Ex Lionhead Producer: Microsoft the "Destroyer" of 1st Party Studios; Imagines Dedicated Executioner

Ex Lionhead Producer Daniel Gray came down pretty hard on Microsoft, calling it the "destroyer" of first party and picturing a dedicated executioner for this purpose.

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Herbalistic2051d ago

Microsoft does have a bad track record when it comes to keeping first party studios alive that aren't Halo/Forza/Gears based

Godmars2902051d ago

Halo's studio left and the one made just to support the IP is doing an arguable job.

Also, wasn't Gears 3rd party until recently? Still being done by Epic but MS bought it outright under fear of it going fully multi.

Death2051d ago

Microsoft let Bungie go and created 343 Industries to continue the Halo series. When Microsoft secured the Gears IP they created first party Black Tusk Studios which is now The Coalitiion. http://thecoalitionstudio.c...

Abash2051d ago

Daniel Gray said that they weren't destroying first party studios 7 years ago.... meaning right before Kinect's inception

The MS of today is very different from the MS of 2005-2008, which were some of the best years of the Xbox brand with how great MS was handling the 360 the first few years of it's life

generic-user-name2051d ago


Let bungie go? You mean couldn't keep them

Gazondaily2051d ago

What was the last good game Lionhead made though?

Filter the crap out I say (although thoughts go out to the jobless devs).

Godmars2902051d ago

MS let Bungie buy themselves out because they didn't want to keep making Halo, which really isn't the point. That MS went on to create a studio solely for the purpose of continuing the franchise, that 343's efforts kind of proves Bungie's point regarding creativity, that MS failed to simply snap their fingers wave around some cash and simply recreate Bungie, is.

What are you even talking about?

The Xbox of today is post one of their biggest screw ups which cost them most of the 360's goodwill. Nevermind that's also when they started the cry of "exclusives don't matter" and proceeded not to make exclusives.

dcbronco2051d ago

@Generic are you saying parts of companies can just decide we don't care that you bought us we don't want to be part of the parent company anymore we're leaving. I didn't know that was possible. I bet there isn't a company in the world that knew that was possible. You, my friend, are a truly powerful attorney.

Kribwalker2051d ago


Ms still owns a minority share in bungie. Part of the self buyout was an undisclosed equity in bungie and a right of first refusal for all future bungie IPS.

_-EDMIX-_2051d ago

Yes and no. The next Gears is being developed by MS, published by MS. I don't recall Epic having anything to do with the Gears IP anymore after MS bought the IP.

I don't think it was fear of it going multiplatform as much as it was they were in need of an established IP and the install base already existed for it. It was an easy buy.

I feel MS should have used that money on a new IP though as to bring in new consumers.

PeaSFor2051d ago

Microsoft Executive: "Gotta move them over to 343. We need more Halo!"

VenomUK2051d ago

As armchair commentators we can all speculate about the positives and negatives regarding the Fable Legends cancellation. However when a producer from the development studio (and lead of Fable 3) calls Microsoft "the destroyer of first party studios" then it is an opinion that has a story to tell.

itBourne2051d ago

They forced Ensemble to make Halo Wars then canned them = ( thus also killing the Age of series

RosweeSon2050d ago

I think they bought it due to lack of games otherwise and wouldn't wanna lose one of their exclusives however if Epic games have had enough of it it clearly needed a break or retirement.

Zeref2050d ago


They are most definitely better than Bungie. Just look at Destiny.

bouzebbal2050d ago

Funny how studios were once declaring their flame to MS and now saying doom stuff about them.
Rare followed the cash back then, we all know what they have become.

choujij2050d ago



They are most definitely better than Bungie. Just look at Destiny."

Destiny is a different game. Bungie's Halos are definitely better than 343's and made the series what it was.

On topic: I've always known that MS doesn't play nice with 1st party studios. It's why Bungie wanted out.

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gamer11382051d ago

Read the article. They haven't closed a studio since 2009 and have opened others since. Still this is sad, I recently played the beta and thought it was shaping up nicely, however I think it was just going to get crowded out by games like Overwatch, Division and Battleborn. Others are right, the error was years ago when they should have started making Fable 4.

BecauseImBatman2051d ago (Edited 2051d ago )

This is true, some of the biggest games last year were RPGs (Witcher, Fallout 4 etc.). Fable 4 could have joined there ranks if they were just making it in the first place. A single player focused next gen Fable would have been great.

rdgneoz32051d ago (Edited 2051d ago )

"however I think it was just going to get crowded out by games like Overwatch, Division and Battleborn"

Buy to play games that are different. Better example would be to compare it to Smite which is doing pretty well on consoles lately for a free to play game.

BecauseImBatman2051d ago

It is indeed a sad day to see such a great studio with loads of talent be shutdown. I have a feeling the Xbox Division is under a strict budget since new leadership at MS and unfortunately these studios had to pay the price.

Thatguy-3102051d ago (Edited 2051d ago )

Well halo studio wasn't first party and sane for gears.

Death2051d ago

Bungie was indeed a first party studio. They were acquired by Microsoft in 2000. One of the biggest reason they wanted to split was they were tired of working on a single franchise. Of course the first thing they did was commit to Activision for 10 years with Destiny. Gears was published as a first party IP, but the development was done by Epic working as a second party on the franchise. Microsoft later acquired the IP officially and created a first party studio continue the franchise.

Goldby2051d ago

They let Bungie go and created their own, 343i. Since then, some believe that they series has gone down hill.

DonkeyWalrus2051d ago

No dude, Bungie was absolutely first party. Microsoft bought them in 2000, then they bought themselves back basically and became an independent company in 2007 right after Halo 3 came out, but continued to work with Microsoft on Halo until 2010.

rainslacker2050d ago (Edited 2050d ago )


Gears was a 3rd party IP. MS had no stake in Gears other than it's publishing and production costs. Epic came up with, and owned the IP itself, and was created as a 2nd party IP. This is why MS had no control over the IP, and it's future releases when Epic decided they didn't want to do more games in the series, which subsequently led to MS purchasing the IP from it's original 3rd party creators.

Bungie, and by extension Halo, were first party IP's, although IIRC, Halo was conceived of before MS brought Bungie. This is why Bungie couldn't just make Destiny a Halo MMO....although I suppose they weren't interested in doing that anyways.

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lelo2play2051d ago (Edited 2051d ago )

I suspect Microsoft is preparing it self to get out of the console business... soon.

At this moment, no way in hell would I invest in a Xbox One.

Gazondaily2051d ago

"At this moment, no way in hell would I invest in a Xbox One."

Completely silly approach imo. The console still has an abundance of great games coming for it and really, whilst the cross pc support takes away the 'exclusivity' element, there should be nothing deterring you from getting a Xbox One, assuming you were genuinely interested in the games on the console.

Persistantthug2051d ago


I have my suspicions too that the XBOX One will be Microsoft's last console, but I'm also sure that XBOX One will be around for at least the rest of this gen.

And even though I'm not really an XBOX fan, I don't really want to make fun of my prediction, because this really does suck for gaming.

Why o why2051d ago

I too think they'll finish out the gen before any IF any changes were to be made. Its not the steadiest ship at the moment but maybe MS has solid plans

Phunkydiabetic12051d ago


But why WOULD anyone get an Xbox One? Apparently the exclusives are making their way to PC. All other multiplatform titles perform better on PS4. Soooooo.....what exactly is the reason for having an Xboc One again?

343_Guilty_Spark2051d ago

"There will be another Xbox"

- Phil Spencer

dotwithshoes2051d ago

But why WOULD anyone get an Xbox One? Apparently the exclusives are making their way to PC. All other multiplatform titles perform better on PS4. Soooooo.....what exactly is the reason for having an Xboc One again?

.. because games going to PC means everyone will instantly want to play them on PC. What exactly is the reason to buy any game console? or any game, for that matter? Oh, that's right.. personal preference.

frankdrebin722051d ago

You really shot yourself in the foot.
1st you state about Xbox one microsofts exclusives going to another Microsoft platform, only playable via a Windows 10 device.
Sure you can play the Xbox ones exclusives, the ones that have been reveille to be on PC as well.
Yet you state that all third party games perform better on ps4...surely if you play Xbox/ micros exclusives on a PC, why the hell would you play third party games on your ps4 when the PC you "have" will perform better?
Leaving only your ps4 exclusives for your PS4.

DonkeyWalrus2051d ago


Why would anyone own an Xbox One if exclusives are gonna be on PC? Well I won't speak for others but I can speak for myself. I'm not a PC gamer, don't plan on building a rig anytime soon, I still want to play those games. Therefore I own an Xbox One.

Bobafret2051d ago

I knew it wouldn't be long before someone spewed this nonsense.

badz1492050d ago


"The console still has an abundance of great games coming for it and really, whilst the cross pc support takes away the 'exclusivity' element, there should be nothing deterring you from getting a Xbox One,..."

abundance of great games? most probably 3rd parties, right? what's the point then?

nothing deterring from getting the Xbone? just mentioned "cross pc support", that's deterring enough IMO.

he's here on N4G, and he said he's not going to invest in Xbone now, which means, he probably already has a PS4 and probably a gaming PC. I myself, fall under this category and I can't find a reason anymore to buy an Xbone too.

starchild2050d ago

Funny logic going on here. If there's no reason to own an Xbox One because everyone will supposedly just play the exclusives on PC then doesn't that mean that we will see multiplats stop selling on PS4?

If we're going to pretend everybody owns a gaming PC and that when the option is available everyone will just opt to play the superior PC versions logically that would affect the PS4 as well. The only reason to own a PS4 would be to play the handful of good exclusives not playable on the PC.

Somehow I don't think that will happen. People will continue to play multiplats and exclusives on PS4...and people will continue to play multiplats and exclusives on Xbox One.

I don't even own any kind of Xbox, but it gets tiresome coming to N4G and seeing the same absurdities over and over again.

LastcenuryRob2050d ago

What? Oh wait, you are obviously the type that because you get a thought in your head you assume everyone will take is as fact....Whatever "bra".

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Overload2051d ago (Edited 2051d ago )

I think Microsoft is making their intentions pretty clear. (Taken from Neogaf)

Microsoft Studios is now publishing only the biggest hits
Let's just recap Microsoft's generation in review:
- Start Lift London
- Downsize the XBLA/Microsoft Studios team because MS doesn't want to be in the business of publishing so many indie games
- Close Microsoft Victoria
- Cancel Black Tusk's original game and make them the Gears studio
- Close Xbox Entertainment Studios
- Buy Mojang
- Merge Lift London with other UK-based small teams
- Promote Kudo to oversee Lift London and other UK based teams
- Kudo transfered out of Microsoft Games
- Spin off Twisted Pixel Games
- Close Press Play
- Close Lionhead

Read the rest of the post after the link for a detailed breakdown. Very informative and spot on.

jb2272051d ago

Should also add the acquisition of the Havok tech & the recent move towards owning all 1st party ip created by 3rd parties, I think that is telling in conjunction w/ all of the other stuff you listed.

Seems to me like MS is putting its eyes towards becoming the next EA type software publisher. They will most likely try out an Xbox style steam box next gen or something similar but I don't see them sticking around the console market in any real way aside from software development.

Death2051d ago

Lift London was not created to make console games. They were to make mobile, tablet and TV games.

Microsoft Victoria was around for 2 years and employed 30 people. Nothing came from the studio.

Microsoft Vancouver was shut down in January 2012 and reopened in November of 2012. They were supposed to create an IP bigger than Halo. Instead Microsoft acquired the Gears IP, and hired the Gears executive producer who later renamed the studio The Coalition.

Xbox Entertainment Studios was the studio tasked with creating movies for Microsoft. When the public backlash against anything non-gaming on an Xbox hit, Microsoft closed the studio.

Twisted Pixel was spun off after Lococycle underwhelmed.

I think the biggest thing I don't understand is how is this different than any other platform holder that shuts down studios that don't perform to expectations? This isn't new and not something exclusive to Microsoft. No mention was made for the formation of Decisive games last year either.

MCTJim2051d ago (Edited 2051d ago )

The only thing spot on is your hatred for MS. You don't own one, you never had an xbox one. You've changed your name several time to try to hide the fact of your hatred. All you do is dig up dirt and nonsense..Then you use your multiple accounts to agree with yourself so the bubbles you lose trolling are filled back up... Give it a rest.

Pancit_Canton2051d ago (Edited 2051d ago )

I could never forgive Microsoft when they close Ensemble Studios and made a fool out of Rare.

Death2051d ago

Rare was an expensive lesson Microsoft learned. After acquiring the studio, the founders left 3 years after selling to Microsoft. Microsoft was left with some IP's and much less talent after the Stamper brothers left.

The closing of Ensemble as well as FASA/Day 1 sucked. Rumors suggest new Microsoft studio Decisive Games is working on a new Age of Empires. MechWarrior's gaming rights are being leased from Microsoft for MechWarrior online by Piranha Games. It would be nice to see Ensemble and FASA resurrected though.

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Jmanzare2051d ago

lionhead studios weren't that great these last couple of years. fable legends looked cool but looked like it could get boring really fast too. they destroyed themselves.

_-EDMIX-_2051d ago

Could not agree more. Even Halo's current team, isn't the full original.

kraenk122051d ago

Last thing I checked neither Gears nor Halo is developed by their original developer.

2051d ago
AngelicIceDiamond2051d ago

Last gen specifically MS was smothering its 1st party teams that much is fact. As of now MS has been consistent and stable with its offerings Lion Head imo took MS back. Now MS has much to prove when it comes to first party more than ever thanks to the sudden shut down of LH and Fable.

Quantum Break HAS to be good. And they're gonna pull out all the stops at this years E3 now.

showtimefolks2051d ago (Edited 2051d ago )

if you are a studio that is interested in getting bought and still love your job than stay away from MS

but let's be honest fable legends looked awful(as in game not graphics)and wasn't the fable people wanted

phil spencer has created a good image for himself but there are starting to be cracks in his armor

ms got in trouble with mixed messaging with xbox one than they did the 180 but instead of learning from that they still keep throwing the double statements

say one thing than stick to it, keep mixing up the message and soon people will not know what to think

TXIDarkAvenger2051d ago (Edited 2051d ago )

Not disagreeing with you but let's be real. Not many people were interested in Fable Legends and Fable 3 wasn't any good. This move was a long time coming.

nosferatuzodd2050d ago (Edited 2050d ago )

I'm going to be like Frieza from dragon ball z on this one
Grab popcorn and said war between first party and ms
Let the mud slinging begin lol just kidding guys lol

IamTylerDurden12050d ago

I honestly expect something similar from Gears/The Coalition. Gears 4 is imo disgraceful looking and The Coalition seems inept. Without Epic, the Gears franchise will dissolve unless a talented dev gets their hands on it.

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odderz2051d ago

Ouch, strong words! But after the years of punishment they put Rare through, I'm inclined to believe.

Makes no sense that they didn't at least push Fable Legends out the door before cancellation.

Alexious2051d ago

Thing is, this was meant to be a live, expanding game with additional content developed for years.

A traditional Fable title would have been surely pushed out of the door, but this one was F2P. The whole point was to retain customers and let them pay microtransactions over time.

IamTylerDurden12050d ago

Honestly, the entire Fable Legends ordeal was disturbing. Turning a renown single player franchise into a free to play mp game? This, after you pimped out the brand for an abysmal Kinect game.

I love Fable, but i despised everything that happened after Peter left.

Eonjay2051d ago

I feel like Rare is just a name at this point.

Alexious2051d ago

I hope they'll prove you wrong with Sea of Thieves, which looked great in that reveal trailer.

dotwithshoes2051d ago

Rare has been just a name for years now, even before Kinect.

2051d ago Replies(3)
Overload2051d ago

This just went 0-100.

When it rains, it pours.

AizenSosuke2051d ago

Damn this dude is savage when it comes to MS!

Rob_Ko2051d ago

MS will be MS, money first, gamers last spot

2051d ago Replies(12)
RiseofScorpio2051d ago

Gamers have to be first if they want to make money.

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