While Microsoft’s decision to cancel Fable Legends and begin discussions on closing UK developer Lionhead Studios stole headlines today, many have missed another sad note in the announcement. That would be the closure of Danish developer Press Play Studios who previously developed well received digital titles such as Max: The Curse of Brotherhood and Kalimba. The news broke earlier today over on Microsoft’s website.
The closure of Press Play is a huge hit to the game development scene in Denmark. The developer was currently working on an Xbox One exclusive survival game called Project: Knoxville. The third-person multiplayer game was going to allow players to cooperate in order to survive a world filled with vicious enemies. The game, which was inspired by the 1987 classic film The Running Man, won a fan vote in September of 2015 to determine the studio’s next game.
Check out an extremely early gameplay teaser for the now cancelled title below:
Press Play Studios was founded in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2006, and released their first game, Max & the Magic Marker, in 2010. The game, which had a unique drawing mechanic, was successful enough for the developer to get on Microsoft’s radar, and the studio was acquired in 2012 by the Seattle-based console maker. Since the purchase, Press Play has released two Xbox One titles, including a sequel to their first game titled Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, and the innovative platformer Kalimba that had players control multiple protagonists at once.
Microsoft’s Hanno Lemke, the General Manager of Microsoft Studios Europe, said that “Press Play imbued the industry with a unique creative spirit” and that the Danish studio “captured passionate fans.” He explained the decision as Microsoft Studios wanting to “focus its investment and development on the games and franchises that fans find most exciting and want to play.”
We here at Victory Point wish all of the employees at Press Play Studios good luck on their future endeavors, and are saddened by the closure. Hopefully this will lead to a thriving indie scene in Denmark, and we’ll see several indie studios pop up from the closure.