Age of Empires 4: everything we know

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Age of Empires 4 is in development by Relic Entertainment, creators of the Company of Heroes series and other beloved strategy games. It's the first new entry in the series in well over ten years—AoE 3 was released all the way back in 2005. 

Other than its existence, and the intention to publish the game exclusively on Windows 10, publisher Microsoft Studios has revealed almost nothing about the project since it was announced back at Gamescom 2017. Below, we've collected everything we know about it so far.

Age of Empires 4 release date: expect it in 2019, or even later

There's no announced release date for Age of Empires 4, and the game has almost entirely skipped 2018 when it comes to news beats—nothing's really happened since the Gamescom 2017 announcement. Next year, though, we're much more likely to learn when it's actually going to arrive.  

Age of Empires 4 trailer: here's the reveal from 2017

This trailer is all we've seen of Age of Empires 4—it leaves the style of game totally open to interpretation, though we anticipate some mix between Relic's in-depth style of strategy with the resource-balancing and long tech trees of AoE.

Age of Empires 4 is being made by Relic, creator of Company of Heroes

Relic added a few words on its own website about Age of Empires 4 back when it was announced. "[We] couldn’t be more proud to be a part of the legacy," the blog post reads. "We can’t wait to tap into our strengths as a studio to fuse historical context with deep strategic gameplay, and to bring this franchise back to the forefront of gaming and into the hands of its beloved community."

Age of Empires 4 will be Relic's first game produced for a publisher other than Sega, its owner, since it was purchased by auction in the selling off of THQ's assets in 2013. Speculating, it's likely that Microsoft paid Sega for the right to work with Relic, as it probably did for Creative Assembly, the Sega-owned studio that developed Halo Wars 2.

In 2009 Microsoft disbanded Ensemble Studios, the original creators of Age of Empires, eight years after acquiring it in 2001.

When is Age of Empires 4 set? 

Judging by the animated concept art in the trailer, Age of Empires 4 won't take the series to a singular new era. Instead, a variety of armies from previous games in the series are featured in the footage: Native Americans, British Redcoats, Roman legionnaires, Japanese samurai, and others. It's unclear whether these are the units or factions we'll control in Age of Empires 4. Hopefully they won't take the form of individually purchasable armies, as Relic did with Sega's Company of Heroes 2

Age of Empires 2 and 3 remasters are also in the works

In other Age of Empires goings on, a remaster/remake called Age of Empires: Definitive Edition was released last year. It didn't blow us away, even though its revamped graphics looked nice, but it's not the only series revival on the horizon. Age of Empires 2 and 3 are also in the queue for a similar treatment. Expect those to arrive before Age of Empires 4 does, though neither has a release date either.

Finally, hat tip to Bill Gates, who presumably got this whole Age of Empires 4 thing rolling after answering this question in a Reddit AMA in March 2016: