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January 4, 2013

Development of Age of Empires Online draws to a close

 

Since its release in August 2011 a vast amount of content has been released for Age of Empires Online. Firstly the Greek and Egyptians civilisations were (along with the core game) largely developed by Robot Entertainment until production shifted to Gas Powered Games as part of a planned transition in February 2011. Post-release Gas Powered Games have released various content packs including Skirmish Hall, Defence of Crete along with 4 additional civilisations – Norse, Persians, Celts and Babylonians. However today it was announced on the official website that content production and development of the game is now ceasing.

Cost reasons were cited as a factor in the decision to stop producing content. The scale of the post-release content we have seen from Gas Powered has been extraordinary and is not like traditional DLC packs with other games. Each civilisation and other booster packs required a vast amount investment and development resource. The production quality on these packs has always been very high. Content packs have also been reactive to community suggestions, most notably the Skirmish Hall.

Unfortunately the scale of content being produced could not be sustained as the game becomes older. Whilst we will no longer see new content for the game in terms of booster packs of new civilisations the game will continue to be supported. This is not the end of online play. Much like the ESO service that runs Age of Empires 3, Microsoft Studios’ Community Team will continue to offer support for the game as well as community features such as competitions. The official blog post reads:

However, nothing else changes for players, nothing that currently exists will be removed. You can still play everything you own, earn EP, and purchase any content you do not currently own. We will still fully maintain and support the game and its players; no one is losing anything that you have earned or bought. Our Community team will continue to support the game by way of Community Challenges, streams, contests, PvP tournaments and more.

Before Gas Powered Games finish on Age Online there is one further content update to be released which will contain as of yet unannounced final content.

Whilst its sad to see content be stopped for Age Online, the game has certainly had a very good run with sustained, high quality content. I’m certain Age Online is not the last we will see of Age of Empires. The full blog post about todays news can be found on the link below. Fans may want to engage in discussion about this news on the games official forums.

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Related posts:

  1. Age of Empires Online beta draws to a close, plus new Orcs Must Die previews and wins for Robot at RTS-Guru
  2. Robot Entertainment no longer lead developer on Age of Empires Online
  3. Age of Empires Online development blog – “The #1 Thing You Need to Know About Age of Empires Online”

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