On the official Xbox Blog Hanno Lemke, General Manager, Microsoft Studios Europe revealed that Microsoft is cancelling development of Fable Legends, and that the Microsoft Studio responsible for the game, Lionhead Studios may also be in line for closure.
The game, which is in late development and has been in closed beta since 2014, and was due for release in 2015, has already been delayed in December last year.
The game was due to launch on both Windows and Xbox one, combine real-time strategy gameplay with role-play game mechanics and feature cross-play between Windows and Xbox.
Lionhead Studios is a British video game studio formerly led by Peter Molyneux which was purchased by Microsoft Studios in April 2006.
The company is famous for the games Black and White and Fable, with various versions being released over the years.
Press Play Studios, the Danish developer behind Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, is also set to close, Lemke said.
Their game, Project: Knoxville, was chosen for development by fans in August 2015. The game was a third-person, multiplayer action game that dealt with fragile alliances and survival, in a game show setting. It was inspired by films like “The Running Man” and “The Hunger Games,” and players needed to work together and against each other.
The statement reads:
Today, I have some difficult changes to announce that affect some of our Microsoft Studios teams and projects in the UK and Denmark.
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.
These have been tough decisions and we have not made them lightly, nor are they a reflection on these development teams – we are incredibly fortunate to have the talent, creativity and commitment of the people at these studios. The Lionhead Studios team has delighted millions of fans with the Fable series over the past decade. Press Play imbued the industry with a unique creative spirit behind games like Max: The Curse of Brotherhood and Kalimba, which both captured passionate fans. These changes are taking effect as Microsoft Studios continues to focus its investment and development on the games and franchises that fans find most exciting and want to play.
I speak for all of Xbox when I say that despite this news, we remain committed to the development communities in the UK and Europe, and Xbox will continue to support new IP and originality in the games we offer on our platforms, whether they’re AAA blockbusters like Quantum Break from Remedy, adventurous new IPs like Sea of Thieves from Rare, or unique new creations from independent developers like Moon Studios with Ori.
We have nothing but heart-felt thanks for the members of Lionhead and Press Play for their contributions to Xbox and gaming. We are committed to working closely with those affected by today’s news to find them new opportunities at Xbox, or partnering with the broader development community to help place them in jobs elsewhere in the games industry should they desire.