The next iteration of the Age of Empires franchise is coming in free-to-play format to eager fans everywhere this coming fall when Age of Empires Online is planned to launch. The game will feature the Greek and Egyptian civilizations out-of-the-box and is planned to launch with both a digital and retail starter kit that will put players at a level 20 head start on their civilizations.
Microsoft is putting out a retail boxed version of the starter kit as to not alienate those who still like to buy physical copies. Microsoft Game Studios producer Danan Davis explained: “The industry in general is still in somewhat of a transition state, there are some players that still want to go down to the store and buy a retail product.”
Age of Empires Online, while not an MMO despite its suggestive name, does have co-op and PvP modes and features a persistent world for your civilizations. The initial game is free to play unless you want to buy upgrades like civilizations, booster packs or empire extras which are to range from $5-20. A free Age of Empire Online game is enticing the frugal gamer in all of us, but hopefully the game will be balanced enough so that people not buying the upgrades can stay competitive.