Rumor: Development of Age of Empires IV and V already begun?

Source: An art book handed out by Microsoft Game Studios along with review copies of Age of Empires III.The official story: See below. What we heard: When Microsoft Game Studios and Ensemble Studios sent out copies of Age of Empires III to game news outlets, they came with the customary...

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Source: An art book handed out by Microsoft Game Studios along with review copies of Age of Empires III.

The official story: See below.

What we heard: When Microsoft Game Studios and Ensemble Studios sent out copies of Age of Empires III to game news outlets, they came with the customary tchotchkes. Among the swag was a hardcover coffee-table book titled Art of Empires. As the title suggests, the book features luxuriant prints of concept art and graphics from the first three games in the Age of Empire series.

However, it was the last page of the handsome tome that got the most attention. There, under the heading Age of Empires, were five images--a Spartan Warrior, a medieval knight, an 18th-century Redcoat, a Vietnam-era US GI, and a futuristic soldier--each above the respective roman numerals I, II, III, IV, and V. Since the Age of Empires III ends in the 19th century, the two latter images and numbers led many to believe that Ensemble and MGS were already developing modern-day fourth and futuristic fifth entries into the series.

Unfortunately, MGS was quick to dismiss that any games were in the works...yet. "It's concept art only and not a confirmation of new versions," a rep told GameSpot, saying work had not begun on Age of Empires IV, let alone V. However, given the series' popularity, expect at least two more installments in the franchise in the years ahead.

Bogus or not bogus?: Currently bogus, eventually not bogus.

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