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Abash2516d ago (Edited 2516d ago )

Wow was not expecting this. Both Lionhead and Press Play facing closures? Best of luck to the developers at both studios.

MightyNoX2516d ago

I did, seeing how Phil cancelled Shangheist and cancelled Phantom Dust.

Rare will be next.

Mikefizzled2516d ago

Phil put Phantom Dust into motion. They cancelled the Darkside Games version of it because it wasn't up to quality.
I don't know how much I believe it but it's becoming less plausible that quality was his reason.

KaZeDaRKWIND2516d ago

I wouldn't mind. Maybe the Rare employees who are left could actually make decent games again.

breakpad2516d ago

it was damn obvious ..the game itself was frivolous at least

UltraNova2516d ago

WOW that was abrupt! What the hell is happening down at Redmond?

Best of luck to the affected...

dirkdady2516d ago (Edited 2516d ago )

The way MS went about on the phantom dust "cancellation" was shady at best. Darkside found out the project was shelved rather publically along with everyone else.

I know ms technically extended the name and says it's not cancelled but back in October Greenberg reconfirmed that there is no new dev attached to this project (I.e. Shelved or cancelled - take ur pick).

uptownsoul2516d ago

I hope all the paid staff find somewhere to work (and hopefully with similar pay)...

dirkdady2516d ago

Makes you kinda think about msft's long term strategy.
The main reason any first party manufacturer runs studios is to beef up its library to set its console apart from others. I think we've seen from playstation that while they've had their share of closures they've been also willing to run studios with razor thin margins and take greater risks with niche titles as long as it contributed to the ecosystem.

Just what is msft thinking to make them make such moves.

morganfell2516d ago

"Makes you kinda think about msft's long term strategy."

Use funds garnered from studio closures to purchase timed exclusive launches on the Windows 10 store.

4Sh0w2516d ago (Edited 2516d ago )

It's business so this happens sometimes but I really wasn't expecting Lionhead to close and it's strange that a game which is basically almost complete with positive feedback from the beta is being cancelled. I wonder what really happened internally with Lionhead to cause this???

Best of luck to the devs and staff at Lionhead, hope they get a new position with Microsoft or elsewhere if possible.

Fable Legends played well and it was a pretty different game than the all too familiar cookie cutter stuff, plus its done so no reason not to at least release the game.

Gazondaily2516d ago

Got a source to say Phantom Dust is cancelled? Spencer is the one who made a push for Dust to be made in the first place, although its future seems sketchy.

jmac532516d ago

@Morganfell what money? They just cancelled a game that was almost fully developed. The only way to really recoup that investment is to sell the game. I would say MS is at a loss doing this.

Kingthrash3602516d ago

Yeah, keep ignoring it. But they are on the way out of console gaming. This is huge news...I thought the game was almost done. People were saying the alpha was I'm stunned by this news.

Mr Pumblechook2516d ago

What an absolute cluster truck.

Just two days ago I received an email from Lionhead that said "Fable Legends - A new reason to play every day." Now the game is being cancelled and the studio is likely for the chop. The development of this game has been an utter mess. Switching it to 'free' with microtransactions and always online didn't help. But what baffles me is how did development get so far, just weeks before final release, only for it to be cancelled?

BitbyDeath2516d ago

Fable was one of MS's biggest IPS, if they're only keeping ones above it then that only leaves


Ninty should buy RARE back before they get shutdown.

morganfell2516d ago (Edited 2516d ago )


You do not know the real status of the development. You can assume but you should be well aware of that which assumption is the mother.

Time does not equal percentage of completion.

Now you can say that Phil remarked on it being in Beta. Are you really buying into that? He knew last week the status of what was happening and what did he say?

There is still an ad budget, distribution, bonuses, and other matters to which one must attend. As well there is the projected operating costs for said studios which are forecast one if not more years in advance. Then there are the funds to be gained from selling off assets from the company which is going to happen. Lack of useful engagement means people are leaving and assets will be sold

Rayven2516d ago

The article's title is a clickbait. I read the article and Fable's cancellation was not mentioned. It probably will be cancelled, but one should not add things to the title that was not mentioned. The original title in the website does not mention anything about a cancellation either.

Whoever posted this article here jumped the gun when they said Fable Legends is cancelled. We don't know yet for sure.

rainslacker2516d ago (Edited 2516d ago )


Second paragraph right after the one sentence paragraph which starts the announcement

"After much consideration we have decided to CEASE DEVELOPMENT on Fable Legends, and are in discussions with employees about the proposed closure of Lionhead Studios in the UK. Additionally, we will close Press Play Studios in Denmark, and sunset development on Project Knoxville."

While it's possible it could come back later, as of right now, it is effectively cancelled, and rarely do projects get restarted at another studio....although it is known to happen.

This is directly from MS, using their own blog. If they had intentions to continue it elsewhere, they likely would have said they are looking for a new dev and more info would come soon.

IamTylerDurden12515d ago

Yet, microsoft fans STILL claim Phantom Dust isn't cancelled. It's honestly sad to see ms run Fable and Lionhead into the ground.

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-Foxtrot2516d ago (Edited 2516d ago )

I didn't like the look of Fable Legends but I was hoping it would be the Fable franchises multiplayer line of games while the main games took on a more single player approach.

Such a shame

Perjoss2516d ago ShowReplies(3)
javauns2516d ago

This make no sense, I literally played this game a few days ago. They should have released it and patched their way through. Then put the rest of the team on a single player fable. But the other studios closing too is crazy. I guess the board members are really pressuring the xbox gaming division so they have to trim some fat. No wonder the other studios are stuck in the sequel position and don't take chances on new IPs.

Kavorklestein2516d ago (Edited 2516d ago )

It could be to trim some fat, but it might not just be simply "money"... it also could be because
Lionhead was asking for too much and taking too long for MS to feel comfortable with letting them continue development at their expense.
Especially considering this was for a free to play game, a game that even LIONHEAD must have had no faith in to go the free to play route...

And, to be honest, the game had nothing new to present, like I literally didn't see any progress or anything that excited me at all in what was shown in recent months, in fact, the recent footage sometimes looked downgraded from the initial reveal.
And this is after announcing it almost 3 years ago.

Lionhead only has themselves to blame.
You can't tell me that a freaking MOBA takes 3 years to develop.
Was one lone programmer doing all the work?
I mean for f***'s sake, that is REALLY pathetic.

A person could probably go to school for game design, work at an Indie studio and have a moba, an rts, and a platformer mostly completed in 3 damn years if they really wanted to.

The people affected have my sympathy of course, but when it comes to games, you gotta stay relevant.
Especially when Lionhead did make some great games in the past.
I mean,
They can't just keep making games with the same cheesy art style over and over, games with less and less features, and depth, and expect to stick around when it's clear as day that they showed that they were losing finesse, going stagnant and sitting around with no new or captivating ideas.

In the end, nobody truly knows all the details, but if ya ask me,
Lionhead has been around long enough to be better than they have become.
I personally feel like they got lazy, and deserve this outcome.

Overload2516d ago (Edited 2516d ago )

Yeah, I didn't expect this.

This doesn't seem "more committed" than they've ever been though.

Gazondaily2516d ago

Well it depends on how the game was turning out. If it was looking to be a money sink and there were quality concerns then it might have been best to flush it down the toilet. I never played the beta so I'm not sure.

Kingthrash3602516d ago

Fable was a known franchise of ms. I've heard many people say it was good...for a beta. It was almost done, why not just delay it....wait it didn't even have a release date. This had been a rough 2 weeks for Xbox only gamers.

Kryptix2516d ago (Edited 2516d ago )

The game was gonna come out in 2016. They straight up didn't give Lionhead Studios a chance to see how well it would do. That's pretty low on Microsoft's part to destroy a developer's dream when it was close to being finished.

A part of me wants to believe that the project will be sourced to another studio, since it was more than halfway done, but I highly doubt it. Nobody knows how to expand and design Fable more than Lionhead Studios. The only Fable I played and finished was 2, but it was a good game, yo so I did have some respect for the developers that were there.

rainslacker2516d ago

I wouldn't commit to saying it's totally canned at the moment. They may have intention to carry on the project elsewhere, but as of right now, don't have a plan of action on that aspect.

It does seem rather odd, given that it's so close to release, to close up shop at the dev instead of just releasing it unless the game was an utter mess.

The typical reason a successful studio gets shut down is because it's more cost effective to not have it running, in which case they could have at least rode it out for the release of the game(which was very soon as I recall), and moved long term support for the title onto another studio which was cheaper to operate.

Even closing up shop costs substantial amounts of money, so makes more sense to just let them operate for a few months...although I've long since tried to understand why big corporations do some of the seemingly stupid things they do, because spreadsheets tend to beat common sense.

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Sevir2516d ago

It's tough in the game industry, you're not truly safe as first party or 3rd party, and it's difficult being indie!

It's sad these creative studios are facing closures, I sure hope these developers find new homes and new endeavors to put food on the table for their families.

2516d ago
showtimefolks2516d ago

Fable legends looked bad/uninteresting

RiseofScorpio2516d ago

Still really dumb to dump 3 years of work.

mafia_pc2516d ago

i played it and it's not that bad and it's supposed to be free

XanderZane2516d ago

The game was actually very good and looked incredible in action. You must not have played it.

rainslacker2516d ago (Edited 2516d ago )


Maybe not dumb. Not up to date on FL, but if the game was not very good, then pulling the plug may just save them more time and money in the long run. Being a game that required constant server access to use, as well as continuous content updates, it's not just a release and be done with it kind of situation.

If MS truly feels that the game will be a money sink due to it's quality or appeal(again, have no clue on it's quality, just discussing hypotheticals), then there is no sense in continuing it's development. Even though they're losing a lot by not following through, they're just cutting their losses, instead of incurring more.

If this was a SP game, and of reasonably good quality, it would probably not be canned, and the studio would probably remain open until the project was finished.

CitizenFour2516d ago

I played the beta, and I was pretty disappointed. If they would have made a classic Fable game.. like Fable 4 maybe? I think things may have been different.
Fable 1, 2 and 3 were all pretty classic Fable games. Why they decided to change a working formula is unclear. Would have loved a new "classic" Fable RPG. Really hoping they don't kill of Fable completely.

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AngelicIceDiamond2516d ago

Horrible wtf happen MS see now this is negative news not X1 games goin to PC. Fable Legends was looking up to par then it ever did.

MS trying to stay relevant in the game industry but yet pull off this crap...


lxeasy2516d ago

Such a shame I was looking forward to Fable Legends...smh I can't two very talented studios are closing.

ChuckTheIceMan2516d ago

How is this any different than Sony and Ready at dawn?

Rimgal2516d ago

Sony does not own and never owned Ready at dawn. They are an independent studio that worked on some Sony IPs. Just like Insomniac, From Software and many more.

And the studio is not closed.

notachance2516d ago

where did you pull that phrase from lol

rainslacker2516d ago (Edited 2516d ago )

Ready at Dawn was closed? In june they just appointed a new CEO...and as far as I know, are working on their engine for commercial release.

In any case, Sony does not have the ability to close down [email protected], because they do not own it.

Other Sony studios were closed due to either being redundant, or not profitable enough to maintain their existence. Some were absorbed into other studios....which makes operating costs lower.

Otherwise, it's not much different. However, given that a rather high profile title, from an established IP that was releasing this year and is looking to be nearing the end of initial development was also stopped, the news is different, because I'm not aware of Sony ever just canning a project, then shutting down a studio like that...although it's possible, and likely that has happened and we just didn't know about the projects.

MRMagoo1232515d ago

I'm not sure but this MAY be the most stupid comment I have ever seen not just because of the obvious xbone fanboy damage control but the fact it's completely not real

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Nintentional2516d ago

If only this happened to Metroid Prime: Federation Force instead 😕

XanderZane2516d ago

I wasn't either, especially since Fable Legends was almost done. I've been playing it for the past few months and the game was great. Only reason I see them cancelling it was because it was going to be a FREE game and they would only get money from in game transactions. After the excellent Max and the Curse of Brotherhood, I don't know what they were working on. This really sucks.

2516d ago
mEATgrinder2515d ago

Better start looking for work because you failed to deliver

IamTylerDurden12515d ago

I was, every time i saw Fable Legends or heard about the ridiculous whoring of the Fable brand i cringed. I fully expected Lionhead to dissipate into dust and the Fable brand to erode into nothingness.

It's a joke what ms did to Fable. A horrid Kinect game and a cancelled free to play, what did u expect?

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Genuine-User2516d ago (Edited 2516d ago )

"we have decided to cease development on Fable Legends, and are in discussions with employees about the proposed closure of Lionhead Studios in the UK"

Damn man!

I wish everyone affected the best of luck.

DragonDDark2516d ago

The f*** just happened..?

*jaw drops*

MatrixxGT2516d ago

This is what MS meant by " not all Xbox games will come to PC".

IamTylerDurden12515d ago

It didn't just happen, after Peter left ms raped the brand. Yet, ppl still tried to act optimistic about Fable Legends. I'm as big a Fable fan as there is, and Fable Legends and the Kinect game sickened me.

Funny how much venom Peter gets. Meanwhile, ms dismantled the the entire Fable brand and Lionhead itself.

TwoForce2516d ago

Jesus Christ ! That's very bad to be honest. I didn't expect this.

ThePope2516d ago

Ive heard nothing but great things about Fable Legends. Weird.

MasterCornholio2516d ago

This is so sudden........

I really wasn't expecting this.

Goldby2516d ago (Edited 2516d ago )

Well slap me Silly, and call me Petunia."

No jokes though, i hope even more success for the guys from Lionhead in the future.

AngelicIceDiamond2516d ago

Clearly I don't work for MS but MS has all this money so what the hell happen? Upset right now MS E3 is very questionable now I dunno how good its going to be this year tbh.

iceman062516d ago

This seems to provide more evidence to the fact that, although MS has huge amounts of cash and could theoretically spend for years, there are some restrictions as to how much they can or will spend. (much like every other company in the industry) No knock on MS, just maybe adding common sense to the ubiquitous notion that MS has virtually unlimited resources to apply to gaming.

rainslacker2516d ago

Closing a studio isn't inherently bad, but it depends on what they are doing with the people from those studios, and where the work those studios are doing is going to....if it's going anywhere.

Closing a studio and consolidating it into other studios by making those studios into a team within another studio, can be cost effective, and deliver the same results in terms of games. The one studio who made Wipeout for Sony was consolidated into one of their bigger studios as I recall(details are fuzzy, they had a few studio closures at that time).

The cancellation though was kind of a shock, although there's a chance that they plan to move development elsewhere....but the closing at the same time seems odd since LH could have at least finished it for the initial release.

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Rimgal2516d ago (Edited 2516d ago )

That's weird. Wasn't Fable Legends supposed to come this spring?

But regardless best of luck for those who lost their job.

SpaceRanger2516d ago (Edited 2516d ago )

Yeah they kept touting it in their "best line up" ads and pushed it right before the suspected fall launch in 2015. They even showed it in those monthly Major Nelson videos saying how great it runs, which to me made me think it was just about ready. It's not the first time unfortunately that this has happened to a game though, and it won't be the last.

I likewise wish those at this studio the best of luck! I'm sure their top talent will be picked up by supporting studios in the UK.

Kribwalker2516d ago

I was in the closed beta. It played fantastic and the graphics were great. Don't understand why they'd cancel it...

Rimgal2516d ago

Yeah but how do you go from Closed Beta to Closed Down the whole studio just like that? Just seems weird to me.

Something must have happened for MS to do this.

javauns2516d ago

The ms stock value dropped lol. Man I love my xbox but moves like this confuse me.

UnHoly_One2516d ago

Yeah I don't get this at all.

Having played in the beta, the game looked like it could have been released months ago.

It was going to be Free to Play anyway, why wouldn't they just release it as-is?

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Manic20142516d ago

Damn, was not expecting that. Best of luck to those talented people!

G20WLY2516d ago

Totally. It's a pretty day for those guys. Another once-great studio ruined. It's bad news for the fans too, but to a less serious degree of course.

dumahim2516d ago

I don't think they would consider it a pretty day.

PancakeLova2516d ago

So is my character from beta not going to be carrying over?

Aenea2516d ago

Carrying over to what?

-Foxtrot2516d ago

The Void