Microsoft's New Age of Empires Studio Won't Develop Games

"Our role at Microsoft is to enable these great developers to make Age products."

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During E3 2019 earlier this year, Microsoft announced that it had acquired Brutal Legend and Psychonauts studio Double Fine and created another brand-new studio to focus on developing the Age of Empires franchise. As it turns out, the latter, newly-formed studio isn't directly making games and is actually more of a production outfit overseeing other studios' work on the Age of Empires franchise.

The new, as yet unnamed, Microsoft studio, helmed by veteran producer and former Xbox Game Studios general manager, Shannon Loftis, will have a responsibility to ensure Age of Empires games from other studios are going in the right direction. That's according to Microsoft creative director, Adam Isgreen, who spoke with PCGamesInsider.biz.

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"We do have an internal team but we're really providing oversight to our wonderful development partners--our team at Forgotten Empires that made Age of Empires: Definitive Edition and is working on Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition, but we also have a group in Australia--Tantalus Media--that's working on Age of Empires III," Isgreen explained.

"We have Relic up in Vancouver. But they're also helping each other out with all the games, too. Our role at Microsoft is to enable these great developers to make Age products and to be the overseers and the ones making sure that we're on-message and on-brand for delivering what we believe to be great Age of Empires experiences. They're accessible, for all ages and you may learn something about history whether you want to or not. That kind of approach, a game that's accessible that is really meant for a large audience, across the world. We have a wonderful userbase from all across the globe that plays Age of Empires games every month and we want to make sure we can bring everybody in, not just from specific cultures."

Microsoft announced the remasters for Age of Empires II and III back in 2017, along with the Relic-developed Age of Empires IV--the first new entry in the series in 14 years. Last week saw Age of Empires: Definitive Edition surprise-launch for Xbox Game Pass on PC during Gamescom.

Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition is set to launch on November 14 on PC with crossplay across Windows 10 and Steam.

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