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.

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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?
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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