Microsoft has been working on reviving the Age of Empires series for several years now. The journey began with re-releases for the original trilogy, then in 2019, Age of Empires IV was officially announced. We haven’t had an update on the long-awaited sequel since then, but that changed this week.
Shannon Loftis, head of World’s Edge, Microsoft’s newly formed RTS studio, published a development update on all things Age of Empires to cap off 2020. In this update, we learn that Age of Empires IV is currently playable, with frequent playtests taking place internally at Microsoft.
“We are making great progress on Age of Empires IV. I don’t want to make you jealous, but we are literally playing this game every single day—both in Washington and in Vancouver”, Loftis writes.
“RTS development is funny: it takes a while to build the separate systems (AI, economy, sim, rendering, etc), and then it takes a while for them to come together. But when they do, you suddenly have a game—a game that needs debugging and balance and polish— but the core of the game that you know you’re going to ship. And the best part is that it feels like an Age of Empires game.”
Age of Empires IV is primarily being developed by Relic, with Microsoft providing support. There is still no word on when Age of Empires IV will release but given that the game is now playable, we should hopefully get some more substantial news updates throughout 2021.
KitGuru Says: Hopefully we’ll find out when the rest of us will get to start playing Age of Empires IV before the end of this year. Are many of you looking forward to this one?