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RTS classic Rise of Nations coming to the Windows Store with Steam cross-play (Update)

Microsoft has announced that Rise of Nations is coming to the Windows Store on September 14. Perhaps even better, Microsoft says that this release will be cross-play compatible with the Steam release of the game, meaning there won't be any barriers to consider when deciding where to buy the game.

Update August 18, 2017: We caught up with Microsoft to inquire about the nature of the cross-play features, given the fact games like Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and more lack cross-play between Windows 10 Store and Steam, effectively murdering the player base on the Windows platform version. A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed that they worked with Steam itself to enable cross-play between both networks, indicating the end of a huge barrier to the Windows 10 Store's viability as a PC distribution method: "The "Rise of Nations" team worked with teams from Steam and Xbox Live to ensure cross-play capabilities will be available for fans." This bodes incredibly well for the future of the Universal Windows Platform, at least where multiplayer games are concerned, since they'll potentially no longer suffer empty servers as the majority of PC gamers opt for Steam.

Original article:

From Microsoft (opens in new tab):

At Xbox, we support creating moments that connect gamers with their friends in new and innovative ways. In support of this, today, I am proud to announce that the historic RTS hit Rise of Nations: Extended Edition is coming to Windows Store on September 14th, with the unique cross-network play feature that enables fans to challenge up to eight players online with Windows 10, across Xbox Live and Steam.

Though Rise of Nations isn't a brand-new triple-A title, cross-play between the Steam and Windows Store versions of the game is a pretty big deal. Recent releases, such as Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, have illustrated the annoyances that arise when a game is released on a single platform (PC), but with barriers separating multiplayer communities depending on the choice of storefront.

Rise of Nations

When Rise of Nations: Extended Edition arrives on the Windows Store in September, it will pack the game's full lineup of 24 nations, allowing you to control one on its journey through 6,000 years of history. The expansion, Thrones and Patriots, will also be included. Xbox Live integration is here, including achievements and cloud saves, as well.

Upon launch, Microsoft says the game will be available for $4.99 for a limited time. After the initial sale, Rise of Nations will boost up to its regular price of $19.99. For now, you can wait for the Windows Store version to hit on September 14, or pick up Rise of Nations now on Steam.

See at Steam

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

7 Comments
  • A good news! More games coming to the store is a very good move
  • Indeed it is, especially with Steam Cross-play. But MS should have done something similar to GOG connect for existing owners.
  • That's going to be a must-buy at $4.99. One of my favorite games of all time.
  • Not for people who already paid full retail for original disc version and then again full price for digital Steam version; how many times should we pay for the same damn thing because of greedy publishers? MS should have done what GOG Connect does, on their Win10Store. That way their would bring people into the Win10Store eco system with a starting library of games they already own on Steam; since GOG.com did it and established my DRM free library there I have spent more $$$ on GOG then on Steam; MS could benefit from the same long term thinking, but I guess they would rather have short term little gain of $5 by fleecing existing owners then establish a loyal gamer base for the dead Win10Store.  
  • For $5 I'll bite.
  • Great news that cross-play is a thing for Microsoft finally, hopefully Halo Wars 2 goes to Steam with same cross-play that way I could play the dead Win10Store version again. As for $5 MS can keep their Win10 version, I already paid full retail at launch of the disc version and then again full price for Steam version, not giving MS another cent; they should have done the same thing GOG does with GOG Connect and give a free copy to owners of the Steam version, that way they could at least hope to migrate some fan base back to their own platform from Steam, but instead they choose to be greedy again and charge long time fans a third time, disgusting. If small indie devs can give Free DRM-free copy to existing Steam owners on GOG why can't Microsoft on their dying Win10Store do the same? People should not be asked to pay endless times for the same damn thing just because of DRM changes.  
  • if you own it on Steam, why are you complaining about the WIn10 version? You can continue to play on Steam and have cross play with WIn10 anyways