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.
Ensemble is the studio behind the Age of Empires and Age of Mythology game series and is currently working on Halo Wars.
"This decision does not reflect at all on Ensemble's talent or the quality of Halo Wars", said Microsoft in their official statement. "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 [Microsoft Games Studios] on its growth path", the official statement continues. "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."