Microsoft lays off Lionhead employees

Microsoft has today let an undisclosed number of employees of its Lionhead studio go following the completion of latest title Fable: The Journey.

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dedicatedtogamers1982d ago

I hate to see people lose their jobs, but it was inevitable after Molyneux left the studio.

Yi-Long1982d ago

... the output has only been so-so.

While Fable was very good at the time, each resulting new Fable turned out easier and worse.

1982d ago
Blastoise1982d ago

Fable 1 was awesome. Was really downhill from there though. Shame really =/

Eyeco1982d ago

I liked Fable 2, I didn't like everything else, i mean that Kinect game is like...really.
That and I've always hated the promises that were being made but never kept... remember Milo ,I just saw that as a phony publicity stunt to hype up the capabilities of Kinect....speaking of try watching the E3 2009 trailer for Kinect , and how many of those features are present in Kinect as of 2012.

WrAiTh Sp3cTr31982d ago

It's crazy because each Fable that comes out sells more than the last...

4Sh0w1982d ago

Well seems if you actually read it they are just shifting employees around internally with perhaps 10% of redundant positions at risk.

That said the last 2 Fable games sort of lost their magic IMO.

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Abash1982d ago

First Peter Molyneux leaves, now layoffs? Lionhead is starting to deteriorate, but I doubt that they had little choice when they were tasked to make a Fable game for Kinect by MS

karlowma1982d ago

It's completely normal for a development team to shrink after the completion of a project.

This doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the quality or performance of the game, and doesn't really spell doom and gloom for the studio.

Army_of_Darkness1982d ago (Edited 1982d ago )

From my experience and understanding, when most companies start laying off groups of employees at a time it usually does mean a slow down and bad situation for the company...
Companies don't just shut down like that, they gradually decline in employees first.

ronin4life1982d ago

I have heard this is standard procedure for many in the industry. Less than 10% were laid off by this, so it kind of makes sense.

Still wouldn't surprise me if lionhead ends up gutted by MS eventually though..

Christopher1982d ago

@karlowma: This is not normal for Lionhead Studios. And, typical layoffs only occur in major games like MMOs, not in console games who work with a major publisher as the employees tend to be shuffled off onto the latest project rather than laid off.

Ben_Grimm1982d ago


Trust me, this happens at all major companies, first party or not. They ramp up to complete a project to make the deadline then when the project is released and shipped they lay off all the extra help they needed to complete the project on time.

When lionhead begins work on a new title and the end date is set you'll see a surge of hires again. the never ending cycle of the video game business.

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dedicatedtogamers1982d ago

The same thing happened to RARE. The talent slowly left, Microsoft shifted them into Kinect development, and then more people left (granted, they weren't laid off iirc).

NYC_Gamer1982d ago

MS should just hire new talent and rebuild the whole studio

DiRtY1982d ago

Actually they are hiring. Lionhead, Rare, Soho and London are the 4 Uk studios of MS and all are hiring.

MS plans to hire 100 new employees for game development studios in the next 8 months.

"Microsoft added that it hopes to add over 100 positions to its internal studios in between now and June 2013."

And the BioShock Infinite developers were just the beginning.

3-4-51982d ago

MS wouldn't have to lay people off if they would just stop trying to force Kinect upon gamers.

They would save a ton of money by just moving on from that gimmick tech and worry about making good quality games that don't rely on motion.

Baka-akaB1982d ago

If anything those gimmick games cost less money so far , and have been very successful .

I can't say i like any of them , but it's making money for MS

SilentNegotiator1982d ago (Edited 1982d ago )

If they're so concerned about supposed small scale redundancy and the game is low on the charts for a new release....who says that Fable: The Journey is making them money? Or that it even would if that supposed less than 10% of redundancy wasn't there?

Baka-akaB1982d ago

I can't say i know about Fable the journey . wasnt it just released anyway ?

But most of the in house Kinect games have brought Rare to profitability again and made MS some money , while not costing too much

greenpowerz1982d ago ShowReplies(2)
Dovahkiin1982d ago

I really, really hope this isn't the end of Fable.

vork771982d ago

it was the end once fable 3 was released

Christopher1982d ago

Sadly, yes. It began going downhill with 2 and 3 only solidified it. Regardless of the fate of the series, I'm extremely happy that I got to play the first game.

vork771982d ago

the only way they can revive the series is by going back to fable 1 and bringing back what made that game good

kma2k1982d ago

@ vork seems like a lot of games should do this, but nothing comes to mind of a series that has done it sucsefully?

vork771982d ago

i can only think of one game that was sonic generations

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