Ensemble Closure Brings Cancelled Projects to Light

A new Gamasutra feature on the closing of Age of Empires developer Ensemble Studios has revealed new details of the company's many unannounced projects.

Among the projects that never saw the light of day were "a fantasy-adventure RPG called Sorcerer; Nova, a "Diablo in space" game; a pirate-themed take on Diablo; a game called Wrench; a Ratchet & Clank-style platformer called Bam," according to Gamasutra. nope "Most detailed was a game called Agent, with an art style and universe inspired by Pixar's The Incredibles, and using gameplay elements from Tomb Raider," writes Gama. "As the concept art shows, the game was instantly iconic and unique."

The story also has new details on the original version of Halo Wars. Titled "Phoenix," the game was initially a War of the Worlds, Martians vs. Humans RTS, it was eventually converted to a spin-off of the Bungie franchise.

The Halo MMO had similar origins, having started its life as an original sci-fi IP conceived by designer Ian Fischer in 1998 before eventually being converted to a Halo title. After the company began construction on a new building to facilitate MMO development, Microsoft shut the project down.