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Molyneux to depart Lionhead Studios and Microsoft

Legendary video game developer is set to leave Lionhead Studios and Microsoft to start up 22 Cans.

One of gaming's most widely known and prolific video game developers, Peter Molyneux, has announced that he will be leaving Lionhead Studios and its parent company Microsoft.

The 52-year-old Brit will make his leave after completing work on the upcoming Fable: The Journey, which is set to be released on Xbox 360 Kinect.

He announced via Twitter the name of his new project that he will embark on upon leaving: "I have left the lovely amazing Microsoft and lionhead. Now for something really amazing, scary and brave a new company called 22 Cans."

Although what 22 Cans will entail remains a mystery.

Lionhead was co-founded by Molyneux in 1997 and since then he has released numerous groundbreaking games that have achieved critical and commercial success such as Black and White and the Fable franchise.

He has never shied away from taking innovative steps when it comes to video games.

Lionhead's first release was Black and White; a god game where players take control over various villages, using a creature as a puppet to carry out the dirty and not-so-dirty work associated with being a deity.

He went on to create the highly successful Fable franchise and a film-creating simulation game The Movies.

Before working with Microsoft and Lionhead Studios, Molyneux helped create such classic games as Populous, Theme Park and Dungeon Keeper.

Talking about his decision, Molyneux told video-game blog Kotaku: "I felt the time was right to pursue a new independent venture. I'd like to thank the team at Lionhead, as well as our partners at Microsoft Studios for their support, dedication and incredible work over the years."

In response, Microsoft released a statement announcing: "As co-founder of Lionhead and an integral part of Microsoft Studios, Peter was the creative visionary behind the blockbuster Fable franchise, and one of our most passionate and influential developers for the Xbox 360 platform.

"He has made an indelible mark on the game industry and we wish him all the best of luck in his future endeavours."

Where 22 Cans takes Molyneux is up for speculation. Many believe that he will be returning to the freedom of independent developing, which means fans of gaming could be in store for something truly revolutionary a couple of years down the line.ADNFCR-1220-ID-801315411-ADNFCR