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May 9, 2011

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Age of Empires Online launching this autumn

Microsoft has today announced to Eurogamer that they plan to launch Robot Entertainment and Gas Powered Games developed Age of Empires Online later this year towards the Autumn. The game was originally penned to be released in the Summer but it looks like the game might be pushed back slightly. The game is launching with two civilisations, the Greeks and the Egyptians. Indications from the open beta indicate that a third civilisation is almost certainly a possibility post launch.

Any guesses what’s behind door number 3?

Danan Davis the Executive Producer on the game at Microsoft Game Studios spoke to Eurogamer about the announcement commenting that the game will launch with a free to play model and players can choose to purchase add-on “booster packs” to expand their experience. Perhaps one of the the biggest and most requested pack might be the pro “premium civilisation” upgrade. This booster allows expierenced Age of Empires gamers to get striaght into the action by upgrading their civilisation straight to level 20. There are 40 levels in total to this means vetetan players can launch themselves right into the middle and skip the tutorial and beginner missions. This is a perfect solution for new players who need to go through the early levels and veteran players who just want to get stuck in. The community will no doubt be pleased to hear about this booster pack.

Other booster packs include the “Defense of Crete” a gameplay add-on that introduces new modes of play including:

  • Defend your wonder – this is where players are assigned a wonder to protect and have to build up as much defences as possible before the enemies come storming in to try and take the wonder down.
  • Co-op horde mode – here you can partner with your friend to help protect the wonder.
  • Plus a whole bunch of new gear to equip your units with!

Check out the humorous video blog below for a preview of the Defense of Crete booster pack:

Aside from new civilisations, gear and gameplay packs there will also be a number of vanity packs for those players who like to keep their capital cities looking pretty! Game play packs are expected to cost between $5-$20 depending on the content which seems like fair pricing to me. The only other thing to mention from the Eurogamer talk with Danan Davis is that there will also be a boxed retail version of the game alongside the digital model. Microsoft recognises that the gaming world has not completely switched to the digital model yet and there are still a number of people who prefer buying physical boxed versions of a product. The retail version will also include some kind of bonus content to get people started.

Exciting times ahead for Age of Empires players both beginner and veteran for the series. More precise pricing and further details is expected towards the end of the month so stay tuned!

Meanwhile be sure to check out the Eurogamer article: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-05-09-age-of-empires-online-out-this-autumn

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Related posts:

  1. Age of Empires Online launching August 16th!
  2. 2 new civilisations and a new booster pack for Age of Empires Online revealed!
  3. AOEO and Orcs updates

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