Peter Molyneux has announced that he is to leave Microsoft and Lionhead Studios following the completion of Fable: The Journey later this year.
“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 to Kotaku.
“I remain extremely passionate and proud of the people, products and experiences that we created from Black and 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.”
Peter Molyneux, who shot to fame for his work on some of the biggest games of the 90s, including Theme Park, Syndicate, Black & White and Magic Carpet, leaves Lionhead after 15 years at the studio.
He leaves to form a new studio called ’22 Cans’.
“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,” said Microsoft commenting on Molyneux’s departure.
“He has made an indelible mark on the games industry and we wish him all the best of luck in his future endeavors.”
He began his career in the early 1980s, developing a game called The Entrepreneur. The game reportedly sold just two copies.
Success came in later years, of course, acting as the lead designer on the Fable series of games before being promoted to Creative Director of Microsoft Game Studios, Europe in 2009.
He has often been the butt of jokes by much of the gaming community, thanks to his reputation of over-promising on upcoming releases. Most famously was his enthusiasm for some of the features set to be included in Xbox release Fable which never came to be. He later apologised.
He was honoured with an OBE in 2004 and received a BAFTA fellowship at the 2011 British Academy Video Games Awards.
Fable: The Journey is due to launch this year on Xbox 360. According to Kotaku, Molyneux will continue to be involved with the title as a creative consultant.
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