OverviewEnsemble Studios was a game development studio based in Dallas, Texas (USA). It was established in 1995 by Tony Goodman, John Boog-Scott and Rick Goodman. Previously Tony Goodman had founded the information technology company Ensemble Corporation in 1991 together with John Boog-Scott, John Calhoun, and Thad Chapman. Ensemble Corporation was acquired by USWeb Corporation in 1997, Ensemble Studios was acquired by Microsoft in 2001.
Ensemble Studios is most famous for having established the Age of Empires series of strategy games, which has seen installments for over ten years (1997-2007) and still lives on in titles such as Age of Empires Online (2011).
In September 2008 it was confirmed Microsoft would shut down the studio following the release of Halo Wars, as a fiscally-rooted decision.
The closure of Ensemble led to the formation of many new development studios by former employees.
- Tony Goodman, along with a number of veteran developers, announced in February 2009 to have founded the studio Robot Entertainment.
- A second team of about 35 developers announced to have founded Bonfire Studios (now Zynga Dallas) in the same month, headed by David Rippy.
- Dusty Monk established Windstorm Studios.
- The brothers Paul Bettner and David Bettner founded Newtoy, Inc. (now Zynga With Friends).
- The brothers Tommy Bean and Michael Bean established Pixelocity Software (after briefly working at Robot Entertainment)
- Jeff Ruediger co-founded the mobile game development studio Fuzzycube Software in March 2009.
- Graeme Devine established GRL Games in 2010.
TriviaContact information (November 2007):
10440 N. Central Expressway
Dallas, TX 75231
- Ensemble Studios -- The Official homepage
- Age of Ensemble, Part 1: A Titan Passes -- first part of a retrospective, on Crispy Gamer (16th December 2008)
- Age of Ensemble, Part 2: Perfecting the Formula -- second part of a retrospective, on Crispy Gamer (17th December 2008)
- Age of Ensemble, Part 3: The Closing Chapters -- third and final part of a retrospective, on Crispy Gamer (18th December 2008)
- Ensemble Studios: The Last Tour -- article about the last days of the studio, on Gamasutra (2nd February 2009)