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Now that its latest Kinect title is out, Microsoft is reducing the staff at developer Lionhead Studios.
Up to 10 percent of Lionhead’s developers could be affected by these layoffs, Microsoft said.
Lionhead released Fable: The Journey, a first-person action game in which players use their hands to perform magic, on October 9. It is available on Xbox 360 for $49.99. It requires the Kinect 3D camera. Our review found the game enjoyable as long as everything was working with the hardware.
A Microsoft spokesperson provided GamesBeat with the following statement:
“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 U.K. and actively hiring across all locations, including Lionhead, Rare, Soho Productions, and our recently announced new studio in London.”
The publisher is correct; these types of post-release layoffs are common. Although, Fable: The Journey’s middling review scores and mild sales forecast likely didn’t help the situation.