Ensemble: Age of Empires III “just wasn’t an Age game”

Tuesday, 15th February 2011 03:20 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Ensemble Studios founder Bruce Shelley has said Age of Empires III “just wasn’t an Age game”, and described the design process as “a huge mistake”.

“With Age of Empires 3 we tried all of these new ideas. I think it was a huge mistake,” Shelley told Kotaku.

“We wanted to create something that was 30 percent the same, 30 percent borrowed and 30 percent innovative.

“I think we tried to do too much.”

Allegedly, the team was so disappointed in the resulting game that they tried to have it published under a different name, something Microsoft weren’t keen on.

Late in development, Ensemble reportedly tried to roll back the sweeping changes, with little success, resulting in something that “just wasn’t an Age game anymore.”

Ensemble shut up shop in 2009, while Age of Empires lives on as a social network game.

Thanks, Eurogamer.



  1. Crysis

    I loved the original & second Age of Empires, the third just didn’t have that feel i loved about the first two, this online one will likely be damn right awful.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. CaptPierce

    Dude, they’re being too hard on themselves. I LOVED Age of Empires 3 and I still play it to this day. Mostly to support Ensemble, but also cause it’s just fun. :)

    #2 4 years ago
  3. CaptPierce

    EDIT: One of 2 RTS’s I like, other than Company of Heroes. Others just don’t get to me gameplay wise like they do.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Crysis

    Dawn of War (Soulstorm expansion) is my favourite RTS of all time, Age of Empires 2 is a distant second. If you like RTS I suggest giving it a go, it’s based on the Warhammer 40000 IP (Which is a popular sci fi tabletop game).-Best way to explain it: A futuristic Age of Empires.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Crysis

    @3, Dawn of War is made by Relic (Company of Heroes maker) but is closer to Age of Empires, Dawn of War 2 eliminated base building & has become almost the same as CoH but imo it just doesn’t fit the W40K universe.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. Grimrita

    I picked up AoE3 for 10p and they are right. But the best RTS for me has to be Rome:TW, followed by DoW 1 (DoW 2 is such a mess) then Star Wars: Supremacy/Rebellion.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Anders

    Age of Empires II is amazing. AoE III, not so much. Still a pretty good game though.

    #7 4 years ago

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