Microsoft acquires classic civilization game Rise of Nations, future games hinted by Xbox head

Microsoft has acquired the IP rights to one of the most acclaimed PC strategy games in recent history, Rise of Nations, and the leader of Microsoft's Xbox division is strongly hinting the company plans to release new games in the franchise.

Late on Friday, Microsoft's PlayXLBA website announced that not only had the company acquired Rise of Nations from its now shut down owners, Big Huge Games, but that it will re-release the original 2003 game on Steam. Rise of Nations: Extended Edition will be released sometime in June for $19.99 and will contain both the original game and its expansion pack Thrones and Patriots, along with enhanced graphics, full Steamworks support and more. Terms of the IP acquisition were not disclosed.

However, in two posts on his Twitter feed Saturday, Microsoft's Xbox leader Phil Spencer made statements that suggested the company was going to do more than just republish the older Rise of Nations games. Indeed, he seemed to hint that all new games in the franchise are planned.

Really happy with the #RON IP acquisition. We kept quiet for awhile on this. I game I worked on long ago, we'll do more with IP.Steam is a great place to sell Win32 games. We acquired the IP for future work, I'm a big fan of the franchise. - Phil Spencer, Microsoft

Microsoft already has a listing on its careers page stating that they are forming a team to develop a "new AAA title within an established and well-loved strategy game franchise." Furthermore, Spencer stated in another Twitter post on May 18th that he saw a resurgence of the real time strategy genre coming for current generation consoles like the Xbox One. It's more than possible that Rise of Nations could be that strategy game series, based on Spencer's hints.

What do you guys think about the possibility of a new Rise of Nations game for the Xbox One?

Source: PlayXBLA, Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) (1, 2)

John Callaham