Following Microsoft's recently announced
plans to close Halo Wars
developer Ensemble Studios, the company's restating its ownership of the Ensemble-developed Age of Empires
IP and hinting at future announcements regarding the franchise.
"If you’re a PC gamer, you’ve likely played some version of Age of Empires
somewhere along the line. I want to reassure you that Microsoft will still own the Age of Empires
intellectual property," wrote a Microsoft rep
on the company's official Gamerscore blog.
"As a company, we’re very excited about the future potential for Age of Empires,
and as a PC gamer I’m looking forward to what that future holds. Stay tuned."
Although Ensemble is the third studio Microsoft's lost following its split with Bungie
and the FASA closure
, Microsoft yesterday stressed that the Ensemble closure does not represent a move on the company's part away from an investment in development.
Ensemble Studios will close after Halo Wars
is completed, though its execs plan to form a new, independent organization that will support the game after launch. Microsoft has said
it hopes to place employees not joining the new studio within Microsoft Game Studios.