It’s back! After more than twelve years, a new Age of Empires game is coming! Today, Microsoft announced that Relic Entertainment, developers of the Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War RTS series, will be working on bringing Age of Empires IV to PCs!
While the trailer shows nothing but concept art, it does suggest that the new Age game will span at least from the Bronze Age of the Roman Empire to the muskets and sea battles of the 18th century. How far the game will go is anyone’s guess at this point. Relic has a solid pedigree as an RTS developer, having worked on not only the Warhammer 40k series, but also the Company of Heroes games.
Ensemble Studios, the developer of the first three Age of Empires games, was shuttered by Microsoft in 2009. Many of the ex-Ensemble employees went on to join former Ensemble head Tony Goodman at Robot Entertainment, and develop the Orcs Must Die game series. Since 2010, Microsoft’s internal studio teams have managed updates to the Age of Empires games as they are currently available on Steam.
Along with the Age of Empires IV bombshell, Microsoft also announced that both Age of Empires II and Age of Empires III would be receiving remastered editions similar to the previously announced Age of Empires Definitive Edition. The game that started it all also finally got its release date: October 19, 2017; exactly twenty years since its original release. Age of Empires Definitive Edition will be a Windows 10 exclusive, which should come as a surprise to no one, and the same will almost certainly be true of the other remasters and, of course, Age of Empires IV.
As a gamer who still has his original Age of Empires Gold, Age of Empires II, and Age of Empires III Complete discs, I’m thrilled to see this series slated to make a return, sometime. The game seems like it should be in good hands with Relic.