Ensemble Studios has said goodbye and is packed up and ready to close their doors for good. With the loss of this development studio goes the hopes for several games still in the concept stage, a Halo MMOG being among those that have been scrapped.
Gamasutra got a rare last tour of the studio and got a look at the concept boards for several games that had been in the works. It might be a Halo fan's only chance to see what could have been!
Most detailed was a game called Agent, with an art style and universe inspired by Pixar's The Incredibles, and using gameplay elements from Tomb Raider. As the concept art shows, the game was instantly iconic and unique.
Another title was Graeme Devine's Phoenix -- an RTS game featuring earthlings versus Martians in a War of the Worlds-style conflict. The game changed over time, and would eventually become something different entirely: Halo Wars.
But the company was moving in a single direction: the Halo MMO. It started in 1998, soon after Ultima Online came out, when a designer named Ian Fischer started pitching a sci-fi MMO. He loved the genre, and felt it was undeserved -- so development started on Titan.
Read all about the tour and see pictures of the various concept art of now defunct games over at Gamasutra.