Microsoft hiring for leader of team that will revive 'well-loved strategy game franchise'

Age of Empires Online was a failed attempt to revive the well known RTS series.

Even though Microsoft Studios laid off a small number of employees a few weeks ago, the game development division of the company is apparently ramping up to create a team that will help launch what it calls "a new AAA title within an established and well-loved strategy game franchise."

The Microsoft Careers website recently posted the listing that is looking for a "highly experienced senior games developer" that will help hire and lead the team for the new game. From the description, this sounds like this is going to be an all new team based in Redmond, rather than Microsoft Studios asking a third party developer to create the game.

Of course, the speculation about which "established and well-loved strategy game franchise" Microsoft is referring to has begun. The obvious choice is Age of Empires, which Microsoft tried to revive previously as a free to play game, Age of Empires Online, that ultimately was not successful. Microsoft has since re-released Age of Empires II with new content and graphical updates on Steam. This week, the company will launch a revamped version of a spin-off title, Age of Mythology.

Source: Microsoft via CVG | Image via Microsoft

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In my dreams, it would be Total Annihilation.

Clayton Kauzlaric did end up working for MS at some point after Cavedog shut down, years and years ago. I would happily play a 201X version of that game for many, many more hours.

(unlikely that MS owns the rights to the title, though)

I actually really enjoyed Age of Empires Online, it was a fun enough game. When they dropped the price of the "Buy everything" pack to £9.99, I happily paid it and so did a bunch of my friends. I think they just got their ratio's a bit wrong.

Unless of course they bought well loved strategy franchise from another company which has utterly failed with it, like Command & Conquer for example. Though I admit, Age of Empires does sound more likely.

Halo Wars, hell yeah!!! Seriously, Halo Wars was pretty good considering the console controls and it doesn't get enough credit. At a minimum I hope they touch on the story of it in Halo 5 or 6. It might be Kinect 2.0's killer app!!! lol

macrosslover said,
Halo Wars, hell yeah!!! Seriously, Halo Wars was pretty good considering the console controls and it doesn't get enough credit. At a minimum I hope they touch on the story of it in Halo 5 or 6. It might be Kinect 2.0's killer app!!! lol

It really wasn't a well loved strategy game franchise ;). As far as strategy games go, it was pretty lame. As far as games go, it was ok!

macrosslover said,
Halo Wars, hell yeah!!! Seriously, Halo Wars was pretty good considering the console controls and it doesn't get enough credit. At a minimum I hope they touch on the story of it in Halo 5 or 6. It might be Kinect 2.0's killer app!!! lol

You know, Halo was never really a good shooter by any means on the PC. The story is terrible, the gameplay is terrible and the graphics are terrible. At it's release, certainly on the xbox at the time, it was pretty ground breaking, providing a FPS game that was actually playable to the point people enjoyed it.. at least for console gamers grappling with gamepad controls.

Until Microsoft decide that console gamers can, if they want, use a keyboard and mouse, we're only going to get crappy control pad ports with crappy FOV etc on the PC.

Their revived well loved titles are just going to be the ones they can spin for the most cash quickly, as always with Microsoft of recent, the end user isn't going to have a choice in the matter and the PC user is, more so PC gamer, as seen by them is 'dead'.

I really don't expect to see anything great other then a rehash of something that made them money once up on a time. Hopefully they'll embrace steam for their DRM rather then making it Win8.x store download only or even using some other strange 3rd party DRM.

sagum said,
You know, Halo was never really a good shooter by any means on the PC. The story is terrible, the gameplay is terrible and the graphics are terrible. At it's release, certainly on the xbox at the time, it was pretty ground breaking, providing a FPS game that was actually playable to the point people enjoyed it.. at least for console gamers grappling with gamepad controls.
Halo 1 and 2 had one of the best story lines in a FPS. Particularly when paired with the books, they are one of the few games that I actually pay attention during cut scenes to try and understand what I am doing in the story.

After all, I cannot name one other game that actually interested me enough into reading an associated book series due to its existing story. If you read those books, then you will get hooked; I have read every book with the temporary exception of the one most recently released due only to other books being in my queue. The Forerunner series was very interesting in particular (although I feel like the first two books were cut short).

Clearly this is a personal taste kind of thing, but your dislike of Microsoft appears to be casting a much wider net than is deserved.

I'll just quote myself:

How many iterations would they have to go through to do something that is worth keeping / using? Other than being great at system-level and API-level goodies, I don't expect MS to bother with gaming on Windows for a very, very long time.

Even their own IPs have been #### upon by third party developers. The newer versions of Windows's classic games were developed by an external studio, they crash, they fart, they lose your data, they... I'll stop myself here. :)

They #### upon most of their IPs by offloading the dev processes to external crappy studios that did nothing but release mockeries of the previous releases, and sold the rest to random publishers just to lift up their lower end a bit, because making 5+ billion profit in 3 months looks bad, and making 5+ billion and 10 thousand looks good.

To add to that, unless it is StarCraft 2-like quality wise, then they're better off just not releasing anything at all.

It could ALSO be "Rise of Nations" (or the spinoff "Rise of Legends") - both were RTS titles (with the latter playable on XP or Vista) - or did we forget about those, since Microsoft was only the publisher (both were developed by Big Huge Games).

PGHammer said,
It could ALSO be "Rise of Nations" (or the spinoff "Rise of Legends") - both were RTS titles (with the latter playable on XP or Vista) - or did we forget about those, since Microsoft was only the publisher (both were developed by Big Huge Games).

They already sold the rights for that franchise. Must have felt nice to make 10k $ for that.