NEWS - Thursday, May 3, 2001


Ensemble Studios acquired

In a press release issued today from Ensemble Studios, the finalization of Microsofts acquisition of the company is complete. While of course this has absolutely nothing in relation to the XBOX, Bruce and the guys from Ensemble deserve the props.

Microsoft Corp. today announced that it had reached an agreement to acquire Ensemble Studios Inc., the games developer responsible for the top-selling, award-winning Microsoft® "Age of Empires®" game franchise. Under the terms of the agreement, Ensemble Studios will continue to create titles from its Dallas headquarters as part of Microsoft’s growing pool of top-tier development talent.

Microsoft and Ensemble Studios have worked closely during the past six years to develop the internationally popular "Age of Empires" franchise for the PC. To date, the "Age of Empires" series has sold approximately 8.5 million licensed units worldwide and has won five Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences awards, including Strategy Game of the Year three times (1997, 1999 and 2000) and PC Game of the Year (1999).

"We are thrilled to bring Ensemble Studios under the Microsoft banner," said Stuart Moulder, general manager of the Games Division at Microsoft. "The depth of talent and the leadership of Tony Goodman is a winning combination, and this acquisition will help strengthen our mutual commitment to remaining a PC games industry leader."

The agreement comes on the heels of other successful games developer acquisitions, including FASA Interactive, creator of the best-selling "MechWarrior™" game franchise; Access Software Inc., creators of "Links®" golf simulation games, the most popular PC golf franchise; and Bungie Software Products Corp.

"This announcement today is a natural evolution from the relationship we’ve had with Microsoft," said Tony Goodman, president and CEO of Ensemble Studios. "Both companies have tremendous respect for each other. This deal gives Ensemble and Microsoft a long-term strategy for doing what we do best: working together to make world-class games." The "Age of Empires" real-time strategy series comprises "Age of Empires," "Age of Empires Expansion Pack: The Rise of Rome," "Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings®" and "Age of Empires II: The Conquerors Expansion," as well as packaged sets of those games.


Source: http://www.xboxaddict.com/

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