Microsoft has officially confirmed that it will be closing down it’s eternal developer Ensemble Studios. Ensemble Studios is probably best known for their real time strategy Age of Empires games, as well as the upcoming Xbox 360 Halo Wars. Halo Wars is still scheduled for release, Ensemble will be shut down once the game comes out sometime early next year. Additionally, many of the “leadership” team from Ensemble will be forming a new development house, and they have entered into talks regarding supporting Halo Wars after it launches.
“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.”
MGS = Microsoft Game Studios, not Metal Gear Solid, I think. Maybe. Anyway, not awesome, the Age of Empires games were always fun. Halo Wars…I’m not sure what I think yet, the screen shots haven’t really done anything for me, but who knows.
I’m excited about Halo Wars, but I’m worried about the controls. Every single console RTS game I’ve played just hasn’t worked for me, it just seems like a mouse and keyboard are perfect for RTS while game controllers fail miserably. Hopefully Ensemble will get the controls just right because I really want this game to be good, a Halo RTS game is just too radical.