On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the release of “Age of Empires”, the game will make its way next year to the Xbox console and to mobile devices – and also to Microsoft’s cloud service. Microsoft yesterday reported a 13% increase in console sales, but a 3% decrease in game and service revenue.
Microsoft celebrated yesterday (Tuesday) 25 years since the release of the game “Age of Empires”, the first in one of the most successful and beloved strategy game series of all time. Until today, the game was only available for PC players. However, next year, two of the games in the series will also make their way to the Xbox console.
“Age of Empires 2” will launch on January 31, 2023, while “Age of Empires 4” – the last game in the series – will arrive later next year. The games will be available from day one through Game Pass, the Xbox subscription service. It’s rare to hear about real-time strategy (RTS) games coming to consoles, because console controllers offer limited game control compared to a PC mouse and keyboard. The games will also be available through xCloud, Microsoft’s cloud gaming service for “Game Pass Ultimate” subscribers.
Microsoft also announced that it is developing an Android and iOS version of Age of Empires. The technology giant has been trying for some time to enter the mobile market, among other things by purchasing Activision Blizzard for about 70 billion dollars. Microsoft announced the deal at the beginning of the year and it is expected to be finally signed by June 2023. In 2015, the company already launched two mobile versions of “Age of Empires”, but the new adaptation is expected to be more faithful to the original.
Meanwhile, yesterday Microsoft reported on its revenues in the gaming market in the first quarter of the fiscal year. The company reported that its revenue from Xbox console sales grew by 13% compared to the same period last year. On the other hand, its revenues from sales of games and gaming services (subscribers to the “Game Pass” service) decreased by 3% compared to the corresponding quarter in 2021. The decrease seems to be mainly due to a decrease in sales of copies of the games. On PC, for example, the company reported a 159% increase in “Game Pass” subscriptions.
Moreover, Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, noted that more than 20 million users have experienced xCloud, Microsoft’s cloud gaming service – twice the figure that Microsoft revealed earlier this year. One of the main reasons for this is the collaboration with Epic Games ( Epic Games), maker of “Fortnite.” The popular game is available for free through Microsoft’s cloud service, which has contributed to increasing the number of players.