According to reports in today's MCV, Lionhead Studios is currently being stalked by predatory uber-publishers wishing to buy out the Molyneux-founded development studio. The interested parties have been suggested as Microsoft, Activision and Eidos.
Lionhead - currently working on the long-awaited Fable, The Movies and BC - has declined to comment on these rumours. However, the links envisaged between the studio and the likes of Microsoft and Activision do seem appropriate and well-grounded.
It's become common knowledge that Microsoft is seeking out a crack squad of exclusive developers to push the Xbox 2 to the forefront of the market, and Activision has also been growing steadily over the last few years and could therefore contemplate such an acquisition as part of its future strategy. Eidos, on the other hand, has denied any involvement. Indeed, as Eidos was rumoured to be bought-out itself only a couple of months ago, such a move does seem unlikely.
How much these rumours bear truth will remain to be seen. Thus far, Peter Murphy (Lionhead's CEO) simply commented to MCV that: "It would be inappropriate for us to comment on what we believe to be unsubstantiated rumours."
We'll let you know for sure as soon as the full truth is uncovered.