Update: Developer Forgotten Empires has clarified that another 100,000 players will be added to the multiplayer beta, but it will not actually be open. Signups will be taken until January 25 at ageofempires.com, and the beta will go live on January 29.
Age of Empires: Definitive Edition, the remastered re-release of the 20-year-old RTS classic that was announced last summer, has been given an updated release date of February 20. Ahead of that, Xbox boss Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb said the multiplayer beta will be opened up so that more players can get an idea of what it's all about before launch.
The game had been slated to come out in October 2017 to correspond with the 20th anniversary of its original release, but was delayed at the last minute when the remastering effort proved to be a bigger undertaking than expected. "But, it was important for the team to treat the Age of Empires franchise with the respect it deserves, so we took the time we needed to get features like attack-move and the improved minimap exactly right, and even added things like an in-game tech tree (how did we survive 1997 without that?) that we hope fans will love," Hryb wrote.
Age of Empires: Definitive Edition will support 4K resolution, online play through Xbox Live, new campaign narration for every mission, a re-recorded orchestral score, and an improved campaign and scenario editor. It's available for preorder now for $20 on the Microsoft Store (opens in new tab).