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Age of Empires To Go Social In Age of Empires Online

Robot Entertainment at the helm of an exciting new entrant in the series.

It was unfortunate when Microsoft decided to close Ensemble Studios, the creators of Halo RTS Halo Wars and the generally lauded RTS franchise Age of Empires. But we all guessed the latter, at least, would live on without Ensemble's touch. It was a solid bet, as Microsoft has just announced Age of Empires Online, an exciting new free-to-play strategy game that will try to merge a lot of social elements with Empires' traditional strategy and building mechanics.

In the press release announcing Age of Empires Online, Microsoft describes the game's world as a steadily "growing" one that can be shared "with friends and friendly rivals around the globe." Players will start with their own civilizations that will eventually grow to empires, both on and offline, but as their fledgling societies turn into pillars of humanity, players will be tasked with quests that involve "epic tales, quirky characters, adventure" and strategy. Players will also be expected to trade, play with buds in co-op challenges, and accumulate experience points for...something
 
  

  

Age of Empires Online is a Games for Windows Live-exclusive joint that is being created by Robot Entertainment, a Dallas-based studio founded by Ensemble co-founder Tony Goodman. According to the games' official site, Age of Empires Online hits in 2011 as a digital-only title and is set to go into closed beta rather soon. You can sign up for that now, in fact, if you so desire. 


45 Comments
Posted by BradNicholson

It was unfortunate when Microsoft decided to close Ensemble Studios, the creators of Halo RTS Halo Wars and the generally lauded RTS franchise Age of Empires. But we all guessed the latter, at least, would live on without Ensemble's touch. It was a solid bet, as Microsoft has just announced Age of Empires Online, an exciting new free-to-play strategy game that will try to merge a lot of social elements with Empires' traditional strategy and building mechanics.

In the press release announcing Age of Empires Online, Microsoft describes the game's world as a steadily "growing" one that can be shared "with friends and friendly rivals around the globe." Players will start with their own civilizations that will eventually grow to empires, both on and offline, but as their fledgling societies turn into pillars of humanity, players will be tasked with quests that involve "epic tales, quirky characters, adventure" and strategy. Players will also be expected to trade, play with buds in co-op challenges, and accumulate experience points for...something
 
  

  

Age of Empires Online is a Games for Windows Live-exclusive joint that is being created by Robot Entertainment, a Dallas-based studio founded by Ensemble co-founder Tony Goodman. According to the games' official site, Age of Empires Online hits in 2011 as a digital-only title and is set to go into closed beta rather soon. You can sign up for that now, in fact, if you so desire. 


Posted by TheManiacsGnome

For some reason, I really am excited for this. I'll always take new AoE.

Posted by RTSlord

I gotta say, this looks pretty cool, but im a bit apprehensive about this free-to-play stuff getting in my age of empires.To me, f2p usually means theres a drop in quality and i really dont want a drop in quality in my beloved AoE

Posted by Dynoro

Looked good to me - beta signed up for straight away
Posted by superscott597

Wow. I might actually play this...

Edited by kalmis

Free to play. Meaning browser based or?
 
edit. No
 

System Requirements:

  • A Windows Experience Index score of 3.0 or higher or...
  • At least a 2 gigahertz CPU
  • Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7
  • 128 MB video card
  • 1 gigabyte (GB) total system RAM (2 GB is recommended for best performance)
  • 3 GB of hard drive space
  • An Internet connection capable of downloading large (500 MB–2 GB) builds of the g
Posted by Knucklesthegreat

interesting... and cool~! 
I can't what for more.
Posted by BounceDK

GFWL ... Pass!

Posted by Cirdain

Oh fuck no!  
What have you done? What have you fucking done!

Posted by zepp

I'm really digging the art style of this game.

Posted by Earthborn

That game's pretty persistent...
Posted by Russcat
@Earthborn said:
" That game's pretty persistent... "
It's insistent that it's persistent.
Posted by skrutop
@Russcat said:
" @Earthborn said:
" That game's pretty persistent... "
It's insistent that it's persistent. "
I'm not going to offer any resistance to the insistence of persistence.  Unfortunately, I don't have a PC.
Posted by TheHBK

Yes!  What i have been waiting for.  Hope this has some kind of Facebook connectivity so that my friends can see what a real game is.  
Hope that they stick to the AoE2 formula with those civilizations, the medieval and renaissance eras are the best for this kind of game.

Posted by Earthborn
@skrutop said:
" @Russcat said:
" @Earthborn said:
" That game's pretty persistent... "
It's insistent that it's persistent. "
I'm not going to offer any resistance to the insistence of persistence.  Unfortunately, I don't have a PC. "

Let's be consistent here. While it's insistent that it's persistent, my assistant has given a decent distance to the resistance of the persistence.
Posted by PenguinDust

Might be cool.  I'll check it out since it's free.

Posted by Robitt

Free? Thats pretty cheap!

Posted by Shnitzel

Well, I suppose the cutesy-ness will make it more accessible but I'll stick to AoE2

Posted by Little_Socrates

New AoE is all I need. Hopefully a little more balanced than AoE2.

Posted by Jimbo

I could cry.

Posted by Willy105

This sounds amazing.

Posted by Bollard

Isn't this the thing they said was coming to Facebook a while back? Or am I going crazy...

Posted by JoeyRavn

Looks more like Age of FarmVille: Online... Enough with making games "more accesible". Making everything ultra bright and cartoony does not mean the game will be huge among "casual" players.

Posted by ISuperGamerI
@Maniac said:
" For some reason, I really am excited for this. I'll always take new AoE. "
Same I actually downloaded one of the desktop wallpapers and I haven't  changed my wallpaper for about 2 years, that's how excited I am lol.
Posted by Rapid

Can we get a quick look? Looks interesting.

Posted by Momie

Sweet! I loved the gameplay of AoE2, I hope it's similiar!

Posted by DryvBy

Hrm. This looks like Torchlight got ahold of Age of Empires. Please, pick a new artist. These TF2 cloned graphics are getting old. AOE is a more realistic looking RTS. Whatever. Whatever sales.

Posted by Atlas

So it's Evony meets FarmVille but made by people who actually know how to make real games? Could be cool, and I'm a die-hard AoE loyalist, but I definitely have my reservations.

Posted by endless_void

I have alittle hope for it, only because I was a loyal fan of the franchise. Cartoony art styles are annoying though, except for TF2.

Posted by Atomasist

Hm, I'm interested to see how this turns out.

Posted by Three0neFive

Eh. AoE is all good and I'm excited, but I really want a new AoM now.

Posted by Subjugation

Ensemble is gone. This is not a true AoE. In fact, it totally ruins my memories of AoE.

Posted by Gugi9000

Hasn't it been ages (no pun intended) since we saw the latest AoE? 
 
Oddly enough, this excites me. I had given up hopes. Maybe I'm getting them up for nothing? 
 
I hope for the best in this. Been some years since I lost a good game of AoE to my girlfriend :-)

Posted by thedez

WOLOLO

Posted by kratier

out of all the games this year i think this is going to be the most innovative,

Posted by Teirdome

The beta signup lead me to believe that there was some facebook integration.  This whole thing seems weird though.

Edited by swiftblade

I would look forward to this more if they had kept the old style and not changed it to a childish/cartoony-style. But the Idea of a persistencein AoE is interresting.

Posted by phil44

I really wish microsoft would give up on gfwl already, it's horrible. I'd be more willing to give this change in direction a chance if it didn't force gfwl on you (i wouldn't mind if gfwl was actually useful, but it's not).

Posted by ryanwho

Really now. Queue Price if Right fail horn. I just don't even. 
You have this name and people who have expectations for it. Then you have this, like, Animal Crossing Empires thing here. What do they gain from calling this Age of Empires?

Posted by nunami

age of farm empires?
 
I really would love to see a new age of empires game that took slow steps from the early ages up until the turn of the last century.. where is my not too complex not too dumbed down rts empire builder?

Posted by KommanderCevin
@weeman105 said:
" Ensemble is gone. This is not a true AoE. In fact, it totally ruins my memories of AoE. "
So TAD expansion made by Big Huge Games doesn't count either? 
Posted by MadBaron

OMG I'm 85% sure this will end up ruining one of my most beloved franchises. 
Hope not.
:(

Posted by Subjugation
@KommanderCevin said:
" @weeman105 said:
" Ensemble is gone. This is not a true AoE. In fact, it totally ruins my memories of AoE. "
So TAD expansion made by Big Huge Games doesn't count either?  "
More like the fact that this looks like a glorified Farmville and not something the creator of the IP would have done. BHG has some RTS background at the very least. Whoever is doing this iteration of the game may as well give it a new name and ditch the Age of Empires tag. Handing a franchise over to a new developer rarely turns out well.
Posted by Branthog

Not a fan of the art style.

Posted by ryanwho

This isn't about "fearing change", this is about how utterly purposeless it is to use an IP name then completely gut the IP. Hey, make something new. I have no problem with that. But if its going to be practically nothing like AOE, call it something else.