According to a recent recruitment post, it looks likely that Microsoft is preparing to release a new installment in the Age of Empires series.
The listing itself sends out a call for a senior software engineer to work on an all-new entry in a “beloved strategy game franchise.” And though it’s hardly an open confirmation, out of the IPs that the Redmond-based company currently owns, Age of Empires is the one that best suits the bill. Here’s the description from the ad in question:
“Be part of Microsoft Game Studios, and help us create the next-generation of awesome games for Windows and Xbox,” the ad reads.
“The Decisive Games team is focused on world class strategy game development, and is building a studio that will bring the next installment in a beloved strategy game franchise to the next generation of gamers around the world. This is a highly-collaborative, agile team, with a play-centric approach to game development.”
Many have assumed that this description hints that Microsoft is gearing up to spearhead development on Age of Empires IV, given that Decisive Games appears to be a whole new first-party studio under the company’s branding.
If this happens to be the case, then it would be the first fully-fledged entry into the esteemed RTS franchise since 2011, when Age of Empires Online went live, only to be shut down three years later. But you’d have to go further back to unearth the last numerical entry in the series; 2005, to be exact, when Ensemble Studios’ Age of Empires III made its bow.
Despite AoE being the most obvious candidate, it’s worth keeping in mind that another real-time strategy could be in the mix in the form of Halo Wars, though considering the lukewarm reception from the fanbase, it seems unlikely that Microsoft would pursue a direct sequel.
We’ll keep you right up to date with all of the developments on this job listing as it appears. For now, let us know if you think this recruitment post is in relation to Age of Empires in the comments.