Lionhead Studios which closed officially last month could have been saved with multiple "potential buyers" providing offers to purchase both the studio and its Fable IP, as discovered through sources to Kotaku UK.
Apparently, various "letters of intent were reportedly filed" along with proposals "in the range of hundreds of millions" to rescue the studio, which has a 20-year pedigree.
However, "one source close to Xbox" has stated that Microsoft did not want to sell the Fable IP along with the studio as a package. Not owning the Fable IP, however, would put the potential new owner in a situation under which it would need to "publish new Fable games (or Fable Legends, if it had been salvaged) under a licensing agreement with Microsoft."
Given the disappointing sales of Fable: The Journey, Fable Heroes, and the floundering development of Fable Legends, it may be surprising at first glance that there was so much significance placed on the Fable IP. But it may have been a defensive step to prevent the Fable series from being released on platforms outside of Xbox consoles.