Bungie weren’t happy with Halo Wars says Ensemble founder.
Speaking with Gameindustry International, Ensemble founder Tony Goodman recalled the troubles that came with making Halo Wars, or to be more precise, making another game then forcing Halo onto it later.
Microsoft weren’t sure about putting a fresh IP RTS directly onto the Xbox without backup, asking Goodman to simply “paint over it with Halo stuff,” which set production back about a year and, according to Goodman, the project never recovered.
Bungie were especially crestfallen over the ordeal, as they didn’t approve of another studio handling their IP and would rather have worked on it themselves were it not for limited resources. Bungie saw it as the “whoring out of their franchise” and as such the relationship between Bungie and Ensemble became strained.
Despite all this, Goodwin still stands by Halo Wars, calling it a “really fantastic, under-recognized product.” It would also be Ensemble’s last project as the company was disbanded in 2009.