The AbyssThe Abyss

Posted on Sep 10th 2008 at 02:04:30 AM by (TraderJake)
Posted under Modern Gaming, Microsoft, Ensemble, Age of Empires, Closing

It seems like just a few years ago that the behemoth known as EA had decided to close a revered studio within its ranks. While EA closed many studios during its ill-fated centralization, the closure of Westwood Studios probably was the most saddening closure for many. After all, it was Westwood Studios that gave the world the series known as Command and Conquer. It's a popular franchise you know, and I hear that Red Alert 3 is coming out soon. The closure of Westwood Studios was sort of bitter for many a RTS fan, but if the RTS fan was to know that it would set a precedent, perhaps they'd be more bitter.

News comes today of the impending closure of Ensemble Studios, the wonderful people responsible for the Age of Empires series. They also are working on the game Halo Wars, and now that game is wrapping up production it seems as though Microsoft has found it as a wonderful opportunity to shutter the studio. It's a shame. It really is. Are RTS's sell poor selling that a studio as storied as Ensemble Studios has to be shuttered? It's truly a shame.

Well, on the plus side, apparently there is a new studio running from its ashes. Is that true? Who knows, but it's still sad that Ensemble is closing. Thanks for the great series and RTS's you given us! You'll certainly be missed.

Shane Kim Delivers Death Blow To Ensemble

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WTF! Is Microsoft smoking something?

One of the best RTS studios out there and now they're closing it down? After all these great Age of games?!?

I don't care one bit about Halo Wars but if Age of Empires 4 would come out I'd want it. Now the IP is probably going to get screwed over by some rookie studio Sad

What a shame.

I agree. As one of the few PC franchises that I actively follow it seems the "old guard" of PC gaming is nearing it's end and with it perhaps the best RTS developer currently in the industry.

That a new studio is forming doesn't fill me with confidence. As a split console/PC developer, Microsoft will want to push for both X360 and PC versions like EA with C&C. That unfortunately will diminish the quality of both.
Oh my. I just can't believe it. My favourite game developer is being screwed over by microsoft. What a flippin' surprise. Ughhhh.... I think I'm going to go home and play AoE for the rest of the week. Sad
@c2658:Yeah well, PC games just aren't profitable anymore. Or maybe traditional games aren't profitable anymore (unlike WoW, ...) After all you can download these games illegally within days after release.

Making games nowadays is just too expensive to risk half of your audience getting the game illegally instead of buying a real copy. Atleast when you're making a game out there for a console, people will buy a real copy.

It's still a shame though because alot of good working studios will be closed down with the downfall of PC gaming. Studios like Ensemble Studios really knew their stuff and were able to work together well to make great games. Now all of that talent will get scattered with each of these people searching for a new job somewhere else. The end result won't be the same though Sad
Maybe the Ensemble gang can go get jobs at Petroglyph Games with all the former Westwoodies.  Now what kinda great stuff would they get to turn out then?
@Phosphor Dot Fossils:It would be great if they'd stick together. That way they'd still be able to make quality games in the team they know.
@Phosphor Dot Fossils:

Combine Ensemble, Westwood and former Bullfrog Productions (Populous) employees. Then they would be a super-group/developer. I nominate that they call themselves Asia Studios or the Travelling Gameburys Smiley

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