“Spartan” Being Developed By Ex-Age of Empires Devs

This is same “Project S” strategy game were saw in the last post. Turns out it’s coming out for Windows! More after the break.
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Microsoft is Alpha-Testing Strategy Game Codenamed “Project S”

Has been described as “groundbreaking” and “giant, revolutionary step for PC strategy games.” Microsoft Kinect-based real-time strategy?
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Microsoft: Age of Empires in Safe Hands

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!

Gearbox Working on Halo 4 for Next Xbox?!

Gearbox Logo

One of the industry’s best upcoming FPS studios, Gearbox Software has been long rumoured to be working on a secret project that is “bigger” than anything they’ve ever tried. Since this is the team that made the entire Brothers in Arms series, the Halo PC port and many awesome expansions of Half-Life, this is something.

Rumour has it that they’re working on nothing but a Halo 4. Apparently the fight isn’t quite finished. Supposedly, the game is in development for a next-generation Xbox console. It should be noted that while we don’t have any announcements of a new console generation, we haven’t even heard talks about anything like that.

The rumour comes from the Official XBox Magazine, and there doesn’t seem to be any hard verification. Still, it doesn’t seem unbelievable or contradictory. Gearbox only has one product on their plate, Borderlands and Bungie announced that they’re done with the Halo franchise.

In any case, Microsoft milking out the Halo franchise definitely isn’t news, what will all that promotion during Halo 3‘s launch. What is news is the weird, outlandish rumour. So is Microsoft working on a next-gen Xbox? How powerful is it? Is Gearbox actually working on a sequel to Halo 3? Will it come anytime before 2015? Questions galore.

We have no doubt that Microsoft has an answer to them all. ‘Microsoft does not respond to rumors’ or some such.