The Age of Empires series has long been a nostalgic favorite for RTS fans, with armies spanning many civilizations and periods of history. Judging by the 10 million views on the official Age of Empires 4 announce trailer from Gamescom 2017, it’s safe to say a lot of folks are hyped – but Microsoft didn’t have anything to show for it at its Xbox E3 2019 press conference, instead offering a trailer for Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition with remastered graphics and audio. That doesn’t mean Age of Empires 4 is suddenly vaporware – Microsoft just wasn’t ready to show it at E3 2019.
In an interview with PC Gamer, Microsoft’s executive VP of gaming Phil Spencer said “We’ll talk about it more this year” when asked about Age of Empires 4 and its developer Relic Entertainment. “Relic’s great as a studio, we’re making good progress with it,” said Spencer. “It was cool for us to be able to have such a full show, and have some things like Age 4 that have been announced but haven’t been shown in a while, other things that maybe aren’t announced, to still be able to have those continue to drive excitement both through the year and potentially even next year’s E3. But we’ll talk more about Age 4, yeah.”
When pressed for more info or any further announcements on its progress, Spencer said “I want us to make sure we’re doing that in the right context. The thing I would say is, we’ve been incredibly impressed by Relic’s capability. Obviously they’re somewhat local to us being in Vancouver, and we know the studio. They did the best job of, ‘here’s what we think Age should go to.'”
Spencer also referenced Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition, which gives the 1999 RTS a fresh coat of 4K paint and an entirely new campaign called The Last Khans. “We are learning a lot revisiting Age 1 and Age 2,” said Spencer. “As those communities grow again, as those communities continue to exist, they have large player bases, and there’s a lot of feedback. So we’re really getting good insight, even here as we’re putting Age 2: DE, which is playable on the floor, from those communities about things they’d like to see in Age 4, and that’s important for us.”
Be sure to check out all the amazing E3 2019 games at the show.