Microsoft has announced two studio closures and two game cancellations. Lionhead Studios and Press Play Studios will both be closing. This means the two games both developers were working on, Fable Legends and Project Knoxville, have been cancelled. Press Play Studios’ closure is confirmed, while Microsoft reports it is “in discussions with employees about the proposed closure of Lionhead Studios in the UK.”
Specific reasons for Lionhead Studios and Press Play Studios’ closure and Fable Legends and Project Knoxville’s cancellations were not revealed. In its statement, Microsoft said, “These changes are taking effect as Microsoft Studios continues to focus its investment and development on the games and franchises that fans find most exciting and want to play.”
Fable Legends was going to be a cooperative and competitive multiplayer game for Xbox One and Windows 10 devices from Lionhead Studios. People would go around Albion in 4v1 multiplayer matches, with people going either with three human or computer-controlled heroes to hunt down a villain or being the bad guy, controlling minions, and trying to fend off four human or AI heroes. It was going to be a free-to-play game, where the only cash items would have been cosmetic and content, while things that affected gameplay could be earned. It’s open beta was supposed to begin in spring 2016.
This also means Press Play Studios’ Project Knoxville has been cancelled. Back in August 2015, Press Play Studios allowed people to vote for which project the developer should make next. Project Knoxville, a multiplayer survival game that was both competitive and cooperative, as all players were basically on a game show, trying to survive and be the winner, while also keeping the other players around in case they needed them. It was an open development project, with Press Play Studios’ holding fairly regular Twitch streams during the creative process. Many of the development videos are also up on its YouTube.
Lionhead Studios was responsible for the Black & White and Fable series, as well as The Movies and The Movies: Stunts & Effects. Press Play Studios is most famous for Max & The Magic Marker, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, and Kalimba.