Microsoft has making some funky business decisions and the victim will be the veteran Ensemble Studios, who, after finishing Halo Wars will shut shop. But what about the franchise they are most famous for: Age of Empires? Will it also disappear into the black hole?
Microsoft assures us that it is perfectly safe. “Microsoft continues to own Age of Empires.” says Shane Kim, VP of Interactive Entertainment at Microsoft. Of course, with Ensemble Studios biting the bullet, they won’t be the ones making any future games in the franchise. But the franchise isn’t dead either.
“We’re still super excited for the potential for the franchise. The Windows gaming world continues to evolve, and we believe in the future of that property.”
So, who will keep the continue the pedigree? We have no clue. But a good guess would be the new development studio Microsoft is talking about that will probably replace Ensemble Studio. Of course, we have no idea on what this studio is, or what sort of games it will making. But yep, Age of Empires is still alive and well.
And that sparks a question for AoE fans such as myself: where does the series go from here? A logical step in progression would be continue where Age of Empires III left off: at the Industrial Age. We can probably work our way up to World War I, maybe even World War II.
Or perhaps an even enticing proposal would be reboot the franchise and start all over from the Classical Era? Or maybe a sequel to Age of Empries II, to give that awesomesauce medieval action back? The possibilities!