Halo Wars, the former feeling that Microsoft "whored out" the IP.
The ex-founder of Ensemble Studios, Tony Scott, has supplied a different perspective on the matter. The experience left him bitter, thinking that leaving "traditional publishers" out of the process is "great for the industry".
According to Scott in an interview, "Leaving the traditional publisher out of it, it's been great for the industry. Even with Steam and mobile, both have caused a flurry of creative activity that's great for gaming. So I think the console is the one that's the most stagnant by far. There's just very little way for that industry to change when it's locked up by the manufacturer."
Scott noted that Microsoft closing down Ensemble in 2009 had a silver lining: all of the personnel struck on their own; most notable has been Orcs Must Die! and Hero Academy developer Robot Entertainment.
"Those are some of the dangers of working with a publisher," he warned, "It's certainly easy to understand the publisher's point of view. 'Looks like you're doing a great game, but wouldn't it be greater if it had Master Chief attached?'"