Peter Molyneux leaves Lionhead

Industry legend Peter Molyneux is leaving Lionhead Studios and parent company Microsof, 15 years after he co-founded the developer behind Fable and Black & White. He's becoming creative director at new company 22 Cans, joining former Lionhead CTO Tim Ranc

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Industry legend Peter Molyneux is leaving Lionhead Studios and parent company Microsoft for new pastures, 15 years after he co-founded the English developer behind Fable and Black & White. He's moving to be creative director at new company 22 Cans, joining former Lionhead CTO Tim Rance.

"It is with mixed emotions that I made the decision to leave Microsoft and Lionhead Studios, the company that I co-founded in 1997, at the conclusion of development of Fable: The Journey," Molyneux said in a statement provided to Kotaku.

"I remain extremely passionate and proud of the people, products and experiences that we created, from Black & White to Fable to our pioneering work with Milo and Kate for the Kinect platform. However, I felt the time was right to pursue a new independent venture. I'd like to thank the team at Lionhead, as well as our partners at Microsoft Studios for their support, dedication and incredible work over the years."

Friend of Shacknews Molyneux added on Twitter, "Now for something really amazing, scary and brave a new company called 22 Cans."

What exactly 22 Cans is, and what it's doing, are still under wraps.

"Today is 7th day of 3rd month of 12th year. Add them all up and you get 22. 22cans," he cryptically noted.

Molyneux co-founded Lionhead in 1997, after splitting from the hallowed Bullfrog Productions (which he also co-founded) a few years after it was bought by Electronic Arts. Microsoft bought Lionhead in 2006, and appointed Molyneux the European creative director of Microsoft Game Studios in 2009. There's no word on who'll fill the MGS role, but fellow Lionhead co-founder Mark Webley will step into Peter's shoes as studio manager there.

In a statement, Microsoft said, "As co-founder of Lionhead and an integral part of Microsoft Studios, Peter was the creative visionary behind the blockbuster Fable franchise, and one of our most passionate and influential developers for the Xbox 360 platform. He has made an indelible mark on the games industry and we wish him all the best of luck in his future endeavors."

As well as Fable: Journey, Lionhead is working on the recently-revealed Fable Heroes and has been spotted seeking a programmer with MMO experience.

Another group of Fable veterans recently split to form Another Place Productions.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    March 7, 2012 6:45 AM

    Alice O'Connor posted a new article, Peter Molyneux leaves Lionhead.

    Industry legend Peter Molyneux is leaving Lionhead Studios and parent company Microsof, 15 years after he co-founded the developer behind Fable and Black & White. He's becoming creative director at new company 22 Cans, joining former Lionhead CTO Tim Ranc

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      March 7, 2012 6:46 AM

      wow.....

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      March 7, 2012 7:10 AM

      Guess that's the only way he can start a new franchise.

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        March 7, 2012 7:21 AM

        I like this ^^^^^^ , like I said I am really interested to see what he does with the new freedom, could be awesome, there is potential for sure.

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      March 7, 2012 7:20 AM

      Crazy, I guess he should of not showed of Fable Kinect at last years E3, lesson learned.

      So I take it Fable 2 PC will never happen now, would of been cool to have a complete set on the PC.

      Hmm I am interested what he will do in his new dev shop, wish him all the best, hope he finds his mojo and makes some cool shit.

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        March 7, 2012 10:59 AM

        Yeah, it bothered me than 1 and 3 showed up on PC, but not 2. Microsoft released Halo 2 on PC years after it had come out on Xbox, so why not make sure PC gamers get Fable 2 as well to, as you said, complete the set?

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      March 7, 2012 7:27 AM

      i gotta say his naming scheme is hilariously peter molyneux.

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      March 7, 2012 8:06 AM

      Good. Now go make some real games and keep your mouth shut and realistic.

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      March 7, 2012 8:09 AM

      who the hell is left at lionhead now?

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      March 7, 2012 8:13 AM

      Have Chris Faylor call him for more details about his new company

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      March 7, 2012 8:28 AM

      Let the poaching begin!

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      March 7, 2012 8:33 AM

      How many toucans?

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      March 7, 2012 10:48 AM

      And nothing of value was lost.

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      March 7, 2012 11:27 AM

      I hate to say it but I hope we get a better fable. The kinect game is kind of bullshit.

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        March 7, 2012 11:32 AM

        I'm willing to bet that Microsoft pushed for the Kinect game, not Peter.

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      March 7, 2012 11:48 AM

      That's a bit of a shock. Interested to see what will come of this.

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      March 7, 2012 1:35 PM

      Peter Molyneux is leaving Bullfrog Lionhead and parent company EA Microsoft to start a new company Lionhead 22 Cans

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      March 7, 2012 1:42 PM

      Every time I read his name, all I can think of is an interview he had with Jolt.co.uk yeeeears ago, we were all sat online for ages waiting for him to join the IRC channel, until his lackey said to us in #Jolt.admins that he was very busy christmas shopping in London and had been delayed, but would be with us shortly (He forgot)

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      March 7, 2012 2:21 PM

      Is Microsof the new Micro$oft?

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      March 7, 2012 2:23 PM

      there is an equation somewhere which can predict, with startling accuracy, how much of molyneux's promises will actually make it into his finished products. i believe it contains a fraction.

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      March 7, 2012 2:52 PM

      The guy over promises, but he still makes good games. I'm excited to see what he works on next.

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      March 7, 2012 4:45 PM

      He's stepping aside so Peter Molydeux can assume direct control

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        March 7, 2012 5:07 PM

        So the Collectors were running Lionhead on behalf of the Reapers to weaken human civilisation with boring games? Somehow I knew all along.

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          March 7, 2012 5:10 PM

          No that's Bioware

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            March 7, 2012 5:14 PM

            Sorry it's hard to tell the difference, all console developers look the same to me.

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              March 7, 2012 5:18 PM

              That's because you were dropped on your head as a child and were rendered incapable of perceiving nuances subtle or otherwise.

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        March 7, 2012 7:06 PM

        oh neux you didn't

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      March 7, 2012 4:56 PM

      "Peter Molyneux signed up for Twitter like a week ago, aaaand heeee.... y'know the joke... the consolevania version of Molyneux? The joke about Molyneux is that he's a hilarious man-child who is out of touch with everything that happens in reality? Apparently, he might actually be." -- Chris Remo, Idle Thumbs E30

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        March 7, 2012 5:16 PM

        Jesus dude do these quotes just come straight out of your head?

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      March 7, 2012 6:58 PM

      The Fable games were good so I look forward to whatever comes out of 22 Cans.

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