David Rippy, who now runs Bonfire Studios, has said that "non-RTS prototypes" at Ensemble were never taken seriously by Microsoft.
The team was the "victim of its own success" and couldn't shake just being thought of as "an RTS shop." Despite being an RTS, Halo Wars was "a breath of fresh air" for the Ensemble team.
"Aside from the financial risk of sticking to one platform or one genre, you also risk being pigeonholed in the industry," Bonfire's Rippy tells .
"Ensemble was kind of a victim of its own success as an RTS shop," he said. "As hard as we tried, we were never able to have one of our non-RTS prototypes greenlit, largely because we were 'the RTS guys'."
"...even though Halo Wars is an RTS, we really felt it was a breath of fresh air for us, because we got to develop our first Xbox 360 title and move beyond the historical setting," explained Rippy.
Bonfire Studio won't be focusing on a real-time strategy title for their first project but will be open to the genre in the future.
"Our first game is something completely different than what we've done in the past. I think our games will always have a strong strategy element to them, though, since that is one of the core strengths of the team."
"We don't have any immediate plans to work with Microsoft, but I'd consider working with them again in the future," revealed the studio head.
"Setting aside the bad feelings that came with Ensemble being closed, Microsoft was a great publisher to partner with when we were independent, and a great employer to work for after we were acquired."
is one of two development teams born from the closure of Ensemble, with the other being led by David Rippy's good friend Tony Goodman; .