Age of Empires will release on mobile for the global audience. It was confirmed during the 25th-anniversary stream held by Microsoft. The announcement also came with a date for the Xbox release of Age of Empires 2 DE and Age of Empires 4 heading to the consoles later that year. In the live stream, they showed a 20-second teaser of the mobile game, which looks to have graphical comparisons to the latest iteration of the game. (Age of Empires 4).
Not the First Time
While it may seem like Age of Empires heading to mobile phones is new, this isn’t the first time. Microsoft first explored a mobile release through Age of Empires: Castle Siege for the Windows Phone. It was a tower defense game, a far cry from what made the franchise successful. While it did not draw the expected player base, the game went on to live for four years before shutting down.
They then tried their hand at real-time strategy by releasing Age of Empires: World Domination. Developers expected this would be more of a success for players, but it became the opposite. The game shut down just a year after its release with low dwindling interest from the player fan base.
The difference this time is that Microsoft has learned from an unexpected avenue. World’s Edge Studio, responsible for the franchise development, teamed up with TiMi Studios under Tencent. The two would then co-develop Return to Empire, a Chinese 4x strategy game that mirrors many features from the PC Age of Empires games. It seems that the company used the experience here to help develop a better mobile game in the future.
It’s unknown if Age of Empires Mobile will be a global version of this Chinese game. There is a good chance that this is a new one, only having several features from the Chinese game adapted to fit mobile audiences.
When to Expect Age of Empires Mobile?
For now, there have been no specific details on the game’s release other than the teaser. We’ll likely hear more early in 2023 based on the development of other mobile games in the past. Fans expect to at least hear about a beta test that year, though it would be beneficial for World’s Edge to release the game in 2023. Only time will tell how they’ll approach this mobile iteration.
One thing that World’s Edge has going right now is the momentum of the Xbox releases. It has helped put the game back on the map with returning and new players ready to try new games. A mobile release may be what a casual player needs. However, there are some concerns that they also need to address.
One is monetization. Microsoft can opt for the typical mobile game route and gate currency or upgrades with real money. The other is to sell the game itself at a price with buyers getting full access to. We hope to see more details in the months to come.
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