Ensemble Studios to close after Halo Wars

microsoftMicrosoft will be shutting down Ensemble Studios following its completion of Halo Wars (early 2009) for the Xbox 360. Largely known for its RTS Age of Empires franchise, the studio was acquired by Microsoft in 2001.

According to Shacknews, the core Ensemble Studios team will form a separate new studio and continue support for Halo Wars and future projects with Microsoft Game Studios. Here’s part of Microsoft’s statement regarding the studio’s closure:

"This was a fiscally-rooted decision that keeps MGS on its growth path. While the decision to dissolve Ensemble was not an easy one, Microsoft is working to place as many Ensemble employees who do not move to the newly formed studio into open positions within Microsoft as possible."

I found Age of Empires III and its two expansion packs to be very enjoyable; heck, I gave the second expansion pack an 8.5 out of 10. So you can say that I’m pretty sad about this news. Halo Wars looks pretty awesome as well.

Lastly, edge-online chatted with Shane Kim, vice president of Microsoft’s interactive entertainment division and he said that Microsoft will retain the Age of Empires franchise, "Microsoft continues to own Age of Empires. It is not losing Age of Empires itself. We’re still super excited for the potential for the franchise. The Windows gaming world continues to evolve, and we believe in the future of that property."


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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