SHARING AMERICA'S TECH NEWS FROM THE VALLEY TO THE ALLEY
Since 1997, real-time strategy fans have been enjoying games carrying the Age of Empires name. But for the most part those games have been limited to Windows and Mac releases. There’s been a couple of Nintendo DS outings, Windows Mobile, PS2, and even an N-Gage port, but nothing on what we’d consider modern mobile operating systems. Microsoft is set to change that, though.
by Matthew Humphries, courtesy geek.com
The series was originally created by Ensemble Studios, which was then acquired by Microsoft accounting for why it has been such a Windows-focused series of games. But Microsoft is opening up to the fact that there is money to be made on rival platforms, and has decided to develop a new Age of Empires game for release on Android and iOS platforms. Surprisingly, a Windows Phone version is planned, but isn’t a priority and won’t arrive at the same time.
Ensemble Studios is no more, so Microsoft has turned to Japanese social games studio KLab to handle development. Little is known about the new game other than it will be a mobile-only release and will appear for sale before the end of March 2014.
Although launching a mobile game on the two most popular mobile platforms makes sense from a business point of view, it’s surprising to see Microsoft not focusing on Xbox One and Windows Phone development instead. Surely a new Age of Empires game for Xbox One would be popular? And one that ran on Windows Phone that somehow tied into an Xbox One version could work well, too.
As this KLab-developed game is purely a mobile outing that may well be the case. Microsoft revisiting Age of Empires on mobile means they could (and should) also be considering a new console version.
Thank you, TiA