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Lionhead Studios Ltd.

is a British video game developer, formerly led by Peter Molyneux. It was acquired by Microsoft Studiosin April 2006. read more

Games Fable Legends...
Founding date
1996
Address
Country: United Kingdom
Number of Employees
51-100
Website
Updated
3/17/2016 7:38:08 AM
Lionhead Studios Ltd.

is a British video game developer, formerly led by Peter Molyneux. It was acquired by Microsoft Studiosin April 2006.

Description

Lionhead started as a breakaway from the developer Bullfrog, which was also founded by Molyneux. Lionhead's first game was Black & White, a god game with elements of artificial life and strategy games. Black & White was published by Electronic Arts in 2001. Lionhead Studios is named after Mark Webley's hamster, which died not long after the naming of the studio.

Black and White was followed up with the release of an expansion pack named Black & White: Creature Isle. Lionhead then released the popular Fable, from satellite developer Big Blue Box. In 2005, Lionhead released The Movies and Black & White 2. On 6 April 2006, it was announced that Lionhead Studios was to be purchased by Microsoft. Their most recent game to be released is the HD remake of Fable, Fable Anniversary, which was released on 4 February 2014.

Milo and Kate was being developed for Kinect, though speculation arose concerning whether it was actually a game or a tech demo. Production has since been halted.

On 7 March 2016, Microsoft announced that it had proposed closing Lionhead Studios and that the planned game Fable Legends would be cancelled.


Lionhead Studios team

Corporate structure

For a period of three years, Lionhead established satellite companies, including Big Blue Box Studios (developers ofFable), Intrepid Games (developers of B.C., since suspended due to a massive overrun) and Black & White Studios (who have taken responsibility for the continuation of the Black & White series). Lionhead proper was working on three games:Fable, B&W2 and The Movies.

The "satellite" system has ceased to exist in any meaningful form since mid-2004, however, with Big Blue Box having been more or less integrated into the main company, and Intrepid essentially having been disbanded.

Lionhead was a privately held company until October 2004 (shortly before the suspension of B.C.) when a consortium of investors, including Ingenious Ventures, IDG Ventures Europe, and technology firm Add Partners, made a significant investment into the developer. This at a time when the company was in severe financial straits, as they had overrun development on two projects, Black & White 2 andFable, and also canceled B.C. and a project with Jeff Minter named Unity.

Between September 2005 and April 2006, Lionhead successfully released two titles, Black & White 2 and The Movies, as well as an updated version of Fable (entitledFable: The Lost Chapters). These titles did not achieve a massive impact in sales, and this left the company vulnerable to a takeover bid.

In April 2006 Lionhead Studios was acquired by Microsoft, signalling the end of independent development, and a focus on Microsoft's proprietary gaming platforms. Lionhead is a fairly independent part of Microsoft Studios, which has also acquired Rare Ltd. and Bungie Studios (Bungie Studios became an independent studio in late 2007, shortly after the release of Halo 3).

On March 7, 2016, Microsoft announced the cancellation of Fable Legends and a proposed closure of Lionhead Studios.

Criticism of pre-release changes

Leading up to several Lionhead Studio game releases, Peter Molyneux's enthusiasm for talking openly about the development and design process of his games caused outcry online when certain features did not make it or were changed during development. He made a rule that he would not talk about game mechanics unless he could show them in game or present certain ideas as prototypes and/or experiments.

Several products such as Black and White 2 and Fable had features changed or lacking in the final product.

Peter Molyneux said the following on the issue:

After Fable, there was a pretty dark time where people looked at the game and compared it with what I said in the press, and they felt cheated. I realised that we just couldn't keep on doing that. But that was very much a reflection of how we worked, because what I was talking about in the press was what we were experimenting with at that moment, and a lot of those experiments would sort of come out as you were making the game. So I'd be talking about trees growing, and then we'd cut trees growing, and people would, of course, feel cheated. So I made a rule: I will not talk about any concrete mechanics unless I can actually show you them in game. I'll talk about our ambitions to make the best role-playing game of all time, but if you see Fable 2 press you'll see that I talked about stuff as I demoed it. People understandably get enormously upset about it—it's like seeing a trailer for a film and seeing Batman die, but then he doesn't die in the film; it would just be wrong. So I think a lot of what we do is realise what we’ve done wrong and work to try and make that right. It's far better than thinking that we get things right all the time.

Games

Release Date
Title(s)
Genre(s)
Platform(s)
Black & White
2001
Real-time strategy, God game
Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X
Black & White: Creature Isle
2002
Real-time strategy, God game
Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X
Fable
2004
Action role-playing game
Xbox
Fable: The Lost Chapters
2005
Action role-playing game
Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Xbox
Black & White 2
2005
Real-time strategy, God game
Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X
The Movies
2005
Business simulation game
Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X
Black & White 2: Battle of the Gods
2006
Real-time strategy, God game
Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X
The Movies: Stunts & Effects
2006
Business simulation game
Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X
Fable II
2008
Action role-playing game
Xbox 360
Fable III
2010
Action role-playing game
Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360
Fable Heroes
2012
Action-adventure game
Xbox 360 (Xbox Live Arcade)
Fable: The Journey[6]
2012
Action-adventure game
Xbox 360
Fable: Anniversary
2014
Action role-playing game
Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360

Cancelled

  • Unity (GameCube)
  • BC (Xbox)
  • Black & White: Titan (Xbox, PlayStation 2)
  • Black & White (PlayStation, Dreamcast)
  • InkQuest
  • Black & White 3 (PC)
  • The Movies (GameCube, Xbox, PlayStation 2)
  • Milo & Kate (Xbox 360 Kinect)
  • Fable II (PC)
  • Fable Legends (Xbox One, PC)

Peter Molyneux also discussed Justice and Survivor during an IGN interview. These projects never made it out of the concept stage.

Awards

  • BAFTA Awards
    • (2001) Nominated—British Academy Awards for "Games Networked" / Black & White
    • (2001) Nominated—British Academy Awards for "Best Original Score" / Black & White
    • (2001) Winner—British Academy Awards for "Interactivity" / Black & White
    • (2001) Nominated—British Academy Awards for "Technical Innovation" / Black & White
    • (2001) Nominated—British Academy Awards for "Games PC" / Black & White
    • (2001) Nominated—British Academy Awards for "Music" / Black & White
    • (2001) Nominated—British Academy Awards for "Moving Images" / Black & White
    • (2004) Nominated —British Academy Awards for "Best Original Score" / Fable
    • (2005) Winner—British Academy Awards for "Simulation" / The Movies
    • (2006) Nominated —British Academy Awards for "Best Original Score" / The Movies
    • (2009) Winner—British Academy Awards for "Action and Adventure" / Fable II
    • (2009) Nominated—British Academy Awards for "Best Game" / Fable II
    • (2009) Nominated—British Academy Awards for "Best Original Score" / Fable II
    • (2009) Nominated—British Academy Awards for "Story and Character" / Fable II
    • (2009) Nominated—British Academy Awards for "Technical Achievement" / Fable II
    • (2011) Nominated—British Academy Awards for "Best Original Score" / Fable III
  • Interactive Achievement Awards
    • (2004) Peter Molyneux inducted into AIAS "Hall of Fame”
    • (2004) Winner for "Best Original Score" / Fable
    • (2005) Finalist—Outstanding Achievement in "Character / Story Development" / Fable
    • (2005) Finalist—Outstanding Achievement in "Original Music Composition" / Fable
    • (2005) Winner—Play Magazine Overall Game of the Year / Fable
    • (2009) Finalist—Outstanding Achievement in "Art Direction" / Fable II
    • (2009) Finalist—Outstanding Achievement in "Original Story" / Fable II
    • (2009) Finalist—Outstanding Achievement in "Game Design" / Fable II
    • (2009) Nominee for "Best Original Score" / Fable II
    • (2009) Finalist—Outstanding Achievement in "Game Play Engineering" / Fable II
    • (2009) Finalist—Role Playing Game of the Year / Fable II
  • Others
    • (2004) Winner—1UP Awards Best of 2004 "Best RPG" / Fable
    • (2004) Winner—IGN.com "Best Original Score" / Fable
    • (2008) Winner—PETA's Annual Proggy Awards "Most Animal-Friendly Video Game" / Fable II
    • (2009) Winner—IGN.com "Best Original Score" / Fable II

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Monster Hunter Generations, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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