Microsoft has confirmed ShackNews RumorPublished by wes213 on Wednesday, September 10, 2008
This was all started as a rumor that was posted by ShackNews but it ended with pure fact and Microsoft has even started to drop some of the employees that are not working on Halo Wars, as soon as Halo Wars is complete Ensemble Studios will close there doors.
Here is the post that started it all from ShackNews:
"Shacknews has learned via multiple independent reports that developer Ensemble Studios (Age of Empires) will shut down operation following the release of its upcoming title Halo Wars.
According to sources, Those attached to Halo Wars have been offered incentives to stay on the project until completion.
Halo Wars, an RTS based on the Halo franchise, was announced in September of 2006. The Xbox 360 title is currently slated for release sometime in the first half of 2009.
Ensemble Studios was founded in 1995. The Microsoft-owned company is best known for the Age of Empires series of RTS games."
With that said Microsoft responded to the rumor with this E-mail that was sent around to all employees of the company:
“Today, we shared with our employees at Ensemble that we have plans to close the studio after Halo Wars RTM. Such a decision is never easy. Like any business, we’re accountable for making tradeoffs and the right level of investments that will drive profit and future growth. However, as we reviewed our first-party portfolio and where we need to invest and divest our resources to achieve our long-term strategies, it became clear to us that closing the studio and redeploying those resources to other more scalable ventures is the right thing for our business at this time.
“Unfortunately, our decision to close Ensemble will adversely impact many of the studio’s team members. Following the closure, the Ensemble leadership team will form a new entity and have agreed to partner with Microsoft to develop future products and provide support for Halo Wars post launch. While the new company will be hiring a portion of the Ensemble employees, its size and resources prevent it from offering positions to the entire Ensemble team. We hope to integrate much of this creative talent into MGS or the broader IEB team, where we have relevant openings.
“Ensemble Studios has produced many notable games over the years – including the Ages franchise – that have helped MGS become a leader in interactive entertainment. And now, Halo Wars is already proving to be a hit by people who have seen and played early versions of the game. The Ensemble team is committed to continuing its development, testing and support of Halo Wars through to the completion of halo wars. We’re also working closely with the studio’s leaders to ensure a smooth launch of the game in early 2009 and continuing support thereafter. We will support the studio in every way possible as they work to deliver this highly anticipated game.
“This action notwithstanding, I want to emphasize that the overall investment Microsoft is making in video game development is not diminished, and we will continue to bring in talent to work on titles and franchises where we’ll see the most ROI. Our priority is to continue to nurture the creative freedom that allows us to successfully drive our business strategy forward. Meanwhile, we’re launching some outstanding games over the next few months. We’ve just launched Too Human and Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise, and soon we’ll see many other games hit retail store shelves, including Scene It! 2, Fable 2, Gears of War 2, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, Lips and, of course, Halo Wars.
“I want to thank you for your hard work and focus as we head into the next few months and make this a blowout year for first-party games. Please be supportive and respectful of our Ensemble colleagues as they go through this tough time.
360-Hq Game Database
: Halo Wars
( Subscribe via