Microsoft Announces Age of Empires Online

Microsoft may have shut down Ensemble Studios in a heartbreaking manner, but the talent behind the Age of Empire games hasn't fizzled out. The reformed team at Robot Entertainment are on the franchise again, as Microsoft has taken the cover off of Age of Empires Online. As the name suggests, it'll be something you'll need Internet for.

Not much is known yet, other than it'll have similar themes from the previous entries into the series.

Developed by Robot Entertainment, "Age of Empires Online" will invite players to create a living, growing online world, shared with friends and friendly rivals around the globe. Begin the journey with your own Greek civilization, and watch as it progresses from a village to an empire. Embark on quests along the way, alone or with friends, and immerse yourself in epic tales, quirky characters, adventure, history and strategy. Together with the Games for Windows – LIVE service, "Age of Empires Online" delivers a rich, social experience that lets you play however you want - anywhere, anytime. Marrying fresh features with iconic gameplay, "Age of Empires Online" offers something for long-time fans, newcomers and everyone in between. "Age of Empires Online" will feature: * A persistent online capital city that lives and grows even when you're offline * Cooperative multiplayer quests, trading and a level-based system that lets you progress at your own pace * Fun, approachable style and storylines * Free-to-play experiences via Games for Windows – LIVEMore information, news and chances to join the beta program are available at

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • jplarson
    Sounds a lot like, but much much better.
  • nforce4max

    I have waited years for this!!!!!! This is my favorite RTS.
  • tu_illegalamigo
    Awesome! This is one of my favorites, behind the unbeatable, ultimate (to me) RTS, CIV II gold multiplayer!
  • t-vizz the 2nd
    Finally an RTS worth buying!
  • hoof_hearted
    * Free-to-play experiences via Games for Windows – LIVE

    Meh, sounds like another MMORPG where the free stuff is just bait for the premium content.
  • sliem
    Free-to-play is always good.
    It's a bait, but you don't have to take the bait.
  • velocityg4
    Might be interesting. Though I used to love AoE my desire to play the game has fizzled out. The Total War games are far superior as you build an empire and have direct control over battles. It requires much more thought and strategy.

    Though the nice thing about AoE is that you could fire it up play for 20 minutes and win. Whereas the Total War games require weeks or months of slow progression. Especially with the time needed to plan out buildings for cities and units to produce when you have over 15 cities.
  • omg mmorts O.O I just hope it doesn't degrade into something stupid like ikariam
  • ShouldntHave
    hoof_hearted* Free-to-play experiences via Games for Windows – LIVEMeh, sounds like another MMORPG where the free stuff is just bait for the premium content.I interpret this more as meaning "it's free to play games once you have bought the client", not "you can DL a client for free and play", in order to keep ppl from freaking out that "now that it's MMO there's going to be a monthly fee." Could be wrong; have no idea.
  • tgsa
    I know you have your own city and all, but it doesn't seem as if it'll be like the original games and I'm not sure I really like the cartoony style portrayed on the website... Or maybe this is just my method for not being disappointed when the game does release.