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Ensemble would have survived if Microsoft had confidence in PC sales, says de Plater

Friday, 10th October 2008 12:00 GMT By Patrick Garratt

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Ubisoft Shanghai creative director Michael de Plater has said he believes Microsoft would have kept Ensemble Studios running if the firm has real confidence in PC games sales.

“I think it’s terrible, really a shame that Ensemble’s been shut,” he told VG247. “It’s really a bit of a shock… It just speaks of the problems with PC. I’m sure if people were confident of PC sales then Microsoft wouldn’t have done that.”

De Plater also told us that piracy was the main reason Tom Clancy’s EndWar wasn’t receiving a PC version in line with the game’s console SKUs.

Microsoft confirmed that Ensemble was to close in mid-September, saying the move was the “right thing” for its business.

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12 Comments

  1. G1GAHURTZ

    LOL!

    #1 6 years ago
  2. sasanjfr

    What?!AOE 3 sold more than 3.5 million copies and you are telling that MS wasn’t confident of Ensemble’s PC sales?!What a moron you are!The reason is Microsoft’s anti pc gaming policy and nothing else
    And sth about your game.PC gamers are waiting for some excellent RTS games such as starcraft 2,Dawn of war 2 and Empire:Total War so we don’t need your game.

    #2 6 years ago
  3. Psychotext

    You tell em sasanjfr!!!

    #3 6 years ago
  4. m3nAc3

    what a douche bag…

    #4 6 years ago
  5. blackdreamhunk

    So what ubisoft speaks for micro soft now! Do you know micro soft is part of the pc gaming alllaince right

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvJ7yez0elk

    #5 6 years ago
  6. charmers

    Yeah and you have to wonder why MS is part of the gaming alliance when you consider they are on record as saying they keep games OFF the PC as long as possible to give their console a boost. The reason Ensemble was closed is down to MS’s strategy it is canabalising the PC market to prop up the Xbox 360.

    It makes sense when you think about it, in MS’s eyes it is much better for them if you do your gaming on their console and all your other stuff like surfing etc on a PC with their operating system. It stinks but then MS is a business and it doesn’t care about loyalty or what the customer wants.

    #6 6 years ago
  7. G1GAHURTZ

    tbh, this was always a really strange move by MS.

    The only possible explanation is that they’re not confident enough about the quality of Halo Wars to feel the need to make a sequel.

    It’s pretty much common practice that franchises are milked for evey angle and sequel possible, and franchises don’t come much bigger than Halo.

    If Halo Wars is a AAA game, then surely the most logical thing for MS to do is to add a few bells and whistles to it and release Halo Wars 2 in 18 months, then just sit back and pick up easy cheques.

    Why in the world would you shut down an entire studio when they’ve finished work on one of the biggest 1st party titles for the 360??

    I doubt very much that it’s to do with PC piracy, as Ensemble would have been ready to switch to console development just like so many other companies, given the option.

    They were developing a 360 game anyway…

    The only real reason that I can see for Ensemble closing was that MS were really unhappy with the either the game or the dev process and didn’t want to have to go through the whole thing ever again. After all, they can just give Halo Wars to any other capable studio.

    MS have been acting strangely in this regard recently though. They’ve taken PGR from Bizarre, and rumour has it that they’re even taking Halo from Bungie iirc.

    It’s all very strange.

    #7 6 years ago
  8. Esha

    It’s all coming to pass.

    Anyway, it’s not all that strange really. What’s obvious is that Microsoft has long term goals, which are planned out. They’d be a bit bloody silly if they were just ditching companies which made them money otherwise, wouldn’t they? At the moment, they’re all about strengthening the X-Box 360, so whatever they’re doing is going to be towards that end, but a long term goal.

    I don’t know what their plans are yet really, I never could understand Microsoft. But I too have a gut feeling that it doesn’t involve the PC much and that the chap is right.

    Which is a good thing really, because as I’ve said elsewhere this opens the door to multi-platform development and indie developers getting their foot in the door. And neither of these things can be bad. It just means that the PC will be getting a lot of ingenious games to add to its library (and I love my World of Goo as much as I love my LittleBigPlanet), and it means that they won’t be available for Windows alone.

    If distros like Ubuntu and Android, and the Macintosh platform can really take the time now to step up their support and the awareness of their products and exploit this, then that’ll only hasten this bright and all too possible future which I hope for so dearly.

    The PC landscape is open to change at the moment, it’s stagnating and it’s all ready to burst. The PC we have in say… 2012 is going to be a very different beast to the PC we know today, I think. I’m just going to sit back, watch, and enjoy the ride.

    #8 6 years ago
  9. scuz

    fools!

    #9 6 years ago
  10. MAXLD

    STEAM : Ubisoft catalog

    -> 36 games

    “Games from Ubisoft are only available in Canada and the United States.”

    And “de Plater” complains? There are thousands of people around the world enraged with that Steam limitation and he complains that people don’t buy games?!

    Yeah, right, piracy this, piracy that… put the damn games on Steam with package discounts and you’ll see what is selling games.

    We are getting tired of this. People want to play and buy good games and the only requests are:
    - good games (no bugs, Ubi usually has a problem with this)
    - good prices (at least put package discounts)
    - easy to buy (Steam is the fastest and easy way today to sell games, AND without DRM)!

    This is getting ridiculous… they don’t know shit about the market and piracy… and when (the gamers) want to tell them what we need to buy more games, they don’t even have a damn EMAIL to send our concerns.

    Yes “de Plater”, you have what you deserve. Listen to the gamers and stop whining. Piracy is not going anywhere, so just be SMART and find ways to make sells more attractive.
    GET IT?

    #10 6 years ago
  11. endgame

    maxld, too right m8! ;)

    #11 6 years ago
  12. m3nAc3

    yeah… totally agreee

    #12 6 years ago

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