Ex-Ensemble Studios staff have recently revealed that they were working on a Halo
MMO prior to the closure of the studio, but that the project was cancelled as Microsoft decided to refocus efforts on competing with the Nintendo Wii, rather than with World of Warcraft
Speaking to IncGamers
, ex-Ensemble developer Dusty Monk also revealed that the Halo
MMO had had a budget of $90 million USD before it was cancelled.
"It was absolutely going to compete against WoW. You have to remember that Ensemble came from a standpoint of being really good at competing against Blizzard Entertainment,
" said Dusty, drawing comparisons between thee Age of Empires
series Ensemble was known for and the earlier StarCraft
"Microsoft, from its gaming division, was really changing directions. They were looking really hard at the Nintendo Wii and they were really excited by the numbers that the Wii was turning. This was about the time that Microsoft decided that its Xbox platform and XBLA really needed to go more in the direction of appealing to a more casual, broader audience.
Thus, the Halo
MMO - codenamed as 'Project Titan' - was ultimately binned, though he admits that the "very expensive, long and protracted
" development of the game can't have helped either.
This isn't the first time we've heard of an MMO being cancelled lately though - we recently chatted to the designers behind a cancelled Eidos MMO which could have pipped WoW
the post, so check the Fabled Lands MMO feature
for more info on that and then let us know your thoughts in the forums