Ensemble boss speaks out about studio closure

Ensemble boss speaks out about studio closure

Although Ensemble Studios will be finishing Halo Wars, the company will be dissolved after that.

The closure of the Microsoft-owned Ensemble Studios came as quite a shock to many given that the developer is currently working on the sure-fire hit Halo Wars, an RTS adaptation of Bungie's opus. Though the studio is being kept open long enough to finish the game, it seems that the news was still quite a blow for many of the staff at Ensemble.

Studio boss Bruce Shelley has finally broken the vow of silence over Ensemble employees however, outlining exactly why he thinks Ensemble was closed and what his plans are next. Apparently, although Microsoft is repositioning many Ensemble developers to other studios within Microsoft, Bruce won't be one of them.

"Everyone at our studio was shocked, and I think remains very disappointed that this is going to happen," said Bruce in a statement on the company site (via Kotaku).

"I believe we thought we were immune to shut-down talk because our published games have done so well and have been so profitable. Plus we felt we had built a really stable (low-turnover), talented, hard-working, and creative team, which is not easy to do. We thought we were among the best studios in the world, and that may be true, but we don’t fit in the future plans of MGS as an internal studio so we’re out."

Shelley later goes on to reveal that Ensemble was, per capita, the most expensive studio that Microsoft was running and that this, combined with plans to relocate the studio to new offices, may have played a bit part in the closure.

Bruce finishes by concluding that although most studio staff will be saved, he doesn't expect to be one of them. It seems like the Age of Empires developer has some different plans. Hmm.

Disappointed that Ensemble was shut down, or is it just the way things go? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.


Discuss in the forums Reply
Bauul 23rd September 2008, 11:15 Quote
It is a shame, they made some awesome games. I know it doesn't mean they necessarilly would do again, it's just sad to see a classic Dev close.
1ad7 23rd September 2008, 11:40 Quote
This really is terrible, and Im shocked microsoft would let a very talented man go in Bruce... especially with the new popularity of RTS's
proxess 23rd September 2008, 11:40 Quote
AOE II <3 Shame M$ is doing this. I'd like to see his future plans tho! Seems like a dejá vu that is happening all over.
Skiddywinks 23rd September 2008, 11:49 Quote
The only bright side to awesome studios getting closed, is that the developers don't quit, and just move on to make more games. We haven't seen the last of Ensemble, or their influences. Even if they are not a group together anymore, it makes me happy to think that the majority of them will still be with MGS.
roshan 23rd September 2008, 13:31 Quote
Ensemble Studios made age of empires right? we played it all night long those days.This is not good news.
DarkLord7854 23rd September 2008, 14:17 Quote
A damned shame.. This is kinda like Blizzard axing Blizzard North. It's bloody stupid.
Phil Rhodes 23rd September 2008, 18:57 Quote
Newsflash: running an operation with low staff turnover, high quality output and world-renowned success isn't cheap!

Still, maybe this means less Halo in the world.

I revile Halo for a variety of reasons both rational and irrational.
freedom810 23rd September 2008, 20:44 Quote
I loved AOE3 and still play it. :(
dyzophoria 24th September 2008, 07:14 Quote
deja vu? wasnt this the exact thing that happend to force unleashed?
Paradigm Shifter 24th September 2008, 09:52 Quote
Loved Age of Mythology. The RTS world is a sadder place now. :(
r4tch3t 24th September 2008, 10:36 Quote
So what? It frees up the developers to go elsewhere and put their talent into games other than Halo, not being a halo fan this is a good thing.
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.

Discuss in the forums