Microsoft allows former Lionhead devs to use Fable license for new game

May 31, 2016 by Kris Ligman

It aten't quite dead yet.

Lionhead may be no more, and Fable Legends may be well and truly in the ground, but Peter Molyneux's quirky fantasy role-playing series lives on. A cadre of former Lionhead developers have taken to Kickstarter for a new Hearthstone-esque Fable card game -- with rights-owner Microsoft's permission.

"We approached Microsoft -- hoping for the best, prepared for a corporate hand to the face. To our delight they were very open to the idea and agreed to grant us the licence for Fable Fortune," the studio's Kickstarter page explains. "To be clear, we haven’t been granted a license to the entire Fable franchise, Microsoft have retained these rights, but we have the creative freedom to continue developing Fortune as an independent studio."

It is unclear from the Kickstarter page whether Microsoft's agreement with Fable Fortune developer Flaming Fowl Studios is transactional, and whether licensing fees are factored into its funding target of £250,000 (about $365,000 US). We've reached out to Flaming Fowl about this and will update once we learn more.

The game itself is, as mentioned, a virtual card game necessitating comparisons with Blizzard's Hearthstone, although the actual nitty-gritty of the game's mechanics and features differ, of course. While fans of the Fable franchise will most likely be pleased that the brand is continuing in some form, it remains to be seen whether Fable Fortune can catch on -- either in its released form or in its current fundraising phase.

EDIT (2:28PM): Flaming Fowl executive producer Craig Oman has responded to ZAM's inquiries concerning the Fable license. " I can confirm that all the money we raise on Kickstarter is going on paying for the team to work on the project and to cover server costs during closed beta," he writes. "Microsoft will not receive any of this money."

(h/t Gamasutra.)