It’s a sad day for the UK gaming industry as Microsoft has announced it’s to close one of Britain’s oldest developers, Lionhead Studios, which has been a going concern for over 20 years.

In a blogpost, which was completely unexpected and sent shockwaves through the industry, Microsoft announced that Lionhead Studios would officially close and cease development on the game it’s working on, Fable Legends.

Along with Lionhead, Microsoft said it plans to close down Press Play Studio’s, the Danish developer responsible for Max: The Curse Of The Brotherhood and Kalimba.

“These have been tough decisions and we have not made them lightly, nor are they a reflection on these development teams – we are incredibly fortunate to have the talent, creativity and commitment of the people at these studios,”Hanno Lemke, General Manager, Microsoft Studios Europe wrote in the blogpost.

“The Lionhead Studios team has delighted millions of fans with the Fable series over the past decade. Press Play imbued the industry with a unique creative spirit behind games like Max: The Curse of Brotherhood and Kalimba, which both captured passionate fans, he added.

“These changes are taking effect as Microsoft Studios continues to focus its investment and development on the games and franchises that fans find most exciting and want to play.”

For any players who are currently in the beta for Fable Legends, Eurogamer has reported that the beta will end on 13th April 2016. No new players will be added to the beta from henceforth.

Lionhead will leave a sizable hole when it closes down. The studio has an admirable lineage; under the direction of gaming legend Peter Molyneux, the studio was responsible for the fantasy RPG Fable series and the god simulator series, Black & White.