Microsoft confirms Ensemble closure - exec team to form new studio

Microsoft confirms Ensemble closure - exec team to form new studio
Michael French

By Michael French

September 10th 2008 at 9:59AM

MGS describes Halo Wars dev shuttering as "a fiscally-rooted decision"

The closure of Microsoft Game Studios' Ensemble team has been confirmed.

Last night it was rumoured that the Halo Wars developer would be closed, and now an official statement from the format holder has confirmed the decision.

Kotaku reports that MGS biz dev head Shane Kim travelled to the studio to tell the team personally the bad news, while the statement from Microsoft describes the closure as "a fiscally-rooted decision".

However Microsoft added that "our investment in games has never been greater than it is today."

The full statement form Microsoft, reprinted by Gamasutra, reads:

"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.

"As to our overall strategy at MGS, it remains the same. We are committed to growing MGS with world-class talent both internally and with our external partners around the globe. We have recently added some well-known developers to our team and will continue growing the team.

"We're particularly excited about the titles we have in the pipeline and continue to evaluate additional opportunities to bring incredible games to life with the industry's best. Our investment in games has never been greater than it is today."