Peter Molyneux, known for his work on Fable and Dungeon Keeper, has announced he is leaving Microsoft and Lionhead Studios to join 22 Cans, a brand new company. Kotaku first reported on Molyneux's plans today, noting that he will continue to be involved as a creative consultant for the upcoming Xbox 360 Kinect Fable game, Fable: The Journey.

Molyneux co-founded Lionhead Studios in 1997 and has been involved in a number of popular PC games over the years. He originally started his career by selling Atari and Commodore 64 video games on floppy discs, before launching Lionhead's first game — Black & White. Although Molyneux is exiting his positions as leader of Lionhead and creative head of Microsoft Studios Europe, Lionhead has confirmed the studio will now be run by co-founder Mark Webley. Microsoft has not yet named a new head of its European studios, where Molyneux oversaw the development of Lionhead and Rare.

Microsoft wished Molyneux well in a statement issued today, describing him as one of the "most passionate and influential developers for the Xbox 360 platform." As for what's next for Molyneux, he revealed on Twitter today that he will be involved in a "brave new company" called 22 Cans. A quick check of the 22cans.com WHOIS revealed that some of the domain details are registered to a tim.rance email address — the same Tim Rance who helped co-found Lionhead Studios back in 1997. Rance's details have since been removed, replaced with a@b.com. Molyneux and Rance haven't revealed their exact plans for 22 Cans, but it's certainly no coincidence that two significant games developers are starting "something really amazing."

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