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Age of Mythology 'Enhanced Edition' coming in May

Age of Mythology 'Enhanced Edition' coming in May

A decade old game is getting a jolt of new life this spring. Age of Mythology came out in 2002, which is so long ago people might as well have actually believed in Zeus, but soon it will get an "Extended Edition" with all the subsequent bells and whistles and some new extras.

Read more: Steamworks, HD widescreen, and global lighting »

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Halo Wars led to studio friction, says Ensemble founder

Halo Wars led to studio friction, says Ensemble founder

For such a high-profile series, Halo has been fairly consistent in sticking in the first-person shooter genre. The one exception was Halo Wars, and Ensemble founder Tony Goodman says the project's departure from the norm created some strife with Bungie.

Read more: 'Whoring out of our franchise' »

"It just hit me that the Covenant fighters remind me a tiny little bit of the White Star from ..."
- Vorlonesque    See all 19 comments

Halo MMO canceled when franchise future was 'unknown'

Halo MMO canceled when franchise future was 'unknown'

The Halo series has made its name on the first-person shooter genre, but Microsoft has branched out occasionally with projects like Halo Wars and the canceled Halo MMO. The latter was revealed as canceled before it was even announced, but why?

"There was obviously a lot of turmoil within Microsoft at that time," Patrick Hudson, formerly of Ensemble Studios, claims.

Read more: Bungie departure made Halo future uncertain »

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Why Ensemble and Pandemic Closed

With both Ensemble Studios (Age of Empires, Halo Wars) and Pandemic Studios (Mercenaries, The Saboteur) having shut down across the past year, veterans of both took the stage at Game Developers Conference 2010 to explain what went wrong.

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"I'm the one who jumped in with insults? Sounds to me like you're being really bitter and ..."
- dpgagnon    See all 65 comments

Third Studio Rises Out of Ensemble's Ashes

Related Topics – Ensemble Studios

Former Ensemble Studios developer Dusty Monk has founded Windstorm Studios, the third studio to emerge from the closure of the Age of Empires and Halo Wars developer.

Windstorm promises to "bring a new era to online gaming," one that shies away from post-apocalyptic destruction, dark caves, and "killing grey zombies." Its first project will apparently focus on "the promise of a hopeful future," complete with flying cars. Read more »

"Hopefully none of them will be foolish enough to go into any deals with Microsoft."
- MeestaNob    See all 11 comments

Non-Robot Ensemble Veterans Start Bonfire

Related Topics – xbox 360, Ensemble Studios

We already knew that a group of former Ensemble Studios employees had gone on to found Robot Entertainment, which will provide Age of Empires and Halo Wars support while working on a new project.Now we've received word that a second studio has risen from the Ensemble ashes in the form of Bonfire Studios. The 35 person studio based out of Dallas, TX is working on a new game which they hope to announce in the next few months.

"Ensemble had an incredible group of highly talented people and the companies coming out of it are really made up of the best of the best. Ensemble was one of the few studios with two A-teams," said Bonfire Studios CEO David Rippy, who most recently served as producer at Ensemble.

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"See to me that seems very generous of ex-Ensemble employees to strike a deal to do that, cause ..."
- MeestaNob    See all 14 comments

Ensemble Vets. Robot Working on Halo Wars Content, Original Property

Following its unofficial reveal last week, Robot Entertainment today announced itself to the world, confirming that the independent studio is comprised of Ensemble veterans.

Apparently picking up where Ensemble left off after it was closed by Microsoft, Robot is developing "additional content" for Ensemble's final project, the Xbox 360 strategy game Halo Wars. The new company, co-founded by Ensemble co-founder Tony Goodman, will also provide multiplayer and community support for Age of Empires and Halo Wars. Read more »

"Yep that is correct, Bungie is continually associated in two ways with Microsoft(Aside from ..."
- Kristian Joensen    See all 6 comments

Ensemble Vets Assemble Robot Entertainment

The closing of Age of Empires developer Ensemble Studios was one of the more surprising studio developments in recent months. While a portion of the team remains at Microsoft to provide Halo Wars support, many have already moved on.

In the second category, Ensemble Studios co-founder Tony Goodman has formed a new studio, Robot Entertainment, according to Gamasutra and Shack-verified LinkedIn details. Read more »

"That's the micro management that hardcore players like to seperate the good players from the bad."
- r_picmip 5    See all 11 comments

Ensemble Closure Brings Cancelled Projects to Light

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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. Read more »

"How many victims has the "Let's make a Diablo game" curse claimed now? Flagship Studios, Iron ..."
- MeestaNob    See all 17 comments

Age of Empires Dev Ensemble Speaks Out on Studio Closure, Microsoft, and the Cancelled Halo MMO

It's the developer behind Age of Empires, one of the most successful videogame franchises of all time. It's a financial success, with its flagship franchise recording sales of over 20 million copies.

The company's latest title, Halo Wars, is a console RTS based on the hugely popular shooter series. By all accounts, this was a studio poised to conquer new territory with its dependable design and a popular property. Read more »

"And the units/civilizations now dont make it interesting and fun? And lumber mining camp ..."
- The Manatee    See all 34 comments

Halo MMO Unveiled as Cancelled Ensemble Project

The almost-closed Ensemble Studios is at work on a Halo-themed strategy game, but at one point there was also an MMO set in the Halo universe in the works.

The game was not cancelled recently, as the game was a prototype worked on at the studio from 2006 to 2007 according to the story-breakers at Gamasutra. Ensemble was known to be working on console games and MMOs in 2006 but no details were announced at the time. Read more »

"Borrowed elements from WoW? There's only so much variety you can have in an MMO. Most of the ..."
- the city    See all 19 comments

Ensemble's Shelley on Studio Closing

Related Topics – Halo Wars, xbox 360, Ensemble Studios

Ensemble senior designer Bruce Shelley has posted a lengthy blog on the Ensemble site describing the conditions surrounding the closing of the studio working on Halo Wars (X360) for owner Microsoft.Noting that everyone at the company was "shocked" when the news broke, Shelley explains the reasons for the closing--as he got them from Microsoft--and tells of the fates of Ensemble's employees, but not without a lament for a studio that made all the right moves and got the axe anyway.

Shelley's explanation for the closing is in line with Microsoft's: a business decision entirely. "First, they want to divert the headcount tied up in ES [Ensemble Studios] and the costs that are expected to be required to run ES for the next few years into other projects. Second, it sounded like it cost more to run ES on a per person basis than other first party studios (Rare, Lionhead, Forza, Flight Sim) putting us at a disadvantage. ... And third, games those studios are expected to deliver in the next few years are expected to be more strategic and profitable to the company than anything we would be finishing after Halo Wars." Read more »

"now it should be obvious why billy bob gates is so fierce into pushing through additional h1b ..."
- araczynski    See all 24 comments

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