Microsoft Swallows Lionhead

Microsoft Swallows Lionhead

Microsoft Game Studios announced it has purchased U.K.-based Lionhead Studios, creators of the Black and White franchise, Fable and The Movies.

Lionhead Studios will immediately begin creating content exclusively for the Xbox 360 and Windows platforms although this is pretty much what it has been doing for the past few years anyway. The companies previously worked together on the popular role-playing games Fable for Xbox and Fable: The Lost Chapters for Xbox and Windows, which have collectively surpassed the 2 million global unit sales milestone, making Fable the best-selling role-playing franchise on the Xbox platform.

This brings to an end a long-lasting relationship between the two companies which saw quite a bit of tension between them when milestones and deadlines where repeatedly missed during the development of Fable, a game that experienced a few delays before it finally launched in fall 2004.

Shane Kim, general manager of Microsoft Game Studios said Peter Molyneux is one of the few true visionaries in our industry, and his joining us is incredibly important to the future of both interactive entertainment and MGS. Lionhead is a shining example of the innovative and creative talent that has delivered some of the most influential and unique games experiences to date, and I am honored to welcome Peter and the incredible people at Lionhead Studios.

We could not be more excited about being part of MGS. They have long supported our creative vision, and this teamwork resulted in the hugely successful 'Fable' franchise, said Molyneux, managing director of Lionhead Studios. This acquisition gives Lionhead the stability and opportunity to focus on creating world-class next-generation titles. We are joining some of the most incredible game creators in the industry, the combined talent of which will truly take next-generation gaming to a new level.

With today's announcement, Lionhead Studios becomes the latest member of MGS, joining such prestigious and globally recognized game creators as Bungie Studios, Ensemble Studios, FASA Studio and Rare Ltd. on a team whose charter is to create exclusive entertainment experiences that differentiate Xbox 360 and Windows from other gaming platforms. With development on Fable 2 for XBox 360 rumored to be already under way, expect more news from MegaGames from E3 2006.