Lionhead Studios, the Microsoft-owned development studio founded by Peter Molyneux in 1996, will close on Friday. In early March, it was announced that development on Fable Legends was halted and the studio was being considered to close.
Microsoft has confirmed to Eurogamer that the studio will close permanently on April 29. The decision was made after six weeks of consultation with Lionhead employees. According to Eurogamer, potential buyers were not interested in taking over the studio with its employees. Studio employees leave Friday on Twitter know getting ready for their last day of work.
Lionhead Studios was founded in 1996 and released the game Black & White in 2001. The first Fable game for Xbox was released in 2004. Microsoft acquired the studio in 2006 and let the developers make several more Fable games for the Xbox 360.
In 2013, the development of Fable Legends, an online game set in the Fable universe, was announced. It was supposed to be a free-to-play game for Windows 10 and the Xbox One, but in March Microsoft announced that it was discontinuing development of the game. At the time, it was not yet certain whether the studio would also be closed.
Microsoft didn’t mention a clear reason for stopping development and thus closing the studio, but the company suggests its popularity wasn’t high enough, claiming that “Microsoft Studios will continue to focus on investing in and developing games.” and franchises that fans are most excited about and want to play.”