Microsoft cancels 'Fable Legends' and closes Lionhead

'Max: The Curse of the Brotherhood' studio Press Play is also shutting down.

Fable Legends has officially been canned and developer Lionhead Studios will be shut down, Microsoft announced in a blog post this morning. Fable Legends was poised to be a free, multiplayer-focused, fantasy-action game -- and a fairly dramatic departure from previous installments in the series. Microsoft announced Fable Legends in 2013 and it was supposed to launch in late 2015, though in December it was delayed into 2016.

Lionhead is based in the United Kingdom and it's responsible for franchises such as Black & White and (of course) Fable. Famed game designer Peter Molyneux founded Lionhead in 1997 and led it for more than a decade, even once Microsoft acquired the studio in 2006. Molyneux left in 2012 after finishing Fable: The Journey.

Microsoft is additionally closing down Denmark studio Press Play, which created the adorable puzzle adventure games Max & the Magic Marker and Max: The Curse of the Brotherhood. Microsoft acquired Press Play in 2012. Its next game, Project Knoxville, has been canceled.

"I speak for all of Xbox when I say that despite this news, we remain committed to the development communities in the UK and Europe, and Xbox will continue to support new IP and originality in the games we offer on our platforms," Microsoft Studios Europe General Manager Hanno Lemke says.