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Bungie Believed that Halo Wars was ‘Whoring Out the Franchise’

Posted on September 27, 2012 AT 02:49am

Tony Goodman, founder of Ensemble Studios, has revealed how a “risk averse” Microsoft forced the studio to re-form its console RTS into a Halo spin-off and has told of a strained relationship with Halo creators Bungie.

Speaking to GamesIndustry, Goodman described the game as a “really fantastic, under-recognized product.” Initially the game was being developed as an RTS completely unrelated to the Halo franchise, but Microsoft told the studio that it had to fit the universe around it in order to minimize risk.

“Microsoft was pretty risk averse and they said, ‘I don’t know if we want to take the risk of creating strategy games on a console. We’d feel better if Halo were attached to it,’” Goodman recounted. Apparently Microsoft told the team to “just paint over what you have with Halo stuff.”

According to Goodman, Ensemble Studios and Halo creators Bungie didn’t enjoy a great relationship, “Another problem was that Bungie was never up for it,” he admitted. “Bungie was kind of sore about the idea. What they called it was ‘the whoring out of our franchise or something.”

“Yeah, that didn’t create a great relationship between us and Bungie; they viewed us as someone infringing [on their franchise].”

Ensemble Studios was closed back in 2008.

What are your thoughts on Halo Wars? Let us know in the comments below.

Matthew Bennett, Associate Editor
Matthew Bennett finally got his big break with EGM three years ago, following years of volunteer work for various sites. An ability to go many hours without sleep and a quick wit make him ideal for his role as associate editor at EGMNOW.com. He often thinks back to the days when the very idea of this career seemed like nothing but an impossible dream. Follow him on Twitter @mattyjb89. Meet the rest of the crew.

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