Yesterday Microsoft announced it would be closing both Lionhead, developer of titles like the Fable series and the former home of sometimes-visionary developer Peter Molyneux, and Press Play, the studio responsible for Max: The Curse of Brotherhood. It looks like those were the first closures, rather than the only ones.
Videogamer looked at the Microsoft Studios website and noticed some changes. Flip back and forth between the images in the gallery above and you’ll notice a few tiles missing.
BigPark, [Fun]ction, Good Science, Leap Experience Pioneers, Project Spark and SOTA have all disappeared from the list. Four of those were known Kinect studios. Project Spark was Microsoft’s attempt to develop a cross-platform tool for amateur game developers and SOTA (State of the Art) didn’t have any known projects. As noted by GamesRadar, most of these studios were established at around the same time and seem to have been closed at the same time as well.
Notably, Rare is not on the list despite having been a primarily Kinect-based developer for the last few years. Their Rare Replay collection and the upcoming Sea of Thieves mark a return by the developer to more traditional gaming, so that may be keeping them afloat.
It’s sad to see more studios close. Microsoft hasn’t announced anything official, though, so it’s unknown whether any jobs were affected by the changes. If that’s the case, hopefully not too many jobs were affected and those affected are able to find new homes soon.