Posted on September 10, 2008,

Microsoft Confirms Ensemble Studios’ Pending Closure

Gaming Today

Following a number of reports that indicated Halo Wars developer Ensemble Studios would be closing following the release of the Halo-themed RTS yesterday, Microsoft confirmed that it would be closing the developer best known for its work on the Age of Empires series.

An official statement (via Gamasutra) confirming the news reads in part:

“Microsoft has decided to close Ensemble Studios following the completion of Halo Wars. After the closure, the Ensemble leadership team will form a new studio and has agreed to provide ongoing support for Halo Wars as well as work on other projects with Microsoft Game Studios.

The team at Ensemble has made invaluable contributions to the games industry with their Age of Empires and Age of Mythology games and with the highly anticipated release of Halo Wars. This decision does not reflect at all on Ensemble’s talent or the quality of Halo Wars. in fact, many people who have had a chance to test drive Halo Wars agree that it is on track to being a fantastic game.

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.”

It’s reassuring to hear that at least some of Ensemble’s staff will continue to support Halo Wars even after the company is closed but it doesn’t make the announcement of a storied developer closing its doors after more than a decade any less shocking.

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6 Comments on Microsoft Confirms Ensemble Studios’ Pending Closure


On September 10, 2008 at 8:31 am

Hopefully those fired will start a new company, keeping the same gameplay and such as the AoE series.


On September 10, 2008 at 10:33 am

WTF?! The studio produces one of, if not the, best loved franchies in PC gaming (Age of Empires) and they close it? Makes a ton of sence. ing Microsoft… :mad:


On September 10, 2008 at 4:14 pm

This isnt right

They should of never made Halo Wars

They spend to much time and is leaveing Aoe3

I donno what to do after I bought 4 games from them and have 5+ accounts

Buddy Love

On September 10, 2008 at 6:50 pm

MrMario, your points are valid but you sound like a ing dumbass idiot.


On September 16, 2008 at 6:58 pm

WHAT? Will this be the end of Age of Empires? Or a potential Halo Wars sequel?


On October 13, 2008 at 6:16 pm

:shock: :shock: :shock: Holy crap. You have no idea how long ive been looking forward to another age of empires sequel…AoE was my favorite RTS game of all time. Will they still continue for support for AoE III? If they dont then i have a bone to pick with microsoft.