Two Microsoft Studios development teams are in jeopardy. Press Play Studios in Denmark (which was developing a game called Project Knoxville) will be shutting down today, and Microsoft is debating whether or not to close the UK-based Lionhead Games, which was working on Fable Legends.
The decision behind the recent moves are somewhat unclear. A blog post from Microsoft Studios Europe general manager Hanno Lemke stated that, "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."
Lionhead Studios is best known for its work on the Fable franchise, all the way back to the first Fable title, which launched in 2004. Its current work on Fable Legends was the latest addition to the 12-year franchise. In December, the developer initially planned on an open beta session for the game during the holidays, but had to postpone it to spring 2016.
As for Press Play Studios, it had a smaller resume of titles under its belt. Some of the projects included were Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, Tentacles: Enter the Mind and Kalimba.
Even though Press Play Studios is shutting down, the fate of Lionhead Games is still up in the air. The cancellation of Fable Legends could eventually lead to the studio’s closure, but it could also free up the development team to assist with work on other first-party titles under the Microsoft Studios banner.