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Microsoft refused to sell Fable IP - Report

Suitors expressed interest in acquiring Lionhead, but refusal to include franchise in the deal cut talks short

After Microsoft announced plans to close Lionhead Studios, multiple parties expressed an interest in acquiring the studio, according to Kotaku.

The outlet cites multiple sources with news that Microsoft heard from a number of potential buyers during Lionhead's mandatory consultation period, with one of the sources saying deals ultimately didn't go through because Microsoft would not include the Fable IP with the studio sale. That same source claimed there were offers in the hundreds of millions of dollars, but "90% of the people interested just walked away" once it became clear Microsoft wanted to hold on to the action-role-playing game franchise.

It was not the first time Lionhead's hopes rested on an acquisition going through. In 2006, the then-independent studio was struggling after its PC games The Movies and Black & White 2 underperformed, resulting in 50 developers being laid off and studio co-founder Peter Molyneux beginning a search for a buyer. The developer also had multiple interested parties then, with Microsoft reportedly beating out Ubisoft and adding a Lionhead above its mantle.

The acquisition talks did not turn out as well this time; Lionhead's last day of operations was April 29.

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Latest comments (2)

Robert Bantin Snowdrop Audio Architect, Massive Entertainment4 years ago
I wonder who else would be qualified to make a Fable game for Microsoft if not Lionhead. Surely the refusal to sell the IP with the studio is pure hubris on Microsoft's part?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Robert Bantin on 11th May 2016 5:57pm

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Paul Jace Merchandiser 4 years ago
They would have found another developer to make Fable games just as they have found a second developer to make Halo games(343 taking over for Bungie), Gears of War games(The Coalition taking over for Epic and People Can Fly) and Halo Wars(Creative Assembly taking over for Ensemble).

Just because Lionhead is gone doesn't mean we will never see any new Fable games, although if Killer Instinct and Battletoads is anything to go by it may not happen for upwards of a decade from now.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Jace on 12th May 2016 7:00am

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