Pour a little off the top for Ensemble Studios. As of last week, the development house is no more... The company was best known for groundbreaking RTS series Age of Empires and soon-to-be-released sci-fi RTS game Halo Wars for the 360. It started in 1995 and acquired by Microsoft in 2001.
Before last week's closing, gaming site Gamasutra took a tour of the Ensemble facilities and revealed info and pictures of a slew of video game prototypes and pitches. In some alternative universe where things work out differently, everyone is playing these Ensemble games:
- Sorcerer: A fantasy-adventure RPG.
- Nova, a "Diablo in space" game.
- a pirate-themed take on Diablo.
- Something called Wrench.
- Agent which reportedly was to look like Pixar's The Incredibles and use gameplay elements from Tomb Raider. Gamasutra describes the concept art they saw as "instantly iconic and unique."
- A Ratchet & Clank-style platformer called Bam.
- Graeme Devine's Phoenix -- an RTS game featuring humans fighting Martians in a War of the Worlds-style conflict. Over time, Phoenix evolved into Halo Wars!
The biggest canceled Ensemble game was an MMO set in the Halo universe. Ensemble began working on a sci-fi MMO back in 1998, teaming up with Bungie and it became a game based on Halo. The company was far enough along on the MMO to have produced some concept screenshots. Sadly, sometime in mid to late 2007, Ensemble's multi-player Halo game was canceled.
If you had been in charge of choosing which of the above games Ensemble could make, what would you have chosen? I think I would like to play a pirate-themed game similar to Diablo.
Click the source link for pictures and more.