Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Age of Empires Goes Free

Microsoft is bringing back Age of Empires, but now it will be free-to-play, according to their announcement at GamesCom  this week. The product won't appear until 2011, but they are taking signups for the closed beta on their official website. No, it's not from Ensemble Studios, which was disassembled some time ago. But it sounds interesting if you were a fan of the original.

The interesting thing in general is Microsoft entering the free-to-play arena. Other publishers have been making moves in this direction, too, such as EA. But will we see this business model appear on consoles? On the downloadable game part, you'd guess. That may be too radical a step for now, but after a few more months or years of down sales, you may see more willingness to experiment.

Let's hope that change happens more swiftly than not... for the industry's sake.

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