Microsoft will release a new expansion for Age of Empires II: HD Edition in 2015

Microsoft has announced plans to release a new expansion pack for Age of Empires II: HD Edition on Steam sometime in 2015. This news comes the day before the two-year anniversary of the game's release on Steam.

Microsoft and developer Skybox launched Age of Empires II: HD Edition as a graphical revamp of the classic 1999 historical RTS game from the now defunct Ensemble Studios. In a blog post today, Microsoft announced:

In those two years, players have created over 10,000 items in the Steam Workshop, and spent more than fifty million hours training armies, converting units, and chopping trees. In fact, more people have played over 50 hours of AoE II: HD than live in Little Rock, the state capital of Arkansas.

In November 2013, Microsoft released an official expansion for the game, The Forgotten, based on a fan-created expansion pack called The Forgotten Empires. Today, Microsoft stated they are working with the same mod team to launch yet another expansion to the game. It added:

As with The Forgotten expansion, you can anticipate a lot packed in there, including new civilizations, campaigns, game modes, units, and more. If your focus is more on the original Age of Empires II experience, the new content development means you can look forward to additional support and features that benefit every owner. Since launch, AoE II: HD has come a long way, and with the help of the FE team and Skybox, this year is going to be the best yet.

Microsoft also continues to support and update Age of Empires: Castle Siege for Windows Phone and Windows 8.1 platforms.

Source: Microsoft

  • Wolololo
  • This is amazing, AOE is still one of my favorite castle defense games, especially the conquers expansion.
  • Don't call this a mere castle defense game. This is a real time, true empire building game, and one that I have many cherished memories of.
  • Well Said.. :-)
  • I was speaking of it as being very high end as well, no disrespect my friend.
  • He didn't mean disrespect :-) He just mentions that you are over looking something a lot better than a castle defence game(though they are good, AoE is a lot better than that genre games)   I guess, I can speak for him as well, because I am also a big fan of AoE :-)
  • Yeah I meant no disrespect :)
  • True. Conquerers expansion is my favorite. I felt that its objectives were much free-playing and less-army-building than the Age of Kings expansion.
  • Microsoft complained that the Windows 8 Store disappointed them in terms of sales. This is why: they released one big game for it (Project Spark) and all their other games were released on Steam (i.e. not their platform) instead. So dumb.
  • You do have a point. However, maybe Age of Empires 2 HD has hardware requirements that would make targeting Windows Store difficult. Think low cost tablets, Surface RT, etc. I'm not defending the lack of content, but not every game is appropriate for the Windows Store.
  • There are high-end games in the Windows Store that cannot be run on Surface RT (e.g. Project Spark) and there will be more soon (Fable Legends, Gigantic, etc.).
  • Well... I only have steam on my PC, but I have access to the MS store on all my MS devices. Even if they (all my devices) can run steam games, they (MS) should expand their distribution to all platforms by all means necessary...
  • I prefer gaming through software ( normal software ones) to app. As long as they release games to Windows phone I'm fine with it. And I disliked the performance of apps because they're not optimized.
  • 99% of gamers would not buy any game from the Microsoft store or any other Microsoft PC platform after the utter failure that is GFWL and the game casualties that it created. Moreover you can only use Windows Store games on PC running Windows 8 and up, and many gamers still use Windows 7. The only way Microsoft would get sales through the Windows Store is if they also provided a Steam key with the purchase on top of the Win8 drm'ed app. After I bought Halo Spartan Assault on Win8 and it had microtransaction in it, just to see it then released on Steam without micro transaction, I am never buying any game from the Windows Store period. Now I re-bought Halo SA on Steam on a sale and play it a hell of a lot more than the Win Store version that I paid lot more for.  
  • Wait, seriously? Man, I am so glad I never bought Halo: SA on the Windows Store. I think I may just start skipping games from there in general. That's BS.
  • They weren't detrimental to the game. Plus they took them out and said Spartan strike will have no micro transactions
  • Regardless of the micro-transaction crap; why would anyone want the Halo SA from Win Store and be limited to Win8+ devices, when you can buy it on steam and play it on any Windows OS, easily manage where to install it, and have it in the library with all your other games. Plus you can get it for under a $1 on sale. The only advantage of the Win store version is if you also have a WP and did not buy it there before the universal app thing.  
  • Some people have zero interest in Steam. I, for one, hope it dies completely.
  • I hope you die first :)
  • That's messed up. I would never wish death on anyone.
  • I get my best deals on steam... And if my computer crashes... Easily restores all my games and updates...
  • Your so-called points have no actual value. * All the devices that I game on are Windows 8+ so no Steam advantage there. * Management of installing games on the Windows store is easier than with Steam. At the very least it's one less password and the interface is a lot better than Steam's inconsistency where each Steam game manages its own installer/uninstaller whereas Window Store it's all managed centrally and consistently. And by "where" do you mean which directory the game installs to? That simply isn't an issue with windows store games because they all install to the correct place, unlike random games that might try to install to direrctories other than where they should go (i.e. "C:\Program Files" or equivalent) * It's only "in your library with all your other games" if all your other games are Steam games. The same is true for Windows Store games, so this is a pointless point. Most people get games from several different sources, and once you pin them to your Start Screen, it doesn't matter where they came from. In other words, Steam and Windows Store games are practically the same, with slight advantages to Windows Store games in terms of managability, unless you just have the typical irrational and unfounded hatred of Windows 8.
  • There are many others that game on Win7. It's not easier at all, and no you don't want all your game cluttering up the C drive, I have most game on my secondary drive, no such option for Windows store games, no option to run windows store games from external usb drive either. I want to see you pin 400+ games on your start screen, LOL, there is no way to manage large game libraries in windows period. Bottom line is Windows store is nowhere near the quality Steam provides as far as game management is concerned; but ultimately its up to you, if you think Win Store is better go ahead and buy all your games there, but don't complain when in a few years the whole system will die just like GFWL did, or when a game is pulled from the store and you can no longer re-insltall it, as you can on Steam.    
  • 99% of gamers will buy a game if they want to play the game. If Microsoft releases AAA titles in the Windows Store, and only the Windows Store, gamers will buy them.
  • We'll have to agree to disagree on that, after GFWL even if MS releases AAA PC games [which is doubtfull after more than 10 year absence of AAA PC titles from them] just on their platform [i.e. win store with xbox intergation] the sales will definitely suffer due to that alone.  
  • PC gamers have been begging for Microsoft's AAA IP for a decade now.  You're telling me that, when Microsoft finally brings Halo, Forza, Gears of War, Killer Instinct, etc. to PC as Xbox games in the Windows Store that all those PC gamers are going to say, "Nope. We're not going to download that because it's not on Steam?" For all but an infinitesimal number of obstinate children, I highly doubt that.
  • I guess we'll have to wait and see.  
  • Really? You're gonna complain about a 7$ game? You don't have any other examples? People will just nit pick to find the tiniest things to cry about these days(unless you have another example)
  • I'm not surprised. I rarely go into the Store as I find it a frustrating experience, unless I know exactly what I want already. It's really not conducive to finding things easily and I found myself browsing big pages of information at a time. All the horizontal scrolling sucks so badly (I wish they'd abandon it everywhere in Windows 8!), as I find it much easier to keep track of my place vertically. I'd like to see more filtering options, especially when looking at the "top free/paid apps/games". The pricing is also generally bad (i.e. when the same item is available elsewhere, usually cheaper), and Microsoft are notorious for not discounting things very much. For gaming I just stick with Steam and rarely bother with anything in the Store.
  • the game was already done, the code, do you think they really ported it to steam or something and made an HD version? this doesn't even look that great. yeah it would have been nice to have it Windows Store, but the truth is, the game is old, and porting it would have taken more than what it was worth it. yeah... nobody play this games regardless of what you think, I mean, compare this to Starcraft. so yes, it wasn't worth to waste time for this... Windows 10 store will give Fable and Gigantic, new games that look nice and are made from zero. if Microsoft was going to port this to Windows Store, it would have been better to make AoE 4 and make it from zero, but then... nobody will play it, just like happened with AoE online. a great game, better than Starcraft but in RTS there is only one great game, and that's not AoE, so the best thing was spend sometime, make this game a little better and give it to steam (because GFWL was being killed off)
  • No game MS released thought steam requires porting... They still make their money from steam, maybe a little more per copy if they distributed through their store, but steam sells more volume, so its good for them in that front. But there is still no reason for the option to buy from the store... Everyone has access to the store if you have win8+ but not everyone has downloaded steam and setup an account.
  • and not everyone has win8+ or a microsoft account that you need for the win store, if you create a local win8 account;
  • They should ditch the windows store and integrate steam hellyeah!
  • Gabe hates W8, so never gonna happen. It works fine anyway, but it's not touch-friendly or metro
  • Valve is the worst company when it comes to customer support, but the game deals are too good to resist, so for now people deal with the shit support and Valve abuses.    
  • Well at least they seem to be trying to compensate for the stupid destruction of Ensemble Studios at their hands and the death of Age of Empires V.
    And if you're releasing an expansion, well I'm glad it's for the best of the AoE games. I'll be getting this. What's good may never die.
  • What happened to Aoe IV? Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • Nothing. That was the one I was referring to before the phone decided to sabotage my Roman numerals lol although if they hadn't ruined Ensemble, AoE V would have already come out too. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • 11. I see. But since they are still continuing to support AOE2 HD, there is a possibility for a sequel don't you think? Specially with the awesome work Forgotten Empires has done and is doing (they also worked on AOM for steam).
  • AOM is a bloody mess, as for AOE 2 HD even though they are still supporting it, it's far from perfect and the visuals are nowhere near HD, its simply ported to work on new OS's and HD screens. Still if Ensemble was still alive we would have had their vision of AOE IV and V already as depicted in the AOE3 collectors edition artbook. Microsoft fucked up royally by disbanding Ensemble.    
  • Dont care for stems drm polices. Long live gog
  • AOE CS is a joke
  • why? but.. but... i love it. :/
  • Well, he said it is a joke. Maybe you can laugh at it and love it.
  • True I was excited about it when announce as I loved the original PC games, but it's just some tacky Farmville clone for kids. At least there's more aoe ii on the way.
  • How about some audio voices in it too?!
  • The Forgotten campaing is a bit half-assed because they did not bother with voice overs or anything else that makesthe original campaigns so full. Hopefully they will fix that in any future DLC and have voice overs in it.  
  • What about the original aoe?
  • Better make it look like a worthy HD remake. No thanks, MS. Get your shit together and stop pretending to sympathize with PC gamers.
  • I am glad at least one person said the obvious. Microsoft did not even bother to remake the cinematics in HD, the tech trees and other UI elements are pixelated, there has been no improvement to any textures besides water and fire, etc. in other words all they did is make it run on modern OS's on HD screen resolutions.   Still its a good RTS, and great to play, but calling it HD is a lie.    
  • That's because the vast majority of us prefer it that way for the nostalgia factor.
  • Is this the new excuse after the "30fps and below 1080p with thick black borders for a cinematic effect" bullshit? If you want "nostalgia" then play the original. Take a look at Oddworld Inhabitants' Abe's Oddysee - New 'n' Tasty. That's how it should be done.
  • You all are right. Literally the day I posted this, I found myself searching for a 3d remake/mod of AoE 1. I still would play both the original and the remake, but you're right. I'd love an AoE 1/2 running on a better looking version of the engine for AoE 3. The destruction... I mean TACTICS :)
  • You prefer it the old way because MSFT never gave you the new way. If people would have got the improved graphics, I don't think the majority would have complained about it.
  • So poor graphics and shitty [graphically] HD remake are now good because of nostalgia, LOL. Look at now thats how an HD remake should be done, better textures, redone cinematics, enhanced audio, etc... AOE 2 HD is what a lazy developer with shoe string budget does to make an old game even playable on new systems, not to remake it in HD.  
  • Does it going to be on phone or Xbox , skybox.
  • PC Only.  
  • We need on xbox
  • How exactly do you want to play an RTS game with a controller? Casual gameplay would be close to impossible with a controller, competitive multiplayer gameplay without a keyboard and mouse is simply impossible for any RTS.    
  • It worked fine in Halo Wars.
  • Halo Wars is far from a true PC RTS game, and was designed from the ground up to be played with limited console controls, thats very different to porting an existing PC RTS game to a console, in other words not a feasable endevour.    
  • Command and Conquer across several platforms? N64, Playstation, Xbox 360. All ported from PC, all successful and quite well received.
  • Age of Empires II was one of the best RTS game ever. Played the hell out of it.
  • Castle Siege is an ABOMINATION
  • I know. I got so excited from the name only to discover it was a clash of clams rip off
  • yeah because clash of clans was the first one /s
  • It's a pretty entertaining abomination, though.
  • I purchased the forgotten expansión on my Iconia W510 and live this Gáme, You get 500 units instead than 200 and maps are much bigger
  • What I don't understand from the complainers above is that we all should be happy a LOT of things are improving pretty rapidly on ALL fronts, relax sit back enjoy what is coming. Rome was not build in one day. Still in love with my 1520 and I am sure better things are on the horizon. Be honest people, so many things are improved lately... Give them some slack....
  • All my life... I have been waiting
  • EVERYBODY if you enjoy Age of Empires, please also look at Cossacks on Steam, preferably Cossacks: European Wars, its pretty great, I've never really played AOE but Im def gnna get this!
  • Eagerly waiting for that......
  • Love this game
  • Love this game. However I always prefered the Total War series, would love it if they released that on windows phone. Especially the original Total War: Rome.
  • I'm so happy!!!!!! Proud AOE2 players for 13 years
  • Aoe is my favourite game of all time! Wish they would release aoe 4.
  • The game that keeps on giving.
  • I hate pay to win games
  • In that case you'll love AoE II because the game is from a time when there was none of that freemium and PtW bullsh*t that plagues us today ;) Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Best game ever
  • This game got multiplayer? Like CNC all?
  • Yup, has Multiplayer. However the Lobbybrowser is kinda ... well ... old.
    At least I found it hard getting into games that then actually get started, unless you are playing with friends :)
  • AoE FTW!
  • Best. RTS. Ever.
  • Waiting for this!!
  •     Still waiting on a 360/One version of this game.