It always sucks when a studio goes under, not only for fans, who could see their favorite franchise potentially disappear forever, but for the developers employed there. So when an offer comes in to buy the studio it’s usually its a godsend. Although, sometimes, a deal cannot be made, which is what happened with Lionhead Studio.
Sources at Kotaku UK say that during the studio’s consolation period (a mandated span of time where the company must search out other options before closing) there were several offers to buyout the studio.
There were offers on the table, some in the hundreds of millions, from major publishers, says sources, but due to private nature of the meetings the actual names are confidential.
Sadly none of the offers were taken because, as one source close to Xbox says, Microsoft refused to sell the Fable IP. Once Microsoft made that clear, all interest in a buyout disappeared.
As Kotaku pointed out, without ownership of the IP making a Fable game with a licensing agreement wouldn’t be a financially smart move.
This doesn’t mean that Microsoft wanted to see the company go under, nor does this mean fans will never see the Fable series again. Things like this happen all the time and most likely Microsoft will farm out Fable to one of its studios somewhere down the line. One thing’s for sure, I doubt this is the last time we’ll see Fable.