Layoffs Hit Lionhead Studios
Microsoft has confirmed in an announcement that the company has begun the process of downsizing Lionhead Studios, with a goal of reducing the Fable studio’s workforce by around 10%. “There is a thoughtful and fair consultation process for all employees to ensure they have the best possible chance of finding a role inside Microsoft Studios,” The company said in a statement given to GamesIndustry. “We are working closely with the affected employees during this difficult time, and helping them to explore opportunities. We do not have an exact number to share but by the end of 2012 these reductions will account for less than 10 per cent of the overall headcount at Lionhead.”
The layoffs come some 8 months after Peter Molyneux quit, and less than 2 weeks after Fable: The Journey flopped. Microsoft is pretending, however, that these layoffs have nothing to do with that game failing to perform. “Following the completion of Fable: The Journey, Lionhead Studios has begun work on its next projects. As is common in the games industry, a smaller headcount is needed as projects kick-off and ramp up as full-production gets underway. At this time a small number of positions have been identified as at risk of redundancy and the affected employees were notified today. We are working very closely with those people during this difficult time, to help them explore alternative opportunities within Microsoft – including new roles at Microsoft Studios which is growing in the UK and actively hiring across all locations, including Lionhead, Rare, Soho Productions and our recently announced new studio in London.”
Here’s hoping the laid off employees find work within, or without, Microsoft.