Today’s the day! Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition is available worldwide with Xbox Game Pass for PC, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, Windows 10 and Steam!
I’m still amazed that it’s been only three years since we announced the first Definitive Edition of Age of Empires at E3 2017. In that time, and with each release of one of the mainline Age of Empires games in definitive form, we’ve grown our studio partners, evolved our development, and always tried to put you, our players at the forefront of the work we put in to preserving these fantastic games for years and years to come. Thank you for coming on this journey with us and being passionate fans of the games and the history surrounding each one.
Age of Empires III was a fascinating game to crack open and improve, as among RTS games it is unique in its focus and gameplay and explores concepts and meta that many other RTS games never did, including the other Age games before it. It was a unique undertaking not only technically but to ensure we could retain the special magic that makes Age III what it is.
This is a game that’s been improved with the Age community in mind. When we started the project, the first thing we did was reach out to the Age III community and ask, what do you want in Age III: DE and what makes it so special to you? They generated quite a list of items they’d love to see, from must-haves to wild hopes and dreams for the title…
…I’m happy to say we incorporated every key request into the game… and then went even further.
Here’s just some of the great work the team has done: 4K graphics with ultrawide support, new LIVE multiplayer backend and matchmaking, completely rebuilt assets (every tree, terrain piece, building, and unit), enhanced audio and musical score, re-recorded character audio for campaigns, recreated every cinematic in all campaigns from scratch, many AI improvements including a brand-new “Extreme” AI difficulty, accelerated deck building and prebuilt decks, editor and campaign tool improvements, rebuilt UI with both classic and modernized views, camera zoom capabilities, and a host of user-controlled game and command options to blend from classic to modernized in any way you’d like. You can also check out our Achievements list here.
And even then, we didn’t stop with the updates. Two new civilizations join the 14 already available: The Incas and The Swedes. The Incas are a classically Age II-like defensive civilization that can build large defendable cities, while the Swedes offer clever gunpowder units and can command a large number of mercenaries through their approach to combat. Both of these civilizations offer new ways to play that we’re sure will delight existing fans and new ones to the game.
And nope, that isn’t all we’ve done. We’ve added The Art of War to Age III: DE! The popularity of this mode when introduced in Age II: DE made it a mode we felt was worth including in all Age games from this point forward. This mode not only gets you into the unique nuances that set Age III apart from the other Age games, but also offers a great onramp for anyone looking to sharpen their skills for both campaigns and multiplayer play in general. Additionally, a Historical Battles section is now in Age III: DE, allowing the player to play through select historical engagement challenges from the time period. These scenarios are a great compliment to the Story Mode campaigns, so you can get high-adventure fiction through them, or dive into events of historical importance – whatever you’d like.
At World’s Edge, we take cultural representation very seriously, and we’re always striving to be better historians in how we depict and represent civilizations from around the world. For Age III: DE, we’ve made some significant changes to the Native American civilizations so we could more confidently include them. You can read more about the work we did for accurate representation here.
We’re on a journey with you, our players, through this wonderful series and the launch of Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition is only the start of our conversation. You can look forward to ongoing support and updates for Age III: DE into the future.
If you’ve stuck with me this long, hang on just a bit longer because we need your help! One of the major ways that we’ve grown and developed our Definitive Editions of Age of Empires is by interacting directly with our players and fans via our Age Insider Program. You can sign up for it right here for an opportunity to help us test and hone new content for the DE games as well as brand-new games in the future. Your feedback is so important to a game with a global audience like Age of Empires has. Help us make it great for fans worldwide!
Looking back, we’re now at a point that the three mainline Age of Empires games are now in definitive form. We want to thank everyone that’s come with us along this journey to make the best editions of this classic series that we could possibly build. We love these games and what they represent for not just gamers but generations of players at this point. We hope everyone finds something to love within the Age of Empires franchise and we want to keep it going with content that players new and returning, young and old, can enjoy.