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Microsoft Studios Shuts Down Press Play Studios, Considers Closing Lionhead Studios

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.

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  • firefoxx04
    Microsoft is cancer for gamers. Plain and simple.
    Reply
  • eklipz330
    this is exactly what happens when you let business oriented individuals lead companies where creativity is required to thrive.

    they milk games for profit, then when "interest" from people is down (aka profit), they abandon ship rather than try a new formula. fable was a good franchise, but went downhill once microsoft got their gritty paws on it.
    Reply
  • dstarr3
    Better yet, Microsoft will of course retain the rights to these properties, so that these studios can't resume business independently to further the franchises. They just simultaneously kill studios and their ideas. We'll never see either again.
    Reply
  • hellwig
    I remember Black and White, boy did the last level p*ss me off when they pulled a 180 on my pure evil/good creature. I never bothered to play that level. Black and White 2 wasn't bad either.

    Looking at Lionhead's development before Microsoft, they had released 4 Black & White titles, 2 Fable titles, and two "The Movies" titles (whatever that is). Post Microsoft: 5 Fable titles.

    So, Microsoft bought the studio for 1 game (just like they bought Bungie for Halo), milked the franchise to death, and then dumped the developers like garbage. Wonderful!
    Reply
  • Avus
    Thanks Peter Molyneux

    Good luck for M$' plan for PC gaming platform domination.... Definitely is not a good start.
    Reply
  • eklipz330
    this article was written two hours Microsoft confirmed that lionhead IS closing. not "considering"
    Reply
  • People need to punish Microsoft by not installing their Windows 10 Abomination. They need to learn lesson...because every f. one of them in Windows Division is f. clueless.
    Reply
  • nukemaster
    Rare has made very little since they had been bought out as well.

    This is not the first large company to buy a smaller one and later close them and it will not be the last. It is a shame, but is pretty common practice.
    Reply
  • whiteruski
    I remember Black and White, boy did the last level p*ss me off when they pulled a 180 on my pure evil/good creature. I never bothered to play that level. Black and White 2 wasn't bad either.

    Looking at Lionhead's development before Microsoft, they had released 4 Black & White titles, 2 Fable titles, and two "The Movies" titles (whatever that is). Post Microsoft: 5 Fable titles.

    So, Microsoft bought the studio for 1 game (just like they bought Bungie for Halo), milked the franchise to death, and then dumped the developers like garbage. Wonderful!

    I really miss black and white...
    Reply
  • Warsaw
    Actually the movies was an awesome game
    Reply