Microsoft are the “destroyer of first party studios” says former Lionhead producer

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FLionhead was mismanaged by Microsoft, says former Lionhead developer

If you thought your Monday was bad, you’re right out of the running when compared to some of the studios Microsoft decided to close seemingly out of nowhere late yesterday afternoon. In a press release Microsoft confirmed that Fable Legends had been cancelled, and that iconic Fable creators Lionhead Studios would probably be closing its doors soon too. That’s a lot of people who suddenly don’t have jobs, and according to a former Lionhead Producer it’s pretty common for Microsoft.

Daniel Gray, who has held producing jobs at both Lionhead Studios and Hello Games, didn’t choose to mince his words on Twitter last night. The current head of studio at Ustwo Games (Monument Valley) pointed fingers at Microsoft and their apparent spotty record with first-party studios, stating that the shuttering of Lionhead was due to their failed support of the studio.


He even went as far to joke that Microsoft probably had an executioner waiting outside the doors at Lionhead. Seems there’s really little love between Grey and his former employers of sorts.

Although Gray isn’t exactly right. Before Lionhead the only major closure underneath Microsoft came in 2009, when Ensemble closed its doors. Since then, however, Microsoft have personally opened many other first-party studios, including 343 Industries, The Coalition, Decisive Games and more. They’ve also purchased several others such as Mojang, and signed major publishing deals with several independent developers.

Read  Next-generation consoles are still at least two years away, says Ubisoft

The shuttering of Lionhead Studios is incredibly sad (especially considering that hardly any of them seemed to know it was coming), but it’s also not too surprising. Lionhead have failed to make a truly ground-breaking title in a decade, and the dwindling interest in their only modern franchise, Fable, only seemed to spur Microsoft’s decision.

It’s great to see so many other studios offering help to the many developers now without a job, but it’s indicative of the gruellingly tough industry that is videogames. It only takes one failure to really kill a studio.

Last Updated: March 8, 2016

Alessandro Barbosa

You can all call me Sandy until I figure out how to edit this thing, which is probably never. Sandy not good enough? Call me xXx_J0k3R_360degreeN0Sc0pe_xXx. Also, Geoff’s a bastard.

  • I think EA is relatively safe from MS stealing their title.

  • HvR

    M$ opening new studios is more about protecting current IP when agreement with partnered studios end. Like EA they are not in the innovation game but in the money game. They need to cut 18000 jobs, 8000 jobs cut from the rest of the company so now it is gaming studios turn. The recent merging of the Xbox and PC division will probably be followed by couple of 1000 job cuts from both divisions in the next month or 2.

    • Pariah

      This is the true “Division” game released yesterday.

  • Stefan Kühn

    Personally I think Lionhead sealed it’s own fate with a bunch of lackluster games

    • Commander Admiral Chief

      Well said

    • CiNiMoD

      This….Look at Fable Journey. WTF was that?!

      • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

        Fable Journey was created because (secretly) Micro$oft just wants to see the world burn….

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      Fable 3 was particularly dire…. and they never fixed a gamebreaking DLC bug. To this day, my character is still stuck trying to exit the lift.

    • WitWolfy

      Couldnt agree more. Peter killed he company single handedly IMO. Over hyping Fable 2, lying about Project Milo then release the flop known as Fable 3…. Was only a matter of time…

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    Guess Lionhead needed it’s legendary fable-teller to survive.

  • No was has MS opened 343 industries… Tehehehe

  • Pieter Kruger

    Very sad…….

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      That’s a losing kicken’ chicken score right there.

      • shurrup you’re face!

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          You’re face is a Fable character, and oVg wants to marry it!

          • 🙁 You went too far…

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            WINNING!

          • Nothing wins with oVg!

    • Jan Prins

      Yeah. Nothing worse than attending a kick ass medieval festival all dressed up and then your wife phones and tell you she got you an Xbox One for your birthday! 😛

      • Pieter Kruger

        She’s a keeper……????

        • Jan Prins

          Preferably locked up in the basement, yes! XD

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      Don’t worry bud, you can still get a PS4 😀

      • Pieter Kruger

        Then I’d really have nothing to look forward to……????

  • afterthefaux

    No EA right? Nooo nooo not EA. The company that saved rare and at this point is helping more third parties than anyone else, yep, thats the company that destroys first party studios. ffs.

  • Ryanza

    Thank you for Black and White and I liked the first Fable game. But if you going to jump into bed with the devil and only do Fable games that are just boring then your ass is going to get burned.

    Don’t Support DRM. DRM is the devil’s tool.

  • Ryanza

    Thank you for Black and White and I liked the first Fable game. But if you going to jump into bed with the devil and only do Fable games that are just boring then your ass is going to get burned.

    Don’t Support DRM. DRM is the devil’s tool.

  • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    So Microsoft has decided that it doesn’t want EA to have all the fun …. and be the recipient of the most poo awards?

  • miaau

    Yeah, but I played a lot of these games. They almost hit the spot, almost but not quite.

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