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.
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.
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.
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