'I don’t think Lionhead did a very good job of creating profitable franchises.'
How do we know when MS only allowed them to work on the Fable series?
Microsoft seems to allow you to do whatever you want, but if it's not what they want, it gets cancelled. "Rare might not be forced to make Kinect games but anything else gets canned" http://m.neogaf.com/showthr... Rare gets to make lots of stuff, it just seems to get cancelled constantly. The Coalition before they started working on Gears 4 were working on something else as Black Tusk and that was cancelled and before that they were Microsoft Vancouver who worked on something for a year or two and whatever they were working on was obviously cancelled too.
I vagly remember some of that too.
@hiredhelp Here is the Coalition's wiki. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/... And here is info about the cancelled game. http://www.engadget.com/201...
Rare is a poor example, actually. Go watch some of the Rare Replay dev vids, or Youtube uploads regarding concepts and "cancellations" that turned into new games. Banjo and Conker are examples of great games born from canceled Rare projects back during the N64 days. It's the cost of employee creative people. A lot of ideas just aren't going to make it to the store shelves. The fact that they were able to come up with all of those canceled projects, and still put to market Kameo, PD, multiple Viva Pinatas including the spinoff and DS entry, N&B, Jetpack Refueled, and then 2 Kinect Sports titles on the 360 shows the fallacy in your post. That kind of production shows that 1) they're workhorses who likely come up with a lot of concepts, and 2) they're given a lot of support for a variety of projects. EDIT: Nevermind, I just ran through your comment history. I think it's time for an intervention. Wow.
They had about 6 cancelled games. What is the point if your corporate overlord squashes all creativity asking you to just replicate success with no imagination
Pachter said "I don’t think Lionhead did a very good job of creating profitable franchises." It wasn't Lionhead that decided to make the Kinect-only game Fable Legends.
@shotty, PD on the 360 wasn't made by RARE FYI.
"The Coalition before they started working on Gears 4 were working on something else as Black Tusk and that was cancelled" What if the only reasons that new IP was being made was because MS didn't know if they could buy the Gears IP? MS likely needed 2 heavy hitters to do a bi yearly release ie Halo - Black Tush new IP, they likely had that new IP being made in case the Gears buyout didn't go through. Clearly it did, clearly the Black Tusk IP got canned as that was being worked on before Gears was even bought, yet is gone all together. I have a feeling it was only being made do to the absence of Gears Of War. Though we don 't know if its really gone, its pretty clear something happened as it should have been shown even before Gears 4 if you factor it was worked on before the team even got news of the IP being bought.
@ShottyatLaw: How can anyone go back to when Rare was under Nintendo trying to justify what they are now under MS think that the way that the two companies do things is similar?
you're damn right my good sir. They should the call them "halo team" "Forza team" "gears team" etc... But well, they are still trying to create new franchises, albeit with other studios (Ryse, Quantum Break, Sunset Overdrive, Scalebound), and they finally gave some breathing air to Rare
I love how all of you people seem to think you know how all of this stuff works behind the scenes. How many games has Naughty Dog proposed that never got made? Do you think the only ideas that Naughty Dog have had in the past 10 years were Uncharted and TLOU? They never thought of anything else at all or wanted to make something different? My point is, probably every studio has a huge list of cancelled projects or ideas that never saw the light of day. But we can sure use this info to make MS look terrible, so why the hell not, huh?
@UnHoly_One: The issue isn't about unannounced games that are never publicly seen but ones that are shown off only to be canceled. The studio that was making them closed down as well. That MS seems to be in the habit of shutting down studios and canceling projects that were being heavily touted years before.
The game Black Tusk was working on wasn't cancelled. Was just put on hold until they finished with Gears 4. RARE is doing Sea of Thieves, which is not a Kinect game. Microsoft said they are no longer working on Kinect games.
Rare is making Sea of Thieves at the moment, which looks very promising.
They had tons of creative freedom. That's why we got fable legends a game nobody really wanted. Don't start that MS Didn't allow them to work on anything but Fable. What about Project Milo?
Yeah so much they couldn't do nothing but Fable after Fable
So your big argument that MS doesn't force devs to crank out new games in a franchise is that they allowed them to make a slightly different game in that same franchise and a smoke and mirrors tech demo that was only made to lie about the abilities of Kinect and push a peripheral that was never any good for gaming? You are grasping at straws mate. " It's simple: overspecialize, and you breed in weakness. It's slow death." Major Motoko Kusanagi
Even if ms told them to only make fable games. They did a poor job and couldnt make good fable games. Lets hope ip goes to new hands
I agree, it was a business decision as many of he decisions made at MS are about business and their shareholders, plain and simple. The same goes for Sony, no matter how gamers see them, they have a bottom line to meet, they don't meet it than there are steps to be taken to get back to where they should be.
I definitely see that logic to an extent but the big unknown in this entire equation is how much of their output was their own idea vs. how much was mandated from MS themselves. It makes for 2 wildly different scenarios, either Lionhead went all in on Kinect & f2p models of their own volition, which would make their closure an entirely understandable ordeal, or they were told to work in these models by MS & failed because it may not have been a project they had any passion in, which would rest any blame squarely on MS' doorstep. End of the day if it was solely down to poor quality then you get rid of project leads that made the poor decisions & executed shoddy work...dismantling 8 entire studios makes it plainly obvious that MS is cleaning house for whatever internal reason, which points to the obvious conclusion that these devs weren't necessarily working on bad games, just the most easily sacrificial.
Whether Lionhead came up with the IP or not is rather inconsequential in the bigger business scope of if Lionhead was a profitable studio. To MS, Lionhead is still MS, and parts of the company that don't make money get shut down, regardless of if it's MS themselves who stifle the profits, or if the company can't deliver. About the only difference it makes is who's at fault for that lack of profit, and the context of why it gets shut down.
I already said it was business, but people didn't like the way I said it. The fact is that studios get closed very often in this business. Those decisions are never made by commenters on forums.
@cdn Nail on head. No business is about caring, it's about money. Sure the people who work there are passionate and indeed love the video game industry but they have to still make money. They have to make money in order to keep doing what they are doing. Caring about what there customers think is important but sometimes you have to make a choice that's right for the business even if your customers/fans/ general public don't agree or like it.
"Microsoft Made A Stupid Decision" Fixed
I think you're in the wrong thread as this one doesn't have a Sony Playstation tag.
By default every decision they make is going to be wrong or stupid to some of you. Really all you need to do is show up and post a blank comment and we'll all know what you were going to say. So why waste the keystrokes?
Look at the usual suspects in here getting their jabs in lol.
Well no shit lol
Right? Whenever a company closed, it doesn't matter the reason why, it's always a business decision... Some may also add, duh! Patcher stating the obvious or completely getting it wrong as always!!
Why do people submit articles by this @$$clown?
Because he is a relevant person to the gaming industry like it or not investors take him very seriously. it is his job to tell them where to invest their money.
Probably the reason the industry in the shape it is. People with money looking to make more money while not caring about the medium they're trying to make money in, in this case games, taking the advice from someone like themselves who doesn't play games.
Yeah shareholders in general just want a profit do not care about quality or anything more than how much return they get
They've probably all learned by now to do the opposite of what he says in order to get a return on their investments.
hells_supernova No offence but adding that "closing a company" is a "business decision", is unnecessary. Closing a company for whatever the reason is and always will be a business decision. So what is relevant or important in that statement? PS : Are you Patcher?
Do you except developers work for free ? Michael Pachter finds investors to invest in video game companies. But i do agree that investors should not be involved in the creative process . I am guessing that is why developers like Ken Levine and Cliffy B left the triple A market behind . They do not want to answer to clueless stock holders .
Sherlock Freaking Holmes!
Wish someone would make aa 'business decision' about Patcher's position.
Really more of a "water is wet" statement.
If I was paying the salaries of x amount of people and they languished for years without producing anything, I might make a business decision as well. Why is MS considered evil for doing this?
....because it's easy to criticise when it's NOT your money and of course because they really believe they are soldiers in some BS console war.
But they did produce something. They were even close to release. MS allowed the project to go on for years paying for it all, but in the end, saw that it would probably cost more to support the project with minimal/no returns to allow it to finish up, release, and keep adding to it(important for a F2P game). They may have come up with the idea over at LH, but MS approved it, and MS was the one backing the project. The fact they dropped it is on MS. If the quality wasn't up to standard for MS, then they should have dealt with that before it was a couple months from release(which they've done in the past by delaying the game). It's not like the reasons people had problems with the game were something that was borne from lack of ability(the game worked), but rather, the actual game design itself. The game design could have been fixed years ago, and MS would be well aware of what it was, and they approved it, so them just dropping it in the final hours is just kind of crappy. 1st party developers don't work in a bubble. The parent company is well aware of what's being worked on, and it's progress at every step in the process.
"They may have come up with the idea over at LH, but MS approved it, and MS was the one backing the project. The fact they dropped it is on MS." -You have a right to your opinion but I disagree because it seems comments like yours are just looking for a "bad guy", where none exist. #1 I don't know how many times I've heard that Microsoft interference with devs kills devs creativity....not that I ever believed this but you're well aware that it's a well known criticism but what you are suggesting would only reinforce such stereotypes and #2 who says Microsoft should NOT approve Lionheads game idea if that's the type of risk they want to take with their next game, *especially after the declining return on the last traditional Fable game, maybe the thinking was that Lionhead needed more freedom to be creative but in the end they failed because the game was suffering from delays and became more costly both pre-launch and likely on more so after launch, as a gamer I want it but as as a business man I completely understand that it's not smart business to be stubborn. #3 I'll agree with you that Lionhead failure is Microsofts failure but that's only because as a leader you always acknowledge you can do more or better when your employees don't meet standards but that is just how business works there is NO fundamental broken process here or anything unethical on Microsoft’s part, no just learn what you can and move but guess what studios will close again. In time new ones will open as well. In my opinion the truth is usually the more obvious answer based on known facts rather than all the rampant negative speculation surrounding the real event. FACTS: In other words Microsoft likes money but they closed some studios that are SUPPOSED to make money= based on thes facts my educated guess is those studios were losing alot of money, so they are closing them. Simple really, no ghosts or bad guys, just math.
Here's how publishers work. They either come up with a concept or they have a studio that comes up with a concept. Said studio is then approved to make that project, and everything about the design of that project goes through the producer, who in this case will be the publisher, which is MS. Nothing in the game was unknown to MS. The concept was known to MS. They knew how the game was progressing every step of the way. They tasked LH to make a game a certain way, regardless of who came up with the idea. I don't care how many people disagree, or want to try and shift it away from being something MS just let ride for so many years, throughout this entire project, MS knew what they were wanting, and what they expected the studio to do...and that includes game design. This isn't even just a MS thing. Every publisher and producer has their say in the project, both in it's creation, it's development, and what it will ultimately end up being. Even the best devs are subject to this rule regardless of publisher, and that includes EA, Ubi, MS, Sony, Bethesda and everyone else. I'm not saying LH is completely faultless, and to agree with you on #3, my point was more that MS is ultimately responsible, not that they were trying to hinder development. In fact, it's even possible had they stepped in sooner, they could have fixed some of the issues I"ve seen lobbed at the beta's of the game. The only real truth we can probably come to terms with is that we will never know all the details, so unless someone spills the beans it will likely always be up for speculation. I don't think MS did anything unethical, nor did I mean to imply as much. My comment was more pointed towards Boba who wanted to make it seem like the developer wasn't capable, and from what I"ve seen and heard of the game, the developers seemed capable enough, which leads me to believe it was just a design issue which should have been taken care of earlier in development. @Gumby I was under the impression that the release date was within the next few months. If that's not so I apoligize for being misinformed. That being said, valuing creativity isn't the same as allowing a developer free reign to do whatever they want and not addressing things that will make a bad game. There is no such thing as complete freedom in game development unless a studio self publishes. It just doesn't exist, and people have the wrong impression on the idea. Freedom to create what they want means they have more say to put out ideas, or aren't forced to continuously work on projects they aren't interested in making anymore....along with some other things which would require too much explanation.
Other than the sad fact that many people lost their jobs, I really don't think much of this...I know that's terrible but maybe these people can find better studios to work for. Lionhead didn't exactly have a bright future either after Fable 2.
Well there you have it.. Games like Fable arent profitable enough on xb.. Sad to see a studio like that shut down as well as Conker being a hololens crackhead.. Why dont xb owners support games like that???
I think the games themselves sold reasonably well though didn't they? I can't imagine they weren't profitable if they went through 2 sequels, a spin off, and then the approval of yet another, rather large in scope game in the series. IP's don't go on that long without being profitable. They may have waned in their profitability or popularity, thus reducing profit, or increasing the risks involved. From all the stuff I've read about the Fable series(only played the first), it never seemed like LH was incapable of producing good games, they just had some bad game design involved, and while that was likely mainly on the designers over at LH, MS would have certainly had their input, and would have been able to see that the design was less than stellar when it was in pre-production, or during the numerous milestone analysis of the games.
I have 1-3 and think they were good games.. Shutting down their RPG department is a stupid move.. So was ruining Conker
No way!!! This guys a genius.
Sony Too™ made a business decision, as in 'Job Fair"
It's always Opposite Day with Pachter! It wasn't a business decision. We did it for the people, guys! We did it for the people! /s
in my opinion people talk too much about instant or short term business value. The value of the name Fable and Lionhead was a legacy, a reason why lots of people especially in europe and thos who did not enjoy shooters bought the xbox. They made a business decision but they may have not taken into account that this studio and their franchise had real long term marketing value - this end was not for the gamers.
The Fable IP does indeed have value and is still owned by Microsoft. Fable Legends was cancelled, but that doesn't mean we won't see another Fable game. As for Lionhead, Peter Molyneux was Lionhead. He left in 2012 and the remaining team unfortunately was unable to succeed without him.
I imagine Fable isn't dead altogether. FL may even be revamped if people get off this "it wasn't that good anyways, no one was really looking forward to it" kick, as that just reinforces MS statement that it didn't live up to their standards. The closure was certainly a business decision. That's like saying water is wet, or the sky is blue. The reasons for the business decision is what would be more important for discussion, and help people to determine if MS was in the right or wrong...although right or wrong in business decisions is mostly just about numbers. There is probably a lot involved with the decision to close them down, but I'd imagine the cancellation came solely based on if the game would generate a profit.
Pachter please, Gamers don't know what business decisions are.
Some people don't understand people go into business to make money. I'm not a economics expert but that one thing I sure do know. Nobody knows what goes on in the board meetings with MS. Until you have 100% fact information it's just speculation. I agree with an above comment that Fable 2 wast the last good one.
Yes sadly Pachter tells the truth, everthing else Lionhead tried beside Fable was garbage and had to be canceled. Anyone remembers this canceld Stoneage Simulation game for the original Xbox form Lionhead? Or the canceld Justice than Lionhead worked on Survivors again canceld and Milo and Kate canceld. Basically everything Lionhead ever attempted was a fail with the exception of the Fable IP. You can watch an interesting Interview with Peter Molyneux about several canceld Lionhead IPs on youtube on this Link : https://www.youtube.com/wat...
Yeah Fable 2 was the highpoint for me. Whatever man. Sony is trying to recruit some of these guy so I am glad they may have jobs again cuz that matters when you have bills to pay.
Thank you Captain Obvious!
Yep, as a long time Fable fan I had no interest in Fable Legends. And to be honest none of the fable games except the first two were very good. And Phil hinted that all the talent that made the first two games is long gone.
Would it be so bad if streamed some footage of the closed beta? Seeing as the game is cancelled now anyway, though the servers are up till april.....I could... http://s1370.photobucket.co... Ill say this about fable :legends... As a f2p game the pricing models was a bit steep ( I didnt buy anything) The controls...needed a little work. and the collision detection was never satisfying to me. The art style was/is awesome! It feels like albion. and visually did improve a little during the course of the beta. It should have had a zelda 'lock-on' style of combat. Needed more gear, and customization options...but the it was a closed beta.... As a fan of the series and lionhead games in general: The first two were the best. Fable 3 in particular, was a drop in quality overall. mechanically and story progression wise. I miss peter! As grandiose as he was, he added something to that team, as its leader. They should have made an MMO based on fable instead. They should have tried their hand at another ip, after fable 3.
After Fable 3 and the departure of Peter Moleneux, Lionhead should have tried a reboot/remake/re-imagining or just a fresh new take with Fable 4. MS needed an RPG of their own, not a moba(?) type of game which they have already with Gigantic. Your experiences seem to be common with a lot of other people who were in the beta. It had potential, but never really got there and after 4(?) years and still being mediocre there was no way anyone would support this game through multiple paid transactions.
No they should have made a game that had nothing to do with Fable. That's why they can't make a good game. Because they've gone stale on that franchise and it's run its course. No point trying to recapture the magic they only really had once.
@Red. I agree, they should have tried something else. They could have even tried a black and white reboot or made that BC game. It could have been Wild or farcray:primal before those games even showed up. "MS needed an RPG of their own, not a moba(?) type of game which they have already with Gigantic." Im also on the beta for gigantic. MS have a winner on their hands with that one. Especially if the success of smite is anything to go by. But they do need an mmo, I reckon. They suit the xbox well, as neverwinter has shown with its 2 million plus active players. Firefall would be a great fit on XB1 if MS ever wise up and make a move for it. Fabe:legends would have disappointed a lot of people. too pricey by F2p standards I reckon. Art style and visuals are nice though. but the game is a bit hollow and would get boring fast. the 5 V 1 thing is cool but its no substitute for a proper PVE MMO, which is what I think they should have made...or just made something all new, as BathyJ was saying :"No point trying to recapture the magic they only really had once." ...well it was two times the charm, but fable 3 did not need to happen. and neither should this game. it should have been a proper MMO. I DONT think they should have made a fable sequel though. They did all they could with that style of fable. What the game needed was a more open world and more players/heroes populating it. better yet...set that game in an all new world, with an all new story.
Captain Obvious or captain Hindsight , vote now.
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