Ever since the news broke last month, multiple companies were reportedly interested in Lionhead Studios during its consultation period (the span of time, mandated by UK law, during which a company must explore options before shutting down). According to Kotaku UK, they have heard from multiple sources that there were in fact several potential buyers lined up for the studio. Potential buyers included some of the biggest names in video game publishing. However, given the confidentiality agreements, Kotaku UK’s sources were unable to detail who these potential buyers were.
One of Lionhead Studio’s most popular and beloved franchises is the Fable series. One source close to Xbox claimed Microsoft would not sell the Fable IP along with the studio, despite offers that were in the range of hundreds of millions. Fable franchise was the reason these buyers ultimately backed off, according to Kotaku UK.
Without ownership of Fable‘s intellectual property, any company that would have bought Lionhead would have to publish new Fable games (or Fable: Legends– if it had been salvaged) under a licensing agreement with Microsoft.
Overall the biggest frustrating matter about this particular case for anyone with affection for Lionhead is the possibility that it could perhaps have been saved if only Microsoft had been willing to let go of Fable. Let’s see what will become of Fable now. Will another installment ever come out? Or will it be a lost gem? Or will Microsoft give the series over to another company they own to release more Fable games?
Source: Kotaku UK