So, Microsoft announced that they're closing Lionhead Studios (and another studio I've never heard of!). The shocking thing for me isn't that the studios are closing down, but the released statement put out by Microsoft PR:
These changes are taking effect as Microsoft Studios continues to focus its investment and development on the games and franchises that fans find most exciting and want to play."
The thing is that Lionhead was purchased with the intent of exploiting their creativity but they never really delivered on that, despite all the tech demos they showcased over the years, in favour of doing what Microsoft says they want to do right here in this press release!!!
I mean, really!
Fable 1, 2 and 3 where the product of investing in and development of the games and franchises that fans find most exciting and want to play. You know what happened? There was nothing else after that!
It's no surprise that Microsoft wants to close these studios - they're not releasing multi-million unit selling franchises. However, the fact remains that Microsoft have not created any of their multi-million selling franchises, only bought them. The problem here is that, sometimes, you need to invest in new ideas in order to make new franchises that people will want to play.
As I see it currently, Microsoft have only Halo and Minecraft in their stable... nothing else. This is especially egregious given their "support" of the PC gaming environment, Games for Windows Live, the "integration" of Xbox Live and now the Windows 10 "store" which locks games into its environment.
You reap what you sow... and if you don't sow then you will not... er, reap... I guess.