Microsoft has announced that two Age of Empires titles, Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition and Age of Empires IV, are coming to Xbox consoles in 2023. According to a blog post written by developer World’s Edge on Tuesday, Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition will come out on January 31, 2023, and Age of Empires IV will be released later on in the year.
Director Emma Bridle said the studio listened to requests from the most devoted fans of the series to have the classic Age of Empires titles to be brought to Xbox despite the difficulties of porting real-time strategy games to console due to their game designs preferring a mouse and keyboard to a console controller. However, since it’s the 25th anniversary of the series, it agreed that it was time to bring the games to Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One, letting veterans learn how to play the games with a controller while retaining the mouse and keyboard setup for those who prefer it.
“We knew that bringing the complexity of RTS to Xbox consoles was a massive task and one we had to approach carefully and thoughtfully,” Bridle said. “The team has been working hard to bring an experience that not only feels great using a controller but also teaches players how to play on Xbox. A new tutorial designed specifically for controller input paired with a new user experience for console will help players get started. We’ve also added a new game AI which helps make resource management in a strategy game efficient and intuitive.”
Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition, which was initially released in 2019, will include 83 maps, 42 multiplayer civilizations, 34 single-player campaigns, 10 multiplayer modes, and 7 co-op campaigns; and Age of Empires IV will come with several updates that have rolled since it came out last year. The former game will be available on Xbox Cloud Gaming and come with optional cross-play to allow fans to play between Xbox and PC.
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