Despite being cancelled earlier this year, development on co-op RPG Fable Legends may continue following Microsoft’s discussions with ex-Lionhead Studios employees.
Earlier this year, fans of the longstanding Fable series were shocked when free to play co-op RPG Fable Legends was cancelled following several years in development, while its developer, Lionhead Studios, was also shut down. Hanno Lemke, the General Manager of Microsoft Studios in Europe explained that the decision had been made after “much consideration” and though things didn’t look particularly bright for the studio or the cancelled PC and Xbox One game, Microsoft said that it was still “in discussions” with the ex-Lionhead employees.
According to a new report, those with their fingers crossed regarding Fable Legends’ future were right to be hopeful. MCV has spoken to three sources at Lionhead Studios that claim that although there are currently “no offers” for either Lionhead Studios or Fable Legends, the ex-Lionhead Studios staff are being “surveyed” about whether they would like to keep working on the game or whether they will accept the redundancy package instead and leave their positions at the end of April.
Microsoft, meanwhile, says that “we aren’t sharing additional details beyond that we have ceased development on Fable Legends, and are in discussions with employees at Lionhead about our proposed closure of the studio as well.” This is perhaps understandable as some of the ex-Lionhead Studios may choose not to keep working on Fable Legends and there would be no point in giving false hope to players – especially when the game’s servers are currently scheduled to shut down on April 13.
Should the talks prove successful and Fable Legends does continue development, though, there are some doubts that it will be able to draw more players in. When the game was cancelled in the first place, many pointed out Microsoft’s statement on the matter, which specifically noted that Microsoft was focused on “games and franchises that fans find most exciting and want to play.” Some took this to mean that the Fable Legends development team was having a difficult time striking the ‘entertainment’ chord, and its decision to ditch traditional multiplayer gameplay also led to comparisons with Evolve, another multiplayer title that has struggled to keep its player base.
With Fable Legends supported by microtransactions, the game needs to have a substantial player base that will keep the game afloat in the years to come and will play it regularly, or else the Fable Legends team may be faced with another cancellation no sooner than they’d started up development again. So, if the game is to continue, the team that keeps working on it has some tough challenges ahead.