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Microsoft buyout saved Lionhead

Molyneux's studio turned around by Microsoft

A Lionhead veteran has revealed that it was saved from almost certain closure when Microsoft bought the studio back in 2006.

The Fable developer had just laid off 50 staff before the Microsoft buyout due to their PC god sim Black and White performing below expectations.

Lionhead artist James Duncan joined the studio several days before the buyout happened and recalls the situation: "Literally the day I started Microsoft said we're buying you. It was a big time, a lot of upheaval in the company. When you're bought by Microsoft it's quite a big deal. Lionhead was on its knees. They desperately needed help, let's put it that way. So really, when Microsoft came along it was jubilation. A lot of people were taking sighs of relief that Microsoft had come in as the saviour."

He added: "Things were difficult at the time, let's put it that way. Certainly when Microsoft came in with the offer it was good for Lionhead because they needed maybe a stronger hand to come in and help them out at the time."

Since becoming part of Microsoft, Lionhead has gone on to release Fable II and III both of which have sold in the region of three million copies.

Thanks Develop Online.

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