, Lionhead's controversial A.I. game for Kinect, has been canceled, claims a source speaking to Eurogamer
. The project was officially closed down yesterday with "19 contractors" laid off in the wake of the decision, the source said.
The tech used to create the game will now be used to develop a Fable
-themed Kinect game, claimed the source. Microsoft representatives were unavailable for comment.
The game has divided onlookers since its initial demonstration at E3 2009, both amongst consumers and within Microsoft itself. In June, Xbox director of product management Aaron Greenberg announced the project was a non-commercial tech demo, even if its implications for future Kinect products is far-reaching. The publisher then retracted the claim, saying that the project was due to hit the market
as a holiday release.
Lionhead co-founder and Microsoft Game Studios creative director Peter Molyneux put the confusion down to difficulties in communicating the game's complexities to Microsoft. "I have real sympathy for the [Microsoft] people over in Redmond, because they understandably have some questions," he said.
"The biggest challenge for us is convincing people what we're doing is actually going to work, is going to reach a new audience, is going to be an idea that people love," said Molyneux. "That, for me, is a massive challenge; convincing people what you're doing is something that can change the world."
Nevertheless, the project has continued to attract attention, with Molyneux showcasing the game
at the TEDGlobal 2010 Conference in Oxford, an event at which he claimed the A.I. would recognize its player "after three-quarters of a hour" play.