Update: Updated the article to reflect more accurately what the trailer is showing, and fixed wrongful analyses made.
Age of Empires is perhaps one of the best and oldest real-time strategy games that I have ever played. Imagine, then, my surprise as I learned of a new one! Age of Empires IV (4) is in development. The first new game in over a decade.
Microsoft Studios announced Age of Empires IV as the first proper entry in the franchise since 2005. It is being worked on by Relic Entertainment, a Vancouver, Canada-based developer who has worked on franchises such as Homeworld, Company of Heroes and Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War.
“Relic Entertainment has a wealth of experience in creating high-quality RTS games, making them the ideal partner to develop Age of Empires IV”, said Adam Isgreen, creative director at Microsoft Studios. “We are thrilled to be working with them and can’t wait for fans to see their unique and exciting contribution to the Age of Empires franchise”. Isgreen continued by thanking all the Age of Empires fans who have stayed true to the franchise and who have kept playing the games for the last 20 years. “We cannot wait to bring you the next chapter of history”, Isgreen stated.
Other than the announcement and a cinematic trailer, not much more is known about the game. The trailer showcased a number of battles throughout the eras, ranging from the Greek era, to the Roman conquests, through to the American revolution, and even the Asian Dynasties. The trailer is short, but sweet. It recounts all of the Age of Empires games leading up to the new title. Any guesses on which Age is next?
Along with Age of Empires IV, Microsoft Studios are also bringing Age of Empires: Definitive Edition to the world. It will release on 19 October 2017 and is built as a homage to PC gamers everywhere. It is designed to show the “classic at its best” and is exclusive to Windows 10 and the Windows Store. Furthermore, Microsoft Studios are also bringing back Age of Empires II and III. There is no information on these new “definitive editions” yet, but Isgreen states that players should be “ready for history to repeat itself”.
Age of Empires IV has no confirmed release date, but I suspect it will only come in 2018 or perhaps even 2019. It has also been confirmed to release on Windows 10 only, at least for now.