Details from Ensemble Studios coming to light
Last modified on Wednesday, 24 September 2008 08:41
As we told you yesterday, Microsoft Gaming Studios has decided to disband or close, depending on how you look at it. Ensemble Studios has most recently been finishing up work on the new Halo Wars title.
New details are starting to emerge that Ensemble Studios was also working on a Halo MMO title that was canceled by Microsoft. While development was not perhaps as far along as Microsoft would have liked, screen shots and details of the Halo MMO are now coming to light for the first time.
The screenshots were in an online artist portfolio that confirms that the studio was, in fact, working on a Halo MMO. Rumors have persisted for sometime that this was the case, but beyond some confirmation that Ensemble Studios was hiring for a MMO project and some rumors that they were working with Bungee on this MMO project, nothing was ever officially confirmed. The development of the Halo specific stuff appears to have taken place in the 2006/2007 time frame.
Still, it is not clear if this was the only MMO title that was in development at Ensemble Studios or if they were working on something else in addition to the Halo MMO project. Due to confidentially agreements that are in place, it is likely that we will never know the entire full story of what all was going on with Ensemble Studios and their attempt to build a MMO title.
We do expect more details to surface as time goes by, but we can’t help but think that Microsoft still may be working on a Halo MMO title now, or perhaps at some point in the future. Judging by Halo fan reaction, it would seem that a lot of players do have an interest in a Halo-oriented MMO title and this is clearly a niche that Microsoft could fill; it is just a shame that the talented developers at Ensemble Studios will not be building it.