January 18, 2022

Microsoft admits shutting down Lionhead (Fable) was one of its biggest mistakes – Fable Legends

The Lionhead studio had acquired fame thanks to its Black & White series but above all became a major player with the launch of Fable, offering recognition to Peter Molyneux who was then appointed European Creative Director of Microsoft Games Studios. However, the failure of Fable: The Journey for Kinect took a heavy toll on the studio, which didn’t even have time to finish its next project, the asymmetric multiplayer Fable Legends, before Microsoft made the decision to close its offices.

A choice that many had judged as a serious mistake, an opinion now shared by the company. In the documentary “Power On” for the 20th anniversary of the Xbox, Shannon Loftis explains bluntly:

“One of the biggest mistakes we’ve learned from in the past has been Lionhead. We had already published Fable 1, and it was a success … People wanted more, so we bought Lionhead. They were good years. But after Fable 2, Kinect arrived, and the Fable-Kinect marriage never really caught on. And then, Fable: The Journey was a passionate project for a lot of people, but I think it strayed significantly from the pillars that made Fable 1 and 2 so popular. “

Another company executive, Sarah Bond, says Microsoft tried to learn from the studio shutdown:

“We acquired Lionhead in 2006 and closed it in 2016. A few years later, we reflected on that experience. What have we learned and how not to repeat our same mistakes? “

Fortunately, all is not over for the franchise. A new chance will be given to him with the opus currently in development at Playground Games with former developers of Lionhead in the team. Xbox boss Phil Spencer shared what he learned from this sad story:

“You buy a studio for what it’s good at, and your job is to help it speed up how it does what it does, not to make it speed up what you do. “

In summary, Microsoft has understood that it did not properly manage the recruitment of Lionhead within it and that it is responsible for the closure of the studio which could have taken advantage of another fate.

Thanks to IGN.