Age of Empires 4 is being played right now

Shannon Loftis, studio head of World's Edge, has shared a year-end update on the state of Age of Empires in its various incarnations, including the fourth one which we last saw in November of 2019. "I don't want to make you jealous," she wrote, "but we are literally playing this game every single day—both in Washington and in Vancouver."

So yes, Age of Empires 4 is in development and currently in a playable state. Which doesn't mean that it's close to release, of course. As Loftis went on to explain, "RTS development is funny: it takes a while to build the separate systems (AI, economy, sim, rendering, etc), and then it takes a while for them to come together. But when they do, you suddenly have a game—a game that needs debugging and balance and polish— but the core of the game that you know you're going to ship. And the best part is that it feels like an Age of Empires game."

Age of Empires 4 is being made by Relic Entertainment, who have a lot to prove after Dawn of War 3. What little we've seen of it so far suggests it may cover multiple periods of history, and feature walls. I'm all about building walls in Age of Empires games, so that's a positive sign.

The update also mentioned that the Lords of the West expansion for Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition will be out soon. According to the Age of Empires website, it'll be on Steam, the Microsoft Store, and Game Pass for PC on January 26.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.