Fable developer Lionhead hires MMO veteran as new boss

Ex-Cryptic CEO joins UK developer to "lead Lionhead towards an ambitious online future."


UK-based developer Lionhead, responsible for the Fable series, has announced John Needham as its new boss.

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Needham has a long background in massively multiplayer games. He was formerly the CEO of Marvel Heroes developer Gazillion Entertainment, and before that City of Heroes maker Cryptic Studios. He's also been chief financial officer at Sony Online Entertainment.

"John’s deep understanding of all aspects of the gaming industry, from subscription-based, massively multi-player to client-based console and free-to-play online, PC and mobile experiences, will be a huge benefit to Lionhead and European Studio operations more widely," said Microsoft in a statement.

Needham will report to established games industry executive Phil Harrison, who spoke earlier this year about Microsoft Studios' intention to transition its major gaming titles across multiple platforms for the "connected audience."

"It's my pleasure to welcome John Needham to Microsoft Studios and Lionhead," said Harrison. "He brings a wealth of proven executive leadership experience in the online gaming space to the company and I know he will confidently lead Lionhead towards an ambitious online future."

In May 2012 Lionhead was spotted hiring for a next-gen, MMO-like title.

The job posting was for a game that would blend single-player and multiplayer and offer a "radical take on how cooperative and multiplayer gameplay feeds into the experience."

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