Celebrated game designer Peter Molyneux is to leave Lionhead Studios and Microsoft, quitting the Fable developer and his creative director role at Microsoft Game Studios' European division to work with a new, independent outfit. In a tweet, Molyneux writes, "I have left the lovely amazing Microsoft and Lionhead. Now for something really amazing, scary and brave a new company called 22 Cans."
The Twitter announcement came shortly after a statement to Kotaku, in which he announced his intentions, saying, "It is with mixed emotions that I made the decision to leave Microsoft and Lionhead Studios, the company that I co-founded in 1997, at the conclusion of development of Fable: The Journey."
Molyneux, creator of Dungeon Keeper and Populous, as well as the Xbox-exclusive role-playing game franchise Fable, co-founded Lionhead in 1997. He set up the studio after leaving Bullfrog, which he had founded 10 years earlier and sold to Electronic Arts in 1995. Lionhead produced the god game Black & White under his direction, as well as the first Fable game, before being acquired by Microsoft in 2006.
After being appointed creative director of Microsoft Game Studios in Europe in 2009, Molyneux oversaw Microsoft-owned British developers Rare and Lionhead. In his creative director role, Molyneux was also a notable spokesman for Microsoft's Kinect system, memorably presenting Milo, a Kinect-based tech demo in the form of an interactive virtual boy, at 2009's Electronic Entertainment Expo.
Details on who will take up Molyneux's duties at Microsoft and the nature of his new outfit, 22 Cans, are yet to surface. A placeholder page at 22cans.com shares the vague recruitment message, "A great team with a great idea leads to a great success."