Michael Pachter On Lionhead’s Closure: Microsoft Made A ‘Business Decision’

'I don’t think Lionhead did a very good job of creating profitable franchises.'

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Abash2517d ago

How do we know when MS only allowed them to work on the Fable series?

Overload2517d ago (Edited 2517d ago )

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"

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.

hiredhelp2517d ago

I vagly remember some of that too.

Overload2517d ago (Edited 2517d ago )


Here is the Coalition's wiki.

And here is info about the cancelled game.

ShottyatLaw2517d ago (Edited 2517d ago )

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.

hells_supernova2517d ago

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

Mr Pumblechook2517d ago

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.

BitbyDeath2517d ago

@shotty, PD on the 360 wasn't made by RARE FYI.

_-EDMIX-_2517d ago

"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.

Godmars2902517d ago


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?

maxleresistant2516d ago

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

2516d ago
UnHoly_One2516d ago (Edited 2516d ago )

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?

Godmars2902516d ago


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.

XanderZane2516d ago

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.

Michiel19892516d ago

Rare is making Sea of Thieves at the moment, which looks very promising.

+ Show (11) more repliesLast reply 2516d ago
343_Guilty_Spark2516d ago

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?

Aloy-Boyfriend2516d ago

Yeah so much they couldn't do nothing but Fable after Fable

Bathyj2516d ago (Edited 2516d ago )

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

N4GGuy242516d ago (Edited 2516d ago )

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

Cdn_Seahawks_Fan2517d ago

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.

jb2272517d ago

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.

rainslacker2517d ago

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.

Bigpappy2517d ago

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.

Mr_Writer852517d ago


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.

Relientk772517d ago

"Microsoft Made A Stupid Decision"


Hold_It2517d ago

I think you're in the wrong thread as this one doesn't have a Sony Playstation tag.

starchild2516d ago (Edited 2516d ago )

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?

slate912517d ago

Look at the usual suspects in here getting their jabs in lol.

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