Bruce Shelley comments on Ensemble Studios closure

Bruce Shelley, the boss over at Ensemble Studios has posted a blog entry about the studio's closure. To summarise:

- Didn't expect Ensemble Studios to be closing.

- Everyone at Ensemble Studios was shocked at the news as they thought their games were of high quality and most important of all, profitable.

- Executive from Microsoft Game Studios stated that Ensemble Studios was closed down since they: (1) Wanted to divert money into other projects, (2) employees at Ensemble Studios cost more per head than other studios (e.g. Lionhead), (3) Ensemble was planning to move to a new office and (4) Microsoft Game Studios forecast that the projects they were diverting funds to would be more profitable.

- All staff at Ensemble Studios are now working on Halo Wars.

- Studio head Tony Goodman plans to create a new studio hopefully enticing most of the former employees to join.

- Bruce Shelley is unlikely to join this new company.

I never got into Age of Empires III but the first two were most awesome games. I hope that this new studio ends up with a lot of the talent that went into making the Age of Empires series (although I'm not sure how many from the original teams are still with Ensemble Studios, but it's likely if Bruce Shelley's comment about a low-turnover of staff is true).