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​“Good Progress” Being Made On ‘Age of Empires 4’, More News Later This Year

​“Good Progress” Being Made On ‘Age of Empires 4’, More News Later This Year

Microsoft showed off a stack of games at its press conference this year, including a lot of first party projects. Halo Infinite may have been the stand out but it was excellent to see the Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition. However, what was missing was any mention of Age of Empires 4, the whole new strategy game being developed by Relic, the studio behind the Dawn of War games. Xbox head Phil Spencer has said that there will be news of the game coming later this year.

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"We'll talk about it more this year," Spencer told PC Gamer. "Relic's great as a studio, we're making good progress with it."

While Spencer wouldn't be drawn on details about the new game, he did say that "We've been incredibly impressed by Relic's capability. Obviously they're somewhat local to us being in Vancouver, and we know the studio. They did the best job of, 'here's what we think Age should go to'. And the other thing I'll say is, we are learning a lot revisiting Age 1, and Age 2. As those communities grow again, as those communities continue to exist, they have large player bases, and there's a lot of feedback. So we're really getting good insight. even here as we're putting Age 2: DE, which is playable on the floor, from those communities about things they'd like to see in Age 4, and that's important for us."

After 20 years, it's good seeing Age of Empires 2 back in action
After 20 years, it's good seeing Age of Empires 2 back in action

We know next to nothing about Age of Empires 4, including even what time period it will be set in. Each Age of Empires game, bar Age of Mythology, has brought the series closer to the present day, with Age of Empires 3 taking place between 1492 and 1876 AD, the American colonial period. So there's reason to believe it will take place in the 20th century, showing us an Age of Empires take on World War 1 and 2. That would be somewhat familiar territory for Relic, who also made the World War 2 era Company of Heroes games.

Though, it's been so long since an Age of Empires game that,even with the definitive editions retreading old ground, Relic might choose to set the game in an earlier period of history. After all, a near contemporary setting doesn't feel very Age of Empires, even if that period of history is the natural conclusion to a series that is steeped in imperial history.

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Relic is familiar with World War 2, it made all the Company of Heroes games
Relic is familiar with World War 2, it made all the Company of Heroes games

With Spencer promising more details on Age of Empires 4 this year, that may mean it will be at Gamescom this August, the annual game convention that takes place in Cologne, Germany. Gamescom is a much bigger show for PC games, so it would be a good place to talk more about it. Though, Microsoft isn't tied to only showing its games off at conventions, particularly after its recent Xbox Direct.

Age of Empires 4

Featured Image Credit: Microsoft

Topics: video games, Microsoft, gamingbible

Julian Benson

Senior journalist at GAMINGbible. Former deputy editor of PCGamesN and news editor of Kotaku UK. Written for Eurogamer, PC Gamer, Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Wired, and GamesMaster. Author of 'Rags, Bones and Tea Leaves'. Contact: [email protected]