Confirmed: Microsoft closes Ensemble

Confirmation has come quick and fast in regard to rumors surfacing earlier today that Microsoft would be closing its internal developer Ensemble Studios upon the completion of sci-fi real-time strategy game Halo Wars. In joint statements issued today, Microsoft and Ensemble have confirmed that the studio will be shut down once the Xbox 360-exclusive RTS set in the best-selling Halo franchise ships out early next year.

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Chris Hansen3690d ago (Edited 3690d ago )

Man that sucks, I actually like the games by Ensemble.

Microsoft desecrates Rare.
Microsoft loses Bungie.
Microsoft destroys Ensemble.
What's next?

nbsmatambo3690d ago (Edited 3690d ago )

age of empires =(

HighDefinition3690d ago (Edited 3690d ago )

I don`t know about next. But I bet GeoW3 will be a PS3 exclusive, since MSFT only has the "rights" to 2 games. Epic has expressed that....

1) the 360 is about "tapped"
2) They don`t like XBL pricings (over charging)
3) No Mods at all

These things don`t make EPIC happy, I think they go for the extra storage space (Blu-ray) since the PS3 will have surpassed the 360 in total sales easily by then.

The Matrix3690d ago

Yeah, leave it to microsoft to something this stupid. I grew up playing Age of Mythology and the Titans expansion as well as the Age of Empires. Heck, I've been waiting for AoM 2 and AoE 4. I had so many memories of Ensembles games....thanks a lot microsoft.

HighDefinition3690d ago

Possibly MSFT might be leave the gaming business.

Seriously their LOSING lots and lots of studios in the last year. I`m not being a "fanboy" I`m just saying you think they`d be building them if they were thinking of progressing farther w/ this.

UltimateIdiot9113690d ago

I love Age of Empire. I remember all those epic battles with friends. Microsoft, why? why do you slowly kill off all the good side of you? I really want to support Microsoft, but they make it so hard.

barom3690d ago

You forgot, letting Bizarre Creations get bought up by Activision and letting BioWare get bought up by EA.

Wait, whos supporting 360 atm? Lionhead and Bungie does but who else?

GameOn3690d ago (Edited 3690d ago )

They just swallowed Ensemble lol. What makes you think they are backing out of the race.

To me it looks like they are expanding so they can better compete against Sony's horde of first party publishers.

Any way, what do I know...

Oh yeh... yeh. I see now. Im wrong.

HighDefinition3690d ago (Edited 3690d ago )

You could be right, but I don`t think it looks that way.


"Though Microsoft will close the studio, Ensemble brass plan to soldier on. As part of today's statement, Microsoft said that Ensemble's "leadership team" will form a new development house, and has already entered into an agreement with the publisher to continue supporting Halo Wars post-launch, "as well as work on other projects with Microsoft Game Studios."

Their NOT 1st party anymore, that`s what I get from that. They wouldn`t need a "AGREEMENT" if they were.

GameOn3690d ago

Im just totally confused. Every one is saying that MS has lost a studio (as in they already own Ensemble) when, from what I have just read they are creating a new studio from the programmers of ensemble.

Am I reading the same article?

VF34EJ253690d ago


What I'm getting from that quote, is that MS is closing down Ensemble. Then leading members are continuing to develope their own studio and continue to suppor Halo Wars, and have other projects with MGS.

Technically it doesn't say anywhere that they are going to be PART of MGS, thus you seem to be right on your guess. They are NOT a 1st party studio.

SRuN43690d ago

The way I take it. Microsoft shut down Ensemble and some of them decided to venture out and open a new stuido and agreed to support Halo Wars post launch from their new studio, as well as work on other projects with MGS. But at the same time, this new studio will be independent.

badz1493690d ago (Edited 3690d ago )

they are going to release an exclusive game from that studio and then they are going to shut it down upon completion? WTH? @Gameon, a lot of other studios 'swallow' smaller studios but I can't recall they shut them down completely! Activision, EA and even Sony bought a lot of small studio but they never shut them down completely, right? what's the problem having a studio as 1st party if there is really no problem? even if they are thinking of forming a new internal studio, is making a new studio better than using the same studio name which already has a proven track record? I don't think so. I wonder if we'll ever see the next AoM or AoE after this move

gameplayer3690d ago

Here's how I am looking at it: Microsoft let's the developers from Bungie, Ensemble etc create their own company, this company has very close ties to Microsoft but raises it's own funding and creates its games in a way that makes them happy and Microsoft gets what is essentially a second party developer out of it that pays it's own bills and makes it's own profits meanwhile Microsoft can take the money that it was previously giving Bungie, Ensemble etc to develop games for them and can use that money to invest in new studios, talent or IPs. Anyway, that's what seems to be happening and it seems like a fairly sound strategy to me...

The BS Police3690d ago

Nintendo knew Rare was running out of quality titles, that is why they sold Rare to Microsoft, Star Fox Adventures for the Gamecube was a terrible game developed by Rare before Microosft bought them.

multipayer3690d ago

Maybe Nintendo knew they were entering this casual market, and Rare doesn't develop budget technology games as far as I remember, they tap the power of every system they have developed for.. I know that 16 player conker team deathmatch, PDZ 32(most on 360 I believe) player online and original titles like Kameo and Viva Pinata, even Grabbed by the Ghoulies was fun and keep me from losing faith in Xbox. Best decision MS has ever made, stupid op.

BLuKhaos3690d ago

MS leaving the gaming scene? Oh god please no,even though I don't own a 360 I still appreciate what MS did for its fans.Without MS,things are going to become very boring with just Sony and Nin duking it out.Also we Sony need to give Microsoft a chance.After all it's because of MS that Sony is constantly pushing to make the PS3 and its Software better.

AAACE53690d ago

It may not be as bad as it sounds! When you look at it they are basically getting a fresh start. They will create a new studio and possibly create new games. And those who don't make the switch will be placed internally at MS making MGS bigger and able to make more new IP's.

I know it looks stupid what MS has been doing, but to me it seems more like they are developing and consolidating relationships in order to become more effective!

Hell... you never know... Bungie, Ensamble, etc. might have had an arrangement in place that after they met certain criteria... MS would pay off their debt, and fund a new company for them! I don't know, but those companies are gone but still have a decent relationship with MS!

marinelife93690d ago

I think it's a smart move on Microsoft's part.

Dissolve the studio so you don't have to pay for it. Let them go independent but still get the benefit of having any third party games also on your system that they create.

Use the money you save to buy timed exclusives, exclusive DLC, or outright exclusives from the big third party studios.

Sony and MS are taking two different unique paths to attract the most consumers.

Tidus113689d ago

Age of mythology is one of my favorite tactical online games... sure hope they keep making quality titles when the re opon

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HighDefinition3690d ago (Edited 3690d ago )


This doesn`t look good for HaLOWars, personally I don`t think many Halo fans would care to much for the RTS genre, besides the one`s who like RTSs, obviously.

Off topic: IMO, Lego Halo would be the coolest.

InMyOpinion3690d ago

I think it will do for the console RTS what Halo did for the console FPS.

Harry1903690d ago

won't help Microsoft's reputation.

Hagaf223690d ago

its not even about microsoft, its about the gamers, what about after this game ships, does that mean there is no follow on support? no patches no dlc nothing? does this mean the game is going to be rushed to finish since they are closing them? im not the biggest fan of halo, but i would hate to see the series take a hit for something like this...

EastCoastSB3690d ago

If you actually read the article, you would have seen that Microsoft is keeping a team for future game support.

GameOn3690d ago

It says in the article that they will continue support post-launch.
Did you miss that bit?

oohWii3690d ago


Didn't even take time to read the article before, typing up garbage.

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DarthTigra 3690d ago (Edited 3690d ago )

I can't believe this.

Panthers3690d ago

Terrible. That means no support for Halo Wars after release. I hope they give it to someone else to make a PC version.

Whoooop3690d ago (Edited 3690d ago )

They said that they're working on a deal with some ES employees to work indefinetly on Halo Wars support.

True or not, that's what they stated...

GameOn3690d ago

It says in the article the article they will continue support post-release.