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Microsoft announces Age of Empires Online

Microsoft announces Age of Empires Online

Microsoft has announced a new Age of Empires game, Age of Empires Online.

GamesCom 2010: Microsoft has announced a new Age of Empires game is in the works on the eve of GamesCom 2010 in Cologne, Germany.

Dubbed Age of Empires Online, the new title is a step forwards for the long-running series, taking the strategy to an online focus - as you can probably tell by the name.

Gameplay will take place in a large, online world where players will take their own Greek civilisation from a small gathering of huts to a massive empire state, battling with friends and enemies along the way.

The announcement information for Age of Empires Online boasts about epic quests, quirky characters and a deeply strategic gameplay, but also mentions that the game will tie into Microsoft's Games for Windows Live service for it's social aspect.

Age of Empires Online will apparently offer "free to play experiences via Games for Windows Live" too, though it's unclear if that means the game will be completely free and financed by microtransactions or just without a subscription fee. The official FAQ doesn't shed much light on that issue either; we'll be chasing Microsoft for a comment at the show later this week.

Age of Empires Online is being developed by Robots Entertainment, is currently in closed beta and is headed for a 2011 release. Robots' main focus is on broadening the appeal of the game while also retaining a hardcore edge, apparently.

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

15 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
rehk 17th August 2010, 11:40 Quote
Very interesting, especially if it doesn't have a subscription fee.
Unknownsock 17th August 2010, 11:50 Quote
I don't quite understand peoples quarrel with subscription fee's.

You a small fee for a quality product.
Or
you get it free and its bombarded with small transactions, so the richer you are the better game you have.
I for one would rather for monthly.

Minus the GFWL, this does sound quite interesting though.
And is it possible to actually make a game casual and hardcore at the same time? Just look how bad WoW has got in recent years. Some parts have massively been improved whilst other aspects have become a joke and too easy.
Sleepstreamer 17th August 2010, 12:04 Quote
GFWL, eughhhhhh
memeroot 17th August 2010, 12:47 Quote
WOOT!
UrbanMarine 17th August 2010, 12:54 Quote
Free to play, but then you purchase jewels to "powerlevel" your town. Ala Lord of Ultima
Plugs 17th August 2010, 13:10 Quote
so MS got rid of the studio behind the AoE series, waited for people from the studio to make their own studio
and then hired them anyway,
hmmm, seems a bit silly considering the original studio was successful with its games (or at least i thought it was)

wouldnt surprise me if the same applies to the flight game in the next news post
LightningPete 17th August 2010, 13:49 Quote
Egyptians should definitly be on this game. That way i can show the entire world that these ba****ds are not only awesome, but have the technology to kill for centuries.... Pfft Romans. I LOL at you
Bauul 17th August 2010, 14:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by LightningPete
Egyptians should definitly be on this game. That way i can show the entire world that these ba****ds are not only awesome, but have the technology to kill for centuries.... Pfft Romans. I LOL at you

True, the Egyptians in AoM were awesome. Resurrecting Osiris and having him lay the smackdown was a moment full of win.
CharlO 17th August 2010, 14:48 Quote
Blizzard is doing good... Now! Ctrl+C them!

I miss when AOE was an awesome game, but, wait, did III really happen???
delriogw 17th August 2010, 16:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlO
Blizzard is doing good... Now! Ctrl+C them!

I miss when AOE was an awesome game, but, wait, did III really happen???

would definitely be hoping this emulates the first two more than the third. III was such a let down

loved these games when i was younger, very interesting to see where they go with this
Grape Flavor 17th August 2010, 22:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unknownsock
I don't quite understand peoples quarrel with subscription fee's.

The problem with fees is they are essentially charging you an infinite amount of cash for the product. You either pay the fee indefinitely with no limit, or the product you've sunk so much money into becomes useless. In the end you are left with a huge bill and a product that doesn't even work anymore.

Subscription fees also punish those who don't want to invest a super-hardcore amount of time into a game. It doesn't matter whether you're playing 1 hour a day or 8 hours a day, a month is a month. Therefore you feel pressured to play the game constantly so you don't get ripped off.

Personally I'm really looking forward to Guild Wars 2 because not only does it not have a subscription fee, but it looks to be the most innovative MMO we've had in a long time (i.e. not just a WoW clone).
CowBlazed 18th August 2010, 01:00 Quote
Nailed it, can't believe people actually enjoy paying subscription fees somehow.

You really think it makes the game better? I've played millions of games with no subscription fees and guess what they're way ahead of WoW and any other subscription fee games out there.

What if you want to play 2 different games, now your paying $30 a month indefinitely? No thanks.
fabler 18th August 2010, 06:36 Quote
awesome.. evergreen game.
Xir 19th August 2010, 08:27 Quote
Still play AoEII in LAN's sometimes (last month)
Still great, no GFWL ;-)
Still has a knackered LAN connection though
fabler 19th August 2010, 08:52 Quote
awesome xir.
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