Update: Microsoft has responded to our request for comment, though there is no new information to share. The company says it remains in conversation with employees about next steps during the consultation period.
“We aren’t sharing additional details beyond that we have ceased development on ‘Fable Legends,’ and are in discussions with employees at Lionhead about our proposed closure of the studio as well,” a Microsoft representative told us via email. As the consultation period draws to a close, we'll have a better idea of what will happen with Lionhead and Fable Legends.
There might be some good news for Fable fans this morning. A report suggests that development on Fable Legends, an asymmetric, free-to-play game, might be saved.
Development was halted in March as Microsoft announced it was beginning a “consultation” period for Fable developer Lionhead. This has likely dire meaning, with a studio closure one of a few different possibilities that include significant layoffs under the guise of reorganization.
MCV is reporting from multiple sources that discussions are ongoing about ways to save the game from oblivion. According to MCV, contracted workers have already departed the studio, but employees may have an option to stay on rather than accept a severance package.
According to MCV, the likely scenario is that Lionhead employees would be granted permission to continue work on the game independently. We’ve reached out to Microsoft for comment, and we’ll update should we receive a response.
I’m interested in how the financial arrangement would work between a new, independent studio and license owner Microsoft. While we’ll likely never know those details (and may not even see the game come to fruition), for those who have been enjoying it in closed beta and the many more eager to play, there might yet be hope.