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Ensemble Studios Making MMO

Posted Apr 03, 2006 by Jon Wood

Ensemble Studios Making MMO

Surfing the web today, at www.next-gen.biz, they have an article about Ensemble Studios, the makers of the Age of Empires RTS series, and their plans to make an MMO. We present you, as usual, with a sample of the article, follow the link below for the whole thing.

 

Patrick Hudson, Executive Producer points out that they haven't been secretive, "because we are advertising on our website that we're looking for people with MMO experience."

Hudson explains the origin of the project. "We've got a lead designer here, his name's Ian Fischer, he's been here for a long time. He's always wanted to do an MMO. He's been playing MMOs since the early days, MUDs, before that."

The idea was proposed to Ensemble right after Ultima Online came out. 'Why don't we do an MMO?' At the time, Ensemble was in no position to be thinking about it. But Fischer persisted ever since.

"After we shipped Age III," Hudson says, "We started diving up the studio to do more games than we've ever done, and get beyond Age of Empires." A small team was put around Fischer to start working on a prototype.

"And that's where those guys still are." Hudson says. "A pretty small group, just noodling away on ideas, a long way away from anything substantive and shipping anything, that's for sure. But it's fun to explore."

"It's always been a risky kind of market to look at." Hudson admits. "And then you see WoW come out, and turn the industry on its head, and you start to reevaluate. 'Wait a minute, there's a true business case out for a game like this.'"

"Maybe it's not crazy to go spend thirty or forty million bucks to actually make one of these things." Hudson points out, "At some point, they'll get tired of WoW and want to play something else."

"We haven't settled on anything," Hudson cautions. "It's safe to say we won't be chasing the fantasy genre. It seems like there are so many coming out. [We're] still pretty far out from even thinking of taking that prototype to a greenlight phase."

Read the whole article, here.

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