Cheese Steak Jimmy’s

It’s hard to think that it’s almost exactly one year to the day since the announcement that Microsoft would be closing down Ensemble Studios.

It’s hard to think the studio behind the very awesome Age of Empires series as well as most recently Halo Wars is no longer around. Age of Empires was one of the first games I ever owned for my PC and I will always be fond of the time I spent battling away at not only AI but also friends in LAN matches.

It was the first game that got me into multiplayer and I’ll always remember the immense amount of fun staying up till the crack of dawn battling against my friends, using every dirty trick in the book just to try and get one over on each other. Friendships were really put to the test that day, forget stealing your friend’s pack of wham bars, or giving them a good egging on their birthday. If they were still talking to you after you went back on your game long alliance at the last minute resulting in their certain doom – you were friends for life.

Death to the yellow!
Death to the yellow!

That’s the thing with gamers these days, we’re such a nostalgic bunch. We’re always going on about the 8bit era and the classics so many of us hold close to our hearts. So it’s probably very generic when I say, Age of Empires represents a big part of my now ever growing hobby – and for that I’m thankful. After over 20 million copies have sold worldwide, with numerous expansions and a couple of sequels, the ancient world still remains my battleground of choice.

I would imagine that Age of Empires is more than likely to crop up in the future, it’s far too big a franchise for Microsoft to just let sit gathering dust, so the real tragedy in all this is the loss of Ensemble themselves and perhaps in another economic climate they might still be around producing the quality strategy games that we’ve come to expect from them.

It’s more saddening when you take into account that they’d also just managed to produce a very good strategy game for a console, something many had tried and failed to do so often in the past, it would have been nice to see what else they could have done for consoles.

The one thing we can be thankful for is that every time we play a strategy game, deep down somewhere, part of it will more than likely be inspired by something Ensemble created.

Huzzah for the E=MC2 TROOPER!







One response to “Cheese Steak Jimmy’s”

  1. Duncan avatar

    Nostalgia is what it always has been: fan-bloody-tastic! 🙂

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