Ensemble demise whips up Windstorm

Third independent studio emerges in wake of Microsoft's closure of Halo Wars developer; first game to be a futuristic online game.

Ensemble Studios may be gone, but the Halo Wars developer hasn't been forgotten. And if the smattering of new studios birthed from its demise catch on, Ensemble's legacy won't be forgotten anytime soon.

A piece of concept art for Windstorm's first game?

Last month saw veterans of the Age of Empires studio piece together a pair of upstart endeavors in Robot Entertainment and Bonfire Studios. This week, a third new developer has sprung up in the form of Windstorm Studios. The company's Web site touts only president and founder Dusty Monk as an employee, but stresses that the work being done is "by no means" that of just one person.

As for Windstorm's first project, the studio is promising "an online game unlike anything you've ever seen," and apparently one with a more optimistic bent than most games in the industry today.

"Are you tired of online games filled with depressing predictions of postapocalyptic destruction," the site asks. "Are you weary of walking through grey streets beneath grey skies and killing grey zombies? Have you had your fill of dank cellars and dark caves? Well so have we! And we're ready to build a brighter world! A better online game--a game with the promise of a hopeful future--cities of glass and steel, and most importantly, flying cars!"

Don't expect to see this bright future very soon; Windstorm gave no release window for the project. Although the company expects to grow in the near future, it's still searching for funding partners to help it get off the ground.

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Discussion

52 comments
deekanter
deekanter

Sounds good if the company doesn't just implode. Nothing wrong with zombie games,but it is getting a bit tiring.

ShroudedEagle
ShroudedEagle

Samurai117 you don't have to suck at a game to not like it. Jesus, it's not like he's forcing his opinions on you, he's entitled to say he doesn't like Halo Wars just as much as you're entitled to say you like it. Anyway it's good to see another company starting up, and their first project seems promising, I wish them luck.

SAMARAI117
SAMARAI117

tell that to all the halo wars players supermanmega. there are tons of stradatiegic players on halo wars having a very fun time. u probable dont like it coz u suk

supermanmega
supermanmega

i didnt like halo wars at all.....and when they say "online game" do they mean a mmorpg? if so....lol i doubt it'll get very far....and theres tons of futuristic online games...city of heros and city of villains are kinda set in the future

enix165
enix165

Well, the start of that fourth paragraph describes my feelings perfectly, screw zombie shooters and the apocalypse, they've been WAY overdone this gen. XD And we've got another studio that's made up of Ensemble's workers! =D Even more solid games, hopefully!

fps_d0minat0r
fps_d0minat0r

and forget about good online......no dedicated servers remember? maybe end up like gears, 10 players max on private servers with small maps.

fps_d0minat0r
fps_d0minat0r

halo wars might be the best on console but its still not good enough as a game, especially an exclusive..... it was a pathetic attempt which sold thanks to the brand name of halo and a pre-rendered cut-scene asif it was a game with one of the most technologically advanced graphics in the world........ how can microsoft just close down the studios? isnt the rip off fees of XBL enough to keep it alive???

StarlightHunter
StarlightHunter

to think a few weeks ago they made one of the most exciting rts games on a console, halo wars.

chickenfeed9
chickenfeed9

I think the 3 companies should merge into one. give them a better chance of survival... otherwise i can see atleast one failing due to lack of funds.

MichaelMorbid
MichaelMorbid

so... a brighter blade runner minus the murder, at least it sounds gutsy. hope it works out.

Desperados11
Desperados11

Ensemble breaks into 3 companies years after it lost any talent it might have had from early Age of Empires days. I don't really see these companies going anywhere, although I am hoping for the best. New companies tend to bring new stuff to gaming so an up and coming game company is in everyone's best interest.

856891
856891

i sense a lack of win

dewwy
dewwy

I'll give some of my attention to anyone who's from the same pedigree of Ensemble.

KriobaKeys
KriobaKeys

I can tell already this is going to fail.

ZirtKingLizard
ZirtKingLizard

if that concept art is any indication, this could be a very beautiful game.

BaTmAnX92
BaTmAnX92

Sounds like Mirror's Edge.....without the flying cars. o-o

jazilla
jazilla

@ 9-Jack-9, Dusty Bottoms. Chevy Chase's character in 3 Amigo's. But I agree with you. There can't be a better name for someone who isn't fictional than that. Maybe Coco Crisp(outfielder for the KC Royals)?

9-Jack-9
9-Jack-9

Is there a cooler name in the world than Dusty Monk?

ronnet
ronnet

Is it an MMO? Could be any type of game with a strong multiplayer feature.

Targzissian
Targzissian

Auto Assault was set on a post-apocalyptic Earth, and it failed. Tabula Rasa started with an alien invasion of the Earth (AKA, apocalypse) and it failed. So does that mean any sci-fi MMO based on that premise is doomed to failure? Probably not, but just in case, maybe they should start with a different premise. Enter Windstorm Studios. I'm intrigued by the concept of an MMO set in a bright, shining future, but what is the source of conflict and what kind of aliens or monsters do you grind for experience points?

Superdude475
Superdude475

It's nice to see the guys from Ensemble are back on their feet, it would be a waste of talent to see them go. Just from the premise of this game I feel it could be a hit, it really sounds like a game we all could use seeing the state of the world today.

FlashCharge
FlashCharge

This game sound like a lot of fun and I hope that Windstorm ports it to the PSN online gaming experience. The economic crisis is not all doom and gloom. Maybe it is for the better where independent developers can stand alone, away from the giant corporate fists, and really develop some great independent endeavors.

Kowpow
Kowpow

Heck, I'd buy it just to support them.

havocmerc
havocmerc

Just goes to show you that you can't keep a good man down.

Pyro978
Pyro978

im willing to bet out of all these studios popping up from the remnants of Ensemble, maybe one or two will ever put out a game that goes gold.

JayQproductions
JayQproductions

nope, i'd rather have more post apocalyptic, horror style, and zombie killing games, never have gotten into any futuristic sci-fi type of games.

Inconnux
Inconnux

nope, I want more ZOMBIES!!!

iceeman
iceeman

no mmo bring back the original pc role playing game... did i stress pc enough?

erccmmo
erccmmo

dont worry deltaforce... they arnt THAT dumb...

Deltaforce2665
Deltaforce2665

Don't make an online game, try and make age of empires 4. I sure hope Microsoft doesn't make AoE4 and make it a console exclusive, I would be so pissed!

jakubsk
jakubsk

This game will never come out. This is like all of those companies that come out as the result of a spinoff of another company. You see the one photo of some concept art for a game you won't ever hear about again.

Merl57
Merl57

interesting point I would like to see a game with violence and mature themes that still has a happy vibe to it and is fun to play

guerudos
guerudos

It's about time we heard news about the new Storm Hawks MMO. I mean, come on, Nerd Corps announced a Storm hawks MMO was being made quite a while. Just look at the clues. Flying cars, cities of glass and steel, and it's being made by "Windstorm". Anybody who watches Storm Hawks knows exactly what I'm talking about.

TheProfileth
TheProfileth

@ Ciaxhieu Just because it was their first project does not mean they are going to release it first, and with a idea like that they probably will get investors to fund them along with a wealthy producer. Also an mmo could also be a web-based game/browser game an could cost them very little and advertisments can generate alot of money for browser games. By the way do you think that they do not know how much an mmo costs? That is why they did not set a release window because for all we know it could be released 4 years from now when the dev team is 100 strong~. So what ever I am eagerly awaiting this game or any game that is from a new studio with something to prove :)

ciaxhieu
ciaxhieu

nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo seriously i may not know much about business but wouldn't it be best to not make an MMO as a first game especially when the company is new and shaky, the cost to make it an MMO im guessing is a lot and it even cost more to maintain it. what if the MMO didnt do so hot? than they are basically killing themselves especially with all the competition from WoW,Warhammer, (to name a few and i mean like 1 in 100 MMO out there) in my opinion it is best to start out small since the company just started, i mean they are still searching for FUNDING partners. i dont know about you but this would conclude that the company is definitely shaky to me and with how the economy is doing right now i highly doubt they will get one soon. i really love ensemble studio and it is great to see that they are starting a new but the whole ideas of making an MMO this time and age is a dangerous and highly risky task since taking high risk is what got our economy so bad (ahem banks ahem)

Templar_Bladema
Templar_Bladema

Robot Entertainment? Bonfire Studios? Windstorm Studios?! God, I have to choose between the three and which to side with? MY HEAD!!!

arijit_2404
arijit_2404

Nooooooooo, not another MMO please, I have tired of MMOs. They should be banned altogether.

Ovirew
Ovirew

I like this idea of a brighter world with a better online game - as I have said before, I am ready to see something better than WOW.

NoseWeed619
NoseWeed619

Good. I'm happy for them. Now hopefully they can go out and make some kick ass strategy games...hopefully.

Red122
Red122

I think these guys did great together and will do great by there selves. I will give any game its chance and due and will not judge before the delivery.

Moppyp
Moppyp

i agree with Limpbizkit818

limpbizkit818
limpbizkit818

All of these guys where great together but I have my doubts about how well they are going to perform split up.

jrabbit99
jrabbit99

I can't wait so see what they cook up

YellowJello
YellowJello

Cool, more crap games to come out soon!