Microsoft lays off part of Lionhead development team

Microsoft released Fable: The Journey, the latest game in the Xbox 360 RPG series from its UK-based Lionhead development studio, last week. Today, the company has confirmed that part of Lionhead's team will be laid off

Gamesindustry.biz reports that, according to a statement from Microsoft, "Following the completion of Fable: The Journey, Lionhead Studios has begun work on its next projects. As is common in the games industry, a smaller headcount is needed as projects kick off and ramp up as full production gets underway."

Microsoft claims that the layoffs at Lionhead will amount to less than 10 percent of the team's total workforce. It added that it plans to actually add 100 new positions in its internal game studios between now and June 2013. In September, Microsoft announced plans to launch a new, and as yet unnamed, game development team in London that will make games targeted for Windows 8-based devices.

Earlier this year, Lionhead's co-founder Peter Molyneux announced his departure from the studio to form a new indie game development company called 22 Cans. So far, Microsoft has not revealed what Lionhead is working on for its next project.

Source: Gamesindustry.biz | Image via Microsoft

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"Microsoft claims that the layoffs at Lionhead will amount to less than 10 percent of the team's total workforce. It added that it plans to actually add 100 new positions in its internal game studios between now and June 2013"
So same jobs just on much lower pay then I guess?

It doesn't have to mean that at all. You can't simply turn a systems coder into an artist, for example. Different jobs for different projects.

Obviously I wouldn't wish anyone to lose their job, but redundancies and hirings =/= trying to pay people less.

Huh the game has been getting decent reviews and is rated to be a good average game.

and if this is common in the industry than why is this news? Lionhead is still hiring for a next gen game and most of these people will hopefully be moved to rare or the london studio.

Well.. there wasn't much of a chance of a new Black & White. Still, sad to see another developer fade away. Hope those peeps find new jobs soon!

IIRC Fable: The Journey was made using the Unreal Engine, which Lionhead rarely (if ever) uses to make games. So the cuts might simply have been outside contractors they brought on that had experience with the engine. That's actually quite common with the game industry.