"I believe we thought we were immune to shut-down talk because our published games have done so well and have been so profitable," Shelley wrote. "We thought we were among the best studios in the world, and that may be true, but we don't fit in the future plans of MGS as an internal studio so we're out."
According to Shelley, Microsoft outlined a number of reasons why the studio had been selected to close but at the end of the day the bottom line is the bottom line. "The new leadership of the game group at Microsoft has a new plan for making the game group consistently profitable, especially over the next few crucial years, and we are the odd group out."
As previously announced, the outgoing development house will close its doors after the Xbox 360 exclusive Halo Wars releases in 2009 and members of the team will form a new company signed to maintain content for the game. Shelley has confirmed he will not be joining the new company formed after Ensemble Studios closes its doors and maintains the studio is "very disappointed" in Microsoft's decision. We agree.