Ensemble Studios’ Halo MMO was “absolutely” going to compete with Blizzard’s World of Warcraft, former Ensemble employee and current Windstorm president Dusty Monk is confident. The $90 million Titan (codename) had all the right things going for it, he says; the talent, the people, the passion and the Halo property.
“You have to remember that Ensemble came from a standpoint of being really good at competing against Blizzard Entertainment,” he said in a recent interview. “We had a pretty good history of knowing the types of stuff that Blizzard put into their games to make them really successful, and the kinds of things we’d need to put into an MMO to compete against Blizzard.”
“..it was absolutely going to compete against WoW.”
But, “Microsoft, from its gaming division, was really changing directions,” he continues.
“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.”
As a result, “to cut a long story short,” Titan was cancelled and, following the studio’s closing over a year ago, a number of Ensemble employees moved to Blizzard.