Thursday, April 30, 2009
Man, I go away for a while, and everything change. I have another child now (Which makes a 2 1/2 year old girl and a month old boy), and Ensemble Studios is no more. It's been a while now since I've heard about the demise of the studio, but It's still a very hard situation to comprehend. After 14 years, the studio generated an IP in Age of Empires that sold well over 20 million copies, and on the heels of releasing Halo Wars (which eventually cleared over a million units), Microsoft decided to close the doors. But as they say, as one door closes... another one opens, and I was fortunate to have an opportunity present itself with the start of Robot Entertainment.
Robot is made up of 44 x-Ensemble employees, and even in the early stages of only operating for a couple months, it has been an absolute blast and extremely passionate and productive. It's some of the most fun I've had in my 14+ years in the industry. I still get to work with a lot of my close friends at Ensemble, but not all of them. And I wish those guys nothing but the best. It's been a weird year for the entire game industry, and hopefully it rebounds soon. Ensemble had an art department that was about 40 people, and all of them were amazingly talented, which was evident in the release of Halo Wars. It's THE best looking RTS on the market right now IMO, especially on the console. I will never forget my 9+ years at Ensemble, I got the opportunity to work with so many people that have all affected my life in some way. But I also look forward to what lies ahead for the next 10 years, it's an exciting time.