Microsoft have today laid off an undisclosed number of Lionhead employees following the launch of Xbox 360 title Fable: The Journey, which debuted at 37 in this week's UK charts. The publisher has told GI.biz that "less than 10 per cent" of staff have been affected by the cut and that they are currently carrying out a "thoughtful and fair consultation process" to reposition staff within Microsoft Studios.
"We are working closely with the affected employees during this difficult time, and helping them to explore opportunities," Microsoft told GamesIndustry International in a statement. "We do not have an exact number to share but by the end of 2012 these reductions will account for less than 10 per cent of the overall headcount at Lionhead."
The publisher goes on to say that following completion of its Kinect-powered RPG Fable sequel, Lionhead Studios is now pursuing its next project, which requires "a smaller headcount as projects kick off and ramp up as full production gets underway".
"At this time a small number of positions have been identified as at risk of redundancy and the affected employees were notified today. We are working very closely with those people during this difficult time, to help them explore alternative opportunities within Microsoft - including new roles at Microsoft Studios which is growing in the UK and actively hiring across all locations, including Lionhead, Rare, Soho Productions and our recently announced new studio in London."
The publisher is currently hoping to add over 100 positions to its internal studios by June 2013.