Microsoft chose Gamescom as the stage where it would reveal that work is underway on Age of Empires IV, the next installment in a popular series of strategy games dating to the release of the original installment in 1997. The new game will be available on Windows 10 devices.
Though the original three games in the series were developed by the team at Ensemble Studios, Microsoft has since shuttered that development house. The next installment is being handled by Sega-owned Relic Entertainment, which has produced strategy gems such as Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III and Company of Heroes 2 (as well as numerous expansions for its past successes).
Rather than providing a lot of concrete details, Microsoft showcased a brief trailer which we have embedded here. It sets the scene, gives you a sense of the tone Relic might be aiming for, but doesn’t include any actual gameplay to go with its rousing music and artwork.
“Now that the dream has become a reality with the announcement of Age of Empires IV, we couldn’t be more proud to be a part of the legacy,” Relic stated in a blog post to mark the occasion. “We can’t wait to tap into our strengths as a studio to fuse historical context with deep strategic gameplay, and to bring this franchise back to the forefront of gaming and into the hands of its beloved community.”
From the sound of things, work on Age of Empires IV is only just beginning. A release window and pricing info are probably a ways off, but at least fans know Microsoft has heard their pleas and is ready to devote its considerable resources to a suitable response.