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Project Phoenix - Feature

Project Phoenix

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  • Release Date(s): TBA
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Halo MMO was Greenlit Before Microsoft Flashed the Yellow, Making Ensemble See Red

Ensemble revealed previously that they had been working on a Halo MMO which had been canceled. In a recent interview with Shacknews, Ensemble Director of Technology Dave Pottinger explains what happened with the project in greater detail:Dave Pottinger: Ensemble has been wanting to make an MMO for a long time. That was in production for a long time. The Halo IP was a great IP to launch an MMO with. Microsoft... hasn't had the best track record with those. And we worked on it for a long time--we had staffed up an almost-40 person team. And then there was some reorganization at Microsoft, and the new bosses thought it wasn't the best idea anymore. It had actually been green-lit, and then it got cancelled after that. Shack: So you guys were feeling good about it? Dave Pottinger: Yeah, we were happy with it. It was a long road to go, and we had proved the gameplay we wanted to prove. It actually turned out--we ended up reusing a lot of the people. We had hired people who were excited about making a Halo game, and we used them on Phoenix--Phoenix is the Halo Wars codename. And a lot of that stuff that we picked up was able to be reused. So we didn't lose everything. It wasn't all wasted. ... Shack: Was the concept such that there were Covenant and UNSC factions, in the same way that WoW has Horde and Alliance? Dave Pottinger: It was more broken up than that. The Covenant weren't quite the Covenant yet. That idea of that sort of stylized approach to Halo was something that we were very interested in, in terms of the art. Some of the art that leaked out wasn't art that was actually in the game, so people were a little more torqued than they needed to be. But it felt very Halo--we had a combat demo that felt like a very action-oriented MMO, but still had that MMO depth. So it was very analogous to the RTS that we worked on. -- ShacknewsWhat do you think? Did Microsoft make the right move in killing this one off, or did they waste a project with potential? Read More