Microsoft have announced that the next game in the Fable series is officially dead. Both Fable Legends and Project Knoxville have been binned, and the fates of the studios behind each game is now in question.
Fable Legends – from Lionhead Studios – was set to take the action adventure series in a new multiplayer direction, while Project Knoxville was a third-person multiplayer survival game from Press Play.
Hanno Lemke posted a statement to the official Xbox website:
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.
Lemke continued that this was a tough call to make, and stressed that this wasn’t reflective of the quality of Lionhead or Press Play. Few details were given beyond that, but Lemke did mention that the changes come as Microsoft Studios continues to focus on franchises that fans find most exciting and want to play.
The first three Fable games were flawed but ultimately enjoyable adventures with a uniquely British sense of humour and some genuinely good ideas on display.
A multiplayer Fable game wasn’t exactly something the fans were crying out for, but it was shaping up nicely – it’s a real shame that it never made it the open beta launch which was set for this Spring.
Hopefully it doesn’t come to the outright closure of both studios. Obviously, it’d be awful for so many people to lose their jobs, and Lionhead in particular were a studio with great history and potential – It’d be a shame to see it close down now.