its more recent output. What have been some of your favourite Lionhead games? Also, what does this say about Microsoft's treatment of well established, much loved studios? Let us know!

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02:30 Mar-09-2016

Anything Microsoft touches turns to ****. It's the reverse Midas technique that took years to master. Well played Billy gates

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08:24 Mar-09-2016

Billy has nothing to do with this rubbish... it's that damn Nutella guy!

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20:03 Mar-08-2016

Hey guys, want this fable game? Best part? It'll be free. Get excited!


So I may crush your hopes. >:)

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17:27 Mar-08-2016

They promised a game with "Fable" in the name. It really wasn't a fable game to begin with, so I am not all that disappointed, but they did promise the game, however, if it was a real fable game, the studio would not be shut down.

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17:31 Mar-08-2016

Also, Final Fantasy 13 Verses, now FF15, is still going, delayed, but never canceled. Other companies could learn a thing or two from FF creators.

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12:13 Mar-08-2016

So...is it senseless to continue dreaming about a new Black & White game? :/

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07:20 Mar-08-2016

well at this point the Xbox One might have never existed.

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03:32 Mar-08-2016

Lionhead studios made my 5 favorite games... black and white, black and white 2, fable, fable 2, and the movies. this decision makes me a bit sad because i had been hoping for black and white 3 someday and may never see it now...

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04:07 Mar-08-2016

that's exactly what I was going to come say I loved black and white series they need to make another one its been far to long how dare they

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02:53 Mar-08-2016

Microsoft is more focused in take away our privacy at any cost (like force us to use windows 10) and empty our pockets as much as they can. With every news about microsoft i am more angered with them.

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21:33 Mar-07-2016

I was really looking forward to another full fledged fable game after this too. This is a real bummer.

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20:25 Mar-07-2016

Who the hell has been making decisions for Microsoft and PC gaming lately?


You'd think they'd accidentally employed someone from Sony's business department and given him a tonne of decision-making power.

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01:29 Mar-08-2016

Perhaps they hired somebody from Konami?
Bad decisions all around.

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19:41 Mar-07-2016

This is not going to win any favors with the developers for Microsoft. My advice: Get out while you still can before you get canned yourselves.

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17:26 Mar-07-2016

I remember playing Black & White many many years ago. One of my favorite classics. This is some sad news.

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17:24 Mar-07-2016

Why am i not surprised...

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17:12 Mar-07-2016

R.I.P Fable Series!!


Hero your health is low!
Do you have any potions or food?

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17:05 Mar-07-2016

"Shet"

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16:54 Mar-07-2016

Wow, just wow. There is one good thing about this though. Those talented people will go to other studios, maybe create their own studio and develop an indie hit. F*** you MS.

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17:09 Mar-07-2016

yeah develop an indie hit and make a fraction of the money by working more. Sounds great :P

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17:20 Mar-07-2016

Shutdowns like this have spawned some great studios and games and don't forget we are living in the age of crowdfunding :)

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19:33 Mar-07-2016

I dont doupt some great games can come out of indie studios. There are numerous indie games I love. What I am saying is that a studio will have to work more to earn less when releasing a game alone instead of having a publisher which is sad for the developers.

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01:31 Mar-08-2016

coughStar Citizencough
Seriously though, having the names of the staff in the studio behind any future project will give them weight. Studios really don't need huge publishing companies any more to make it big.

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01:45 Mar-08-2016

has that game really made money? Sure it has been probably the biggest crowdfunding project so far but the funding it has recieved is still relatively small for a game of such ambition and spectrum. I wish it reaches release soon (while upholding the expectations it has created) and sells a crazy amount of copies.

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16:41 Mar-07-2016

Lionhead Studios created games I grew up off of and will never forget. Screw you Microsoft and RIP Lionhead!

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15:46 Mar-07-2016

I didn't really feel like this game was going to turn out good, good call to cancel it.

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15:39 Mar-07-2016

While this was a BIG surprise and came out of nowhere I don't really feel...as Impacted as I thought I would be. Lionhead studios used to make really cool and innovative games but they only seemed to be a one shot deal for their different series. Fable 1 was the only good Fable, Black and White 1 was better than 2 etc. I was hoping that they would've been able to turn it around now that the man of unfulfilled promises had left but it seems like they won't even get a chance now. I am sad it gone.

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15:30 Mar-07-2016

o.O that was unexpected to say the least

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15:28 Mar-07-2016

rip fable legends.another victim of the plague that is microsoft.

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