I say formally because gee, don't they practically own them already?
Well now they do, for real.
The good news here is that it won't result in any changes for us consumers. Had Lionhead been gobbled up by the competition, like EA or Ubisoft, Bad Things might have happened. EA, well, EA would have probably wanted to make Black and White or The Movies into a yearly franchise. You don't want to overwork people who already have a hard time meeting deadlines and feature lists. Though, a yearly dev cycle would give Molyneux less time to hype up the features that won't be making the cut. And as for Ubisoft, well, do you really want the disappointment of another Lionhead product to come with a bonus side of StarForce? That'd just be mean.
So that leaves us with Microsoft. Sure, it means we won't be seeing any Lionhead games on any platform other than the PC or Xbox, but name the last Lionhead game you saw that wasn't exclusive to those platforms. Go on, I'll wait. Here's a hint: there aren't any. Sure, cross-platform things get announced and hyped, but like so many other features of Lionhead games, they get cut before release.
Lionhead recently had some cutbacks, having axed about a fifth of their dev team shortly after shipping The Movies, as for what the rest of them are doing, we don't really know. Having just shipped Black & White 2 a few months ago, it's safe to assume there's some manner of expansion on the table. And since it's the only other thing they've made in recent history, there's probably some manner of sequel to Fable in the works for the 360. As with most things, we'll probably be hearing something about what they have up their collective sleeves next month at E3.
Source: BBC News
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