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Microsoft to close Ensemble Studios

Senior staff to form new outfit following completion of Halo Wars

Microsoft is to close Ensemble Studios following the completion of the Halo Wars game.

Senior members of staff are expected to form a new outfit to provide support for Halo Wars following release, and Microsoft has said that it hopes to retain a number of other Ensemble employees within the Microsoft Game Studios business.

"Microsoft has decided to close Ensemble Studios following the completion of Halo Wars," said the company in a statement.

"After the closure, the Ensemble leadership team will form a new studio and has agreed to provide ongoing support for Halo Wars as well as work on other projects with Microsoft Game Studios."

"This was a fiscally-rooted decision that keeps MGS on its growth path. While the decision to dissolve Ensemble was not an easy one, Microsoft is working to place as many Ensemble employees who do not move to the newly formed studio into open positions within Microsoft as possible."

The studio was best known for the Age of Empires and Age of Mythology titles, and was formed in 1995. Microsoft acquired the company in 2001.

Despite the closure, Microsoft has said that it will continue to expand Microsoft Games Studios with new staff both internally and externally.

"We are committed to growing MGS with world-class talent both internally and with our external partners around the globe."

"Our investment in games has never been greater than it is today," added the company.

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Matt Martin

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Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.