Following the closure of Lionhead Studios, it’s now come to light that things certainly could have worked out much better for the veteran studio if only Microsoft would let go of the Fable IP.
According to a number of sources speaking with Kotaku, a number of unnamed “big name” publishers were keen to swoop in and save Lionhead with offers “in the range of hundreds of millions” but as we all know, these sales didn’t happen, and that’s because Microsoft wouldn’t sell the Fable IP along with it.
“90% of the people interested just walked away at that point,” said the source close to Xbox.
If another company was to purchase Lionhead during the consultation period, in order for them to continue to develop another Fables game, or if they were to continue the development of Fable Legends, then that company would need to sort out a licensing agreement with Microsoft, something interested parties were clearly not interested in doing.
As Kotaku points out, it’s not unusual for interested buyers to look into purchasing a studio and for nothing to come of it, but without Microsoft cutting their nose off to spite their face, it would have been interesting to see what the future would have been for Lionhead.