Microsoft licenses Age of Empires for iOS, Android versions

Japanese developer KLab said it will launch a global version in English, with a version for Windows Phone to come

A version of Microsoft's Age of Empires game franchise will be developed for iPhones and Android devices, the first time an official Microsoft title will be released for the mobile platforms.

The initial title will be developed in English by Japanese developer KLab and released globally, with a Windows Phone version and additional languages to follow. The companies said the new game will have a mobile social component, a strength of KLab.

Android and iOS compete with Microsoft's own Windows Phone mobile operating system, which has only a 3 percent share of subscribers in the U.S., according to data firm ComScore. Klab will license various titles from Microsoft's PC and console library and port them to mobile versions, Japan's Nikkei newspaper reported Monday, speculating that the deal would pressure Sony and Nintendo to follow suit with their own titles.

The Nikkei said the Age of Empires mobile version will be released by March 2014 as a "freemium" game, with free game play but charges for additional in-game items and services.

Sony is offering specialized versions of game titles from its own line-up and third-party developers as party of its "PlayStation Mobile" platform. The company runs its own app store that only works with approved handsets, and has tried to lured programmers with a low-cost development kit.

Nintendo has said it wants its games to work with mobile phones, but has stopped short of offering titles like its valuable Super Mario games outside of its own stable of consoles.

Microsoft's Age of Empires series includes seven games and three spin-off titles, and has sold 22 million titles globally. Various versions have been in development for 15 years, KLab said.

The software giant offers PC, online, and Xbox versions of the game, and a version was ported for the Nintendo DS handheld. Last week, Microsoft said it had chosen Canadian developer SkyBox Labs to roll out changes to the latest release from the franchise, Age of Empires II: HD.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags KLabmobile applicationsMobile gamesMicrosoftgamesmobile

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?