Sad news for the gaming community today: cooperative action RPG Fable Legends is no more after Microsoft decided to cancel the project. Iconic development studio Lionhead Studios is set to close as a result.
"These have been tough decisions and we have not made them lightly, nor are they a reflection on these development teams," wrote Microsoft’s Hanno Lemke in a blog post. "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."
That sounds like Microsoft wasn’t confident it had a hit on its hands, and the game has already been delayed several times. The fourth full entry in the Fable series, Fable Legends had been in development since 2012.
Microsoft says it is currently in discussions with Lionhead Studios employees about closing the UK business – they may be offered opportunities at Xbox or elsewhere in "the broader development community" Lemke says.
Microsoft acquired Lionhead Studios, which was originally founded by Peter Molyneux, in 2006. It’s also set to close Danish outfit Press Play Studios, which it picked up in 2012, and the Project Knoxville game it was working on.
Microsoft knows it has lost the first round of the latest console fight to Sony, and will now be busy looking for ways to streamline and improve the chances of the Xbox One in the years ahead.