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When Age of Empires/Halo Wars developer Ensemble Studios shut its doors early this year, some of the former employees formed Bonfire Entertainment. Though you'd automatically assume that people with that kind of experience would end up making another real-time strategy game, Bonfire head David Rippy says they won't be making an RTS just yet.
"Ensemble was definitely known for its RTS titles, and we'll keep that door open at Bonfire because we love the genre," Rippy told GI.biz. "We do have a lot of interests outside the RTS genre, however."
Why try something completely new with a start-up and not try something safe and familiar like a strategy game? Rippy explained that part of Ensemble was pigeonholed because of its success in producing real-time strategy games. "Ensemble was kind of a victim of its own success as an RTS shop. As hard as we tried, we were never able to have one of our non-RTS prototypes greenlit, largely because we were 'the RTS guys'."
That may come as a disappointment to those of you hoping Bonfire would create a new installment of Age of Empires. Microsoft still owns the rights to the franchise, though, so there wasn't much chance of that. It's possible that Robot Entertainment, the other studio formed by ex-Ensemble folks, could end up carrying the AoE torch.