Ensemble Studios to close its doors, Halo Wars will remain unaffected


In a shocking announcement made late last night, Microsoft confirmed rumors that Age of Empires and Halo Wars developer Ensemble Studios will be shut down as soon as work on Halo Wars is completed. An astonishing decision Microsoft claims to be one that is "fiscally rooted". Wowzaz!

In Microsoft's official statement to the media, Ensemble Studios' closure is addressed, mentioning that after completion of Halo Wars, the "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." Microsoft also makes it clear that they'll "place as many Ensemble employees who do not move to the newly formed studio into open positions within Microsoft" and insists that the studio's closure has nothing to do with "Ensembles talent or the quality of Halo Wars."

What can be said? How random, how unexpected and how troubling it is to hear this news. News that we never would have seen coming. From our early experience with Halo Wars and the Age of Empires franchise, the level of talent the entire Ensemble crew possess is more than apparent as we wish them all the best with their future endeavors.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.