More bad news surrounding the Ensemble Studios closure: It turns out the developer was working on a Halo MMOG when the axe fell.

Gamasutra dug up the information on the canceled MMOG, which had been rumored for years to be in the works. But according to the report, it appears the project was actually terminated by Ensemble in mid-2007, with no official confirmation of its cancellation, or even its existence. A user interface prototype and level screens discovered by Gamasutra were also apparently dated from 2006-2007, well before the studio’s closure was ordered by Microsoft.

Asked about the screens, Michael Zenke of said, “There are many obvious tips of the hat here to the World of Warcraft interface. Simplicity and streamlined play appear to be the object of the game, but it’s interesting to see so many strange icons on the hotbar. From the choice of abilities, it’s easy to surmise that the game would have been some sort of melee/magic brawler. The upper bar has some similarities to the WoW UI modification Titan Panel – a favorite amongst players.”

There’s not much more about the game, which was apparently halted fairly early in the prototype phase, but more concept art and screens, assembled by the Gone Is Gone blog, can be seen on Flickr.

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