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Microsoft May Close This Popular Video Game Studio

March 7, 2016, 7:30 PM UTC
Photograph by David Ramos — Getty Images

It’s a rough day for Microsoft video game developers in Europe.

The technology giant’s video game production arm said on Monday that it shuttered a Denmark-based video game development studio and may close another one based in the United Kingdom.

Microsoft (MSFT) did not cite a specific reason for the downsizings, only to say that it “continues to focus its investment and development on the games and franchises that fans find most exciting and want to play,” according to a Microsoft blog post.

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Regarding the U.K.-based Lionhead Studios, Microsoft said it is “in discussions with employees” about the studio’s proposed closure, but did not elaborate. Microsoft did not say how many jobs would be affected.

The company said it would attempt to find to new jobs in the company’s video game division for the affected employees and would partner “with the broader development community to help place them in jobs elsewhere in the games industry should they desire.”

A possible closure of Lionhead Studios is noteworthy due to the popularity of one of its forthcoming video games, Fable Legends, of which Microsoft said it will cease development.

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The video game was originally slated for a release last fall, but it was delayed even though Microsoft continued marketing the game. Noted video game developer Peter Molyneux once led Lionhead Studios and helped create several of the company’s blockbuster hits, including the video game franchises Black & White and Fable.

Molyneux left Lionhead Studios in 2012. Microsoft bought Lionhead Studios in 2006 and the Denmark-based Press Play in 2006.