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Ensemble Studios

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Ensemble Studios
Ensemble Studios Logo
Foundation1995
LocationDallas, Texas
Key PeopleTony Goodman
Rick Goodman
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Ensemble Studios was a Microsoft-owned company that developed several computer video games, including the Age of Empires series.

Overview Edit

The company was founded in 1995, in Dallas, Texas, by Tony Goodman, his brother, Rick Goodman, along with Bruce Shelley and Brian Sullivan. After two years, it released its first game, Age of Empires. In May 2001, Microsoft acquired the company. It employed about 100 people, including notable game developers; Bruce Shelley, Graeme Devine and Sandy Petersen.

Ensemble was closed in 2009, in a decision made by Microsoft that was announced on September 9, 2008. Many former employees subsequently went on to found the companies Robot Entertainment and Bonfire Studios.

Games Edit

The company is the developer of the notable Age of Empires series of games, composed of Age of Empires, Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings and Age of Empires III. They also released Age of Mythology, a spin-off from the original series in 2002. Expansion packs were released for all their games.

Ensemble released "Age of Empires III", on October 18, 2005, in North America. It follows on from the end of Age of Empires II, set during European explorations of the Americas. The game became the fastest selling title of the series, and has sold over 3 million copies.

The first expansion to Age of Empires III, titled Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs 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, 2006 release, but was released later, on October 17, 2006. The final expansion, Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties, featured three Asian civilizations, three different campaigns, existing gameplay element additions, and was co-developed with Big Huge Games.

Ensemble worked in collaboration with Bungie Studios on Halo Wars, an Xbox 360 exclusive real-time strategy game set in the Halo universe.

Despite Ensemble's closure, Robot Entertainment released an update for Age of Empires III and was responsible for maintaining ESO operations.

List of developed gamesEdit

Release
Date
Title
1997 Age of Empires
1998 Age of Empires: The Rise of Rome
1999 Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings
2000 Age of Empires II: The Conquerors
2002 Age of Mythology
2003 Age of Mythology: The Titans
2005 Age of Empires III
2006 Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs
2007 Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties (Co-developed with Big Huge Games).
2009 Halo Wars

Miscellaneous Edit

  • Ensemble Studios occupied the top two floors of its building in Dallas, Texas.
  • The studio was notable for its play-testing procedures; everyone at the company was required to test the current product at least once a week.
  • Mike McCart, the company's webmaster, created the HeavenGames (then known as HeavenWeb) fan site, prior to being hired by Ensemble.

External links Edit

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