Lionhead was unexpectedly closed down last month, and that meant the end of, among other things, the free-to-play action-RPG Fable Legends. But now it seems that the game may not be quite as dead and buried as it first appeared: MCV says that three sources at Lionhead have told it that staff members are being asked if they would like to continue working on the game as an independent studio.
Most of the freelancers who were working on Fable Legends have already left, according to the report, but the lights are still on at the studio, and there are some employees remaining. The survey, which also asks if they'd prefer to take a buyout and move on, is part of the ongoing consultation process being conducted by Lionhead owner Microsoft, which employees in the UK are legally entitled to when they're being laid off.
To be clear, this is a far cry from “Fable Legends Lives Again!” but it does seem within the realm of possibility. Fable Legends never quite made it to open beta, but it came awfully close, and the delays, at least according to the studio, were not caused by problems but by ambition: Shortly before its cancellation, Lionhead said the game was “coming together well,” but it elected to extend and expand the closed beta so it could “add features and polish” prior to opening it to the public.
That's what it would say, obviously—when was the last time you heard a studio forecast doom and gloom for its upcoming game?—but assuming it was at least reasonably close to the mark, it suggests that Fable Legends might be viable as an indie project. A Microsoft rep declined to comment beyond saying that “we have ceased development on Fable Legends, and are in discussions with employees at Lionhead about our proposed closure of the studio as well,” but we'll let you know if we hear more.