Lionhead co-founder and Microsoft Studios Europe creative head Peter Molyneux confirms earlier today that he was parted with both his former studio and Microsoft to once again pursue independent production.
Molyneux was well prepared in this regard: shortly after his departure from the "lovely amazing Microsoft and Lionhead", Molyneux announced via Twitter that he will be joining a brand-new indie studio called 22 Cans, based in Guildford, England. 22 Cans was founded by Lionhead’s former chief technical officer, Tim Rance.
Molyneux addresses the reasons for his departure in a statement 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."
Molyneux will help complete Fable: The Journey, his final project at Lionhead, as a creative consultant. Lionhead previously bid farewell to several other key Fable staffers, who recently formed a studio of their own; Molyneux's departure this week simply adds to the exodus of Fable talent at Microsoft.
While Molyneux is perhaps most closely associated with the Fable franchise (and any of its shortcomings which he saw fit to publicly apologize for), his long tenure in game development saw him responsible for the Populous, Dungeon Keeper and Black & White franchises as well. Last year, Molyneux was awarded with both a Lifetime Achievement Award at the GDC, and a BAFTA fellowship at the British Academy Video Games Awards.
(Image Source: BAFTA)