Power On: The Story of Xbox, which is available to watch now, details the highs and lows of Xbox history. As spotted by IGN, in the sixth instalment, a short segment is dedicated to the now-defunct Lionhead Studios, which was responsible for developing the Fable series. The studio was closed by Microsoft in 2016.
In the documentary, Shannon Loftis, who was then general manager of global games publishing at Microsoft when Lionhead was closed, explained that “one of the biggest missteps that we learned from in the past was Lionhead. We had already published Fable 1, and it was a hit… People wanted more, and so we bought Lionhead. Those were good years.
“But after Fable 2, Kinect came along, and the Fable-Kinect marriage just never really took,” Loftis said. “And then Fable: The Journey was a passion project for a lot of people, but I think it deviated pretty significantly from the pillars of what made Fable 1 and 2 so popular.”
Sarah Bond, head of game creator experiences and ecosystem at Xbox, also shared her thoughts, which are similar to that of Loftis’. “We acquired Lionhead in 2006 and shut it down in 2016,” Bond explained. “A couple of years later, we reflected back on that experience. What did we learn, and how do we not repeat our same mistakes?”
Later in the documentary, Loftis said she wished “Lionhead were still a viable studio.”
Power On: The Story of Xbox is definitely worth checking out if you haven’t done so already. The documentary series offers a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at some of the biggest moments in Xbox history.
How do you feel about Lionhead’s closure? Give us your thoughts down in the comments.