Microsoft delays Age of Empires: Definitive Edition as the series turns 20

Happy 20th birthday Age of Empires! The Definitive Edition is delayed.

Credit: Microsoft

Cue “Dust in the Wind,” because Age of Empires officially turned 20 on October 15. Unfortunately the surprise party Microsoft planned to throw in its honor has been delayed a bit—which is to say, Age of Empires: Definitive Edition ($20 preorder on the Microsoft Store) has been pushed back to “early 2018.”

The announcement comes just days before the remastered version’s planned October 19 release date, which understandably has left a portion of the audience a bit miffed.

Here’s the “Age of Empires: Definitive Edition Team” with an explanation:

“When we set out to re-release the original Age of Empires (as ‘Age of Empires: Definitive Edition’), we had many debates over the extent of restoration that we should undertake. The challenge of re-releasing a classic is just that: it’s a classic and it deserves to be treated with careful reverence. At the same time, in a living, thriving genre, norms continually evolve, technology advances, and player expectations change. This is as true for RTS as for any other genre. So, the challenge is to recreate the experience not as it *actually* was but as we all remember it. How can we modernize the game while preserving the fun, discovery and magic of that first experience?

To that end, rather than a final release of Age of Empires: Definitive Edition on October 19, we will instead be inviting thousands more players from the community into our closed beta between now and launch to allow for more in-depth testing across single player campaign, multiplayer balance, fine-tuning the lobby, etc.”

age of empires definitive edition 2 Microsoft

I take some issue with the “This is as true for RTS as for any other genre” claim—of all the genres, the RTS has been maybe the slowest to evolve since the days of StarCraft and Age of Empires. But hey, I get what they’re saying. Times change, and it’s hard to know what blemishes to touch up and which to leave alone. We don’t want a George Lucas situation on our hands.

Anyway, if you’re hoping to celebrate with Age of Empires this week you’ll just have to stick to Age of Empires II HD ($20 on Steam) which is about the best consolation prize I can imagine. We’ll keep you apprised of a new Age of Empires: Definitive Edition release date once we have more info—its “December 31, 2018” date on the Windows 10 Store appears to be a placeholder. 

Microsoft also plans to release Definitive Editions of Age of Empires II and III, and has tasked Relic—the developer behind Homeworld and Company of Heroes—with creating Age of Empires IV, a long-awaited new entry in the series. You can see the trailer for Age of Empires IV below.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Hayden Dingman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?