Fable Legends, the recently cancelled free-to-play adaptation of Microsoft’s Fable franchise, may be revived by members of the game’s former development team.
Last month, Microsoft announced it had begun the process of closing down Fable series developer Lionhead Studios — shutting down a business of this size is a much longer process in the UK, where Lionhead is based — and that Fable Legends would not see the light of day. While most of the game’s developers have since been laid off, Microsoft and some remaining employees at Lionhead are negotiating a deal that would allow the team to continue working on the game, according to MCV UK. That deal may involve members of the team spinning off and completing the game as an independent studio; if that’s the case, the game would likely be released under a different name.
Microsoft told multiple outlets Thursday it still intends to close Lionhead, and remains in negotiations with its employees related to the closure. While those negotiations may be related to offloading the game, it may simply be related to negotiating the remaining employees’ contracts.
An asymmetrical action RPG, Fable Legends would have pit four heroes, similar to the protagonists of the Fable games, against a single player who could install traps and summon enemies to defeat their opponents. The game was expected to launch on Windows 10 and Xbox One, and would have support cross-platform play. The game entered private beta in October, 2015, and a planned public beta had been cancelled just before Microsoft announced the studio would close.
Despite the fact that that Fable Legends sounds more alive than it did yesterday, it’s probably best that Fable fans don’t get their hopes up. Microsoft is keeping mum, and the potential deal, regardless of what it may entail, sounds like a longshot.