Microsoft acquires Rise of Nations, will launch Extended Edition in June

Microsoft continues to re-release its classic PC RTS games in new editions. After publishing Age of Empires II HD in 2013 and Age of Mythology: Extended Edition in May, the company has announced it will release Rise of Nations: Extended Edition sometime in June via Steam.

Microsoft's PlayXBLA website confirms the company has acquired the rights to the Rise of Empires series. The RTS franchise, which allows players to expand their empire from ancient civilization to the modern day time period, was first created by Big Huge Games and published by Microsoft. However, the game's IP rights were still owned by Big Huge Games until earlier this year, when they were sold off as part of the bankruptcy auction of its parent company 38 Studios.

Microsoft's Rise of Nations: Extended Edition, adapted by Skybox Labs, will include the original game, released in 2003, and its expansion pack Thrones and Patriots. It will be getting some graphical upgrades such as improved water and textures. It will also get full Steamworks backing for multiplayer, achievements and more. Support for Twitch live gameplay streaming is also among the features for players to enjoy.

Pre-orders for Rise of Nations: Extended Edition are currently being taken on Steam for 20 percent off its $19.99 price. Microsoft has yet to give a specific date for the game's release.

Source: PlayXBLA and Steam | Image via Microsoft

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You know I've been looking for an RTS that I played years ago and this was it. Can't wait for this to be released. Pre-ordered

What are you talking about, besides spewing random anti-MS bile? Maybe you missed the part that described how the owners of this IP went bankrupt. There isn't a Rise of Nations franchise to speak of. Also, who's saying anything about consoles? What other RTS "franchises", as you put it, has Microsoft "forced on consoles"?

Microsoft took Ensemble Studios, makers of Age Of Empires, and forced them to release a console-only Halo RTS game. It was poorly received and the studio was axed. Rather than following up Age Of Empires 3 with a sequel it decided to release console versions (Nintendo DS) and a free-2-play version that fleeced gamers and has already been shutdown. Now it's talking about an Age Of Empires video series for Xbox and no new PC game has been announced.

Microsoft is the bane of PC gaming.

Ok, so your definition of "forcing" a whole franchise onto consoles is... 1 game, on 1 hand held gaming machine. Get over yourself.

Played quite a bit of this back in the day. Every so often I get in the mood to play a few rounds, really glad to see they're doing this.

Edited by Boxster17, May 31 2014, 11:13am :

Me and my flat mates start to play in the night 9pm till 3 to 4 am in the morning... this game makes me understand how countries like America(NATO) and Russia(USSR) behaves in the past and also how they behave today.

and they are using steam!!! I thought Mr. gabe said Microsoft wanted to kill steam?

Microsoft has released several old games on Steam, just because it's an easy way to exploit old franchises. Take Age Of Empires III for instance - the game is nearly a decade old and yet it's £30 on Steam, which is more than a lot of modern AAA games. Microsoft is just cashing in on nostalgia.

theyarecomingforyou said,
Microsoft has released several old games on Steam, just because it's an easy way to exploit old franchises. Take Age Of Empires III for instance - the game is nearly a decade old and yet it's £30 on Steam, which is more than a lot of modern AAA games. Microsoft is just cashing in on nostalgia.

Things are worth whatever people are willing to pay for them. The very fact that it's still £30 (assuming that fact is correct, I haven't checked) proves that people must still be buying it at that price. If it were getting no sales, I'm sure they would've reduced the price by now.

It just shows how out of touch Microsoft is with PC gamers. The sales on Steam and Humble Bundle have redefined consumer's expectations of value yet Microsoft keeps trying to fleece gamers. Frankly it's an insult, especially when taken with Microsoft's contempt for the PC as a gaming platform.

Yeah yeah, whatever. As I said, if they weren't selling at those prices, then they wouldn't be selling them at that price.

Competing platform? Microsoft has no competing games platform for Windows Desktop. GfW Marketplace was shut down a while ago, and Windows Store is just for Metro Apps.

Wow. I remember spending whole days playing this game. This year, I was missing it and wanted to play it again. But, since I got a Mac, I had to find a substitute. I've downloaded Civilization V, which is a good game in itself, but I highly miss the real-time gameplay from Rise of Nations. I hope that instead of just polishing it up and re-releasing it, they recreate the franchise and start releasing new games under the same title. I would buy all of them! :)

Awesome! This is probably my favorite RTS of all time. The old version still works fine, but I might pick it up just for the upgraded textures and ease of installation (and hopefully a return of some sort of multiplayer community).

One of my favorite games of the early 2000's. This is one game that got me through the stressful times right after 9/11(military).

This was always one of my favorite games and I still enjoy playing it to this day. With Steam cloud support, Steam multiplayer, updated textures and even achievements and trading cards it is a must buy at this price in my opinion. :)