One LinkedIn listing outed on Twitter reports several openings for database and server programmers, along with a multiplayer designer. Now Lionhead's not named in the LinkedIn listing, but of the major game studios in South East England — Codemasters, EA and Splash Damage — the details line up best with the developers responsible for Fable. Some of the same positions also show up on Lionhead's Career page, as well.
The project in question will focus on a hybrid online/offline experience experience:
an RPG-based game with a radical new take on how co-operative and multiplayer gameplay feeds into the experience, while blending online and single player into one complete experience.
...the latest game that will have a complex progression system, multiple routes through the campaign, and an MMO like multiplayer experience that will affect the outcome of the player experience, and many other attributes surrounding their profile (such as the environment and the outcome of certain actions).
Due to the ambition in this new project, there are a number of areas where they need to increase their skill/expertise level in the studio to meet their goals
This mystery development could also support a four-player co-op style, as well:
Multiplayer Level Designer — Ideally you will have worked on 4 player co-op games and will have a deep understanding of how levels should be built to promote this kind of gameplay in new and engaging ways.
If this is indeed Lionhead, it would make sense for them to staff up for multiplayer, which is a discipline they haven't had much experience in. If Fable Heroes was Lionhead dipping its toe into multiplayer waters, then a next-gen project for Durango would likely use the lessons learned from the recent Xbox Live game.
Kotaku has reached out to Lionhead for comment and will update the story as needed.
Update: Here's Lionhead's official comment:
"Lionhead is in the business of making great games. We regularly look to hire great individuals to help in this cause. We have no further details to share at this time."