As Microsoft is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Age of Empires franchise today, the company has just announced that Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition and Age of Empires IV are coming to Xbox consoles in 2023. Age of Empires II: DE will be released on January 31, 2023, and Age of Empires IV will follow later in the year.
It’s quite difficult to port real-time strategy games on consoles, though Microsoft successfully pulled it off before with the Halo Wars series. There’s been a lot of demand from Xbox fans to port the cult-classic Age of Empires games to Xbox consoles, and World’s Edge, the studio overseeing the development of Age of Empire games said that it took time to really optimize the game’s controls for Xbox controllers.
“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,” explained Emma Bridle, Director of Customer Voice, World’s Edge.
In addition to these controller-optimized controls, Age of Empires II: DE and Age of Empires IV will also support mouse and keyboard input on Xbox consoles. The two Age of Empire games will also be available on Xbox Cloud Gaming, and there will be optional crossplay support with PC gamers as well.
Microsoft also had more exciting news for Age of Empire fans today: Age of Mythology: Retold is currently in development, and it will bring the same “Definitive Edition” treatment to the game that the first 3 Age of Empire games already received. Additionally, a new Age of Empires mobile game is also in the pipeline, though there’s no release date yet.
Experience the power of an empire in the palm of your hand and command your armies with the touch of a finger.
— AgeOfEmpires (@AgeOfEmpires) October 25, 2022
Last but not least, the PC version of Age of Empires IV is getting a free update today which adds two new civilizations, eight new maps, ranked team modes, and more. The update coincides with the release of the Anniversary Edition of the game, which is available for free with Xbox Game Pass for PC.