- Ensemble Studios
company_name = Ensemble Studios
Video game developer
foundation = 1995
key_people = Tony Goodman
Rick Goodman Graeme Devine
Computer and video game industry
homepage = [http://www.ensemblestudios.com/ www.ensemblestudios.com]
Originally founded as an independent developer in 1995, Ensemble Studios has been a
Microsoft-owned developer since 2001. [cite web | url = http://www.gamespot.com/news/2715282.html | title = Microsoft to acquire Ensemble Studios | work = GameSpot | accessdate = May 3 | accessyear = 2001] Ensemble has developed many games including the famous "Age of Empires" game series. In addition to game development, Ensemble Studios also made the Genie Game Engine used in " Age of Empires", ', and '.
Ensemble Studios developed the "Age of Empires" game series of
real-time strategytitles, comprising " Age of Empires", "" and " Age of Empires III". They also released " Age of Mythology", a spin-off from the original series. Expansion packs were also released for all their games including two for "Age of Empires III".
They are currently developing
Ensemble released "Age of Empires III", on
October 18, 2005, in North America. The game follows from the end of "Age of Empires II", set in times such as the Industrial Age. The lead-up to the game's announcement was a series of teasers on Ensemble's website, culminating in a number of in-game screenshots.
The game has sold over 2 million copies, as of October 2007, and has become the fastest selling game of the series.
Afterwards, development began on the first expansion pack to "Age of Empires III" titled "". It included new content, new gameplay elements, a new single-player campaign, and three new native American civilizations. It was originally set for an
October 2, 2006release, but was released later, on October 17, 2006.cite web | url = http://gamernode.com/news/1542-aoe-iii-the-war-chiefs-demo-available/index.html | title = AoE III: The War Chiefs Demo Available | work = GamerNode | accessdate = January 30 | accessyear = 2008]
They have recently released a second expansion to "Age of Empires III" titled "". It introduced three Asian civilizations and six minor natives, as well as new gameplay features. They developed this project in conjunction with
Big Huge Games, the creators of " Rise of Nations".
Ensemble is also developing real-time strategy game based for the
Xbox 360on the successful "Halo" franchise, called " Halo Wars".
On September 9th, 2008, it was announced that Ensemble will be closing after release of "
Halo Wars". According to multiple independent reports, all non-essential staff have been laid off and remaining staff have been given incentives to remain until the completion of the project. cite web | url = http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/54648 | title = Ensemble Studios rumoured to be closing | work = Shacknews| accessdate = September 9 | accessyear = 2008] . Microsoft issued an internal statement on September 10th, 2008 which was then leaked to the public.cite web | url = http://kotaku.com/5047753/read-the-ensemble-youre-done-here-email-from-microsoft | title = Read the 'Ensemble Studios, You're Done Here' Email from Microsoft | work = Kotaku | accessdate= September 10 | accessyear = 2008]
Ensemble Studios has received a number of awards through the years. Including many for game of the year.
* Game Spy - 2005 Game of the year - PC RTS
* Game Spy - 2005 Best Graphics
* Game Spy - 2005 Best Music – Honorable Mention
* Game Spy – Best of E3 2005
* Worth Playing – Editor Choice
* PCGamers – Editor Choice
* Game Critics Award – Best of E3 2005
* Game Zone – Outstanding Award
* IGN.Com – Editor Choice Award
* IGN – Best of E3 Award 2005
* Daily Game - Best of Show E3 2005
* GT – Gold Medal
* GamePower Award
* Strategy Gaming Online – Editors Choice
* Gamer Voice – Best Wargame
* GameSpot – Game of the year
* Gamesmania – Award of Excellence
* GamesDomain – Readers Award
* Thresh’s FiringSquad – Editors Choice
* Computer Gaming World – 5 Stars
* Computer Gaming World – Editors Choice
* WarGamer – Award for excellence
* GamesWeekly – Top 15 of games
* Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences – Best Strategy Game of the Year
* GameCenter - 1997 Game of the Year
* [http://www.ensemblestudios.com Ensemble Studios site]
* [http://aok.heavengames.com/cgi-bin/aokcgi/display.cgi?action=t&number=3&dp=0&s_name=&s_subject=ask+sandy 'Ask Sandy' threads] from Age of Kings Heaven
* [http://forum.agecommunity.com/ibb/posts.aspx?postID=102565 'Ask Sandy' responses from agecommunity.com]
* [http://www.mobygames.com/company/ensemble-studios "Ensemble Studios"] profile on
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