Ensemble alums ignite Bonfire

Following Robot Entertainment reveal, more Age of Empires vets set up new Dallas, Texas-based shop.

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Before being inducted into the Academy of Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame as part of the Interactive Achievement Awards ceremony last night, Age of Empires creator Bruce Shelley delivered a retrospective on the fate of his former employer Ensemble Studios. In addition to offering key insights on what developers can do to keep their heads above water during trying times, Shelley's D.I.C.E. Summit session painted an optimistic portrait of the future, saying that Ensemble would be succeeded by a number of new development houses.

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One of those studios made its debut last week, with former Ensemble head and founder Tony Goodman announcing that he and a number of other studio alumni had formed Robot Entertainment. Shelley himself announced another new shop last night, Bonfire Entertainment.

According to Bonfire's recently launched Web site, the studio was formed earlier this year by "former management-team members of Ensemble Studios." The Dallas, Texas-based shop also touts that much of the "core team" behind Ensemble's swansong Halo Wars is at work on Bonfire's first game. Details on the game were not revealed, though Bonfire did characterize it as "fast, fun, and addictive," saying that it has "a great in-depth story, combat, and gameplay."

As with Robot, Bonfire is not currently hiring. As of press time, the studio had not responded to GameSpot's requests for more information regarding specific team members or future plans.

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