Microsoft bringing 'Age of Empires' to iPhone, Android devices [Update]


Microsoft's "Age of Empires Online" could be coming to the iPhone and other smartphone platforms.

Microsoft will reportedly bring Xbox and PC games to Apple's iPhone, devices using Google's Android operating system and "other smartphone platforms" later this fiscal year through a partnership with a third-party developer, though the scope of the agreement has yet to be revealed.

According to a report by Reuters, Japanese developer Klab will bring the games to Apple's smartphone as well as Google's Android operating system. Reuters cites The Nikkei, a Tokyo stock market outlet, as the source of the news. Microsoft has yet to announce "Age of Empires" for its Windows Phone, Windows RT or Windows 8 operating systems, and the report doesn't indicate whether the game could eventually come to those platforms.

The Reuters report indicates "Age of Empires" will be one of the titles available, and it will come as a free-to-play game before the end of the current fiscal year. The report doesn't specify if the port will be of "Age of Empires Online" or a remake of the original game, though the former is a free-to-play game on PC. Other titles would follow the "Age of Empires" release, likely meaning it would be the first title launched as part of the deal. 

Neowin has contacted Microsoft to verify the report's authenticity; this article will be updated if a response is received.

Update: A Microsoft spokesman issued the following statement to Neowin confirming "Age of Empires" will be coming to both iOS and Android devices, and a Windows Phone version will be released in the future:

Today, KLab Inc. announced a licensing agreement with Microsoft Corp. to develop a mobile version of Microsoft Studio’s “Age of Empires” franchise, which will be initially developed in English for iOS and Android and launched globally, with plans to release the game in other languages and on Windows Phone in the future. Some reports included incorrect information about additional Xbox Live-based games on iOS and Android but there are no further announcements beyond “Age of Empires” at this time.

Source: Reuters via Techmeme | Image via Microsoft

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I got excited when I saw "Microsoft bringing 'Age of Em..." thinking that maybe they've finally decided to do a reboot of the series....someday.

artistandalias said,
Microsoft, my Windows Phone is just trash, you prove it again and again...
why? so you are just there for the apps and games? in total wp is the superior system with just less apps in the market - not a reason to trash a system

Edited by ~Johnny, Jun 25 2013, 12:13pm :

artistandalias said,
Oh really? How is it superior in playing AOE?

I didn't realize that's how we decided the overall superiority of an operating system

No but heck what else is there on WP? The OS offers little to no customization and the square interface is already feeling too popular and stupid...

efjay said,
How can WP be superior when it has less functionality than other platforms?

The experience is more important than a feature checklist. Though experience is subjective, there are many people who can quite easily prefer Window Phone to everything else out there for perfectly valid and irrefutable reasons.

I must confess that I'm a real hardcore MS fanboy.
And I love the "WP experience" you are talking about.
But I want to play Age of Empires!! And I want this ****ty Skype video feature.
I own a Venue Pro and now a Lumia 920, which cost about 1.200 €.
Is it too much to ask for to get Microsoft-owned software like AOE and Skype on Windows Phone? YES, apparently it is. So my comment lasts:
"Microsoft, my Windows Phone is just trash, you prove it again and again..." ...

Amazing news, i loved this game... looking forward to hammering this on my iPad.

Hopefully we'll see a trend of class Microsoft Studios games hit iOS as i'd love to play Motocross Madness again... the graphics and gameplay was amazing for it's time.

That's right. iOS first, Android second and WP last. And how will they make it touch friendly? AOE requires lots of right clicks and has tiny elements.

Speaking of Age of Empires, I wish Microsoft would bring back an updated PC version. One that could take advantage of my GTX 780 would be awesome.

You can get AoE HD on Steam?

But really, AoE of any variety isn't going to stretch that sort of hardware.

JHBrown said,
Speaking of Age of Empires, I wish Microsoft would bring back an updated PC version. One that could take advantage of my GTX 780 would be awesome.

I can't think of one aspect of AOE that would take advantage of even a GeForce 5 card.

I don't think anyone should feel "loyal" to Microsoft. Several times now they have put competitors platforms before their own and when you add to that the fact that Windows Phone has fewer apps and less functionality no one should think twice about dumping it. When it comes down to it, its the functionality you get that matters most, holding on to a platform as immature and seemingly as unimportant as Windows Phone doesn't make sense.

And the sooner the platform dies the better so all this angst over Microsoft not supporting their own platform will end.

what about WP ? windows phone should be a top priority if they are going to keep this slow development and letting ios / android get apps features first they're going to lose their own loyal customers

subcld said,
what about WP ? windows phone should be a top priority if they are going to keep this slow development and letting ios / android get apps features first they're going to lose their own loyal customers

It's pathetic really.. you would never see Apple or Google do this no matter what the financial loss, if they started releasing these types of classics exclusive to WP then they could gain an edge, they obviously don't see themselves as a serious gaming platform, especially since they are willing to give $100,000 to app developers who bring apps to their platform, yet bypass something as important as this, not specifically this game, but the message that follows..

Microsoft doesn't generally comment on rumors, so I doubt we'll hear anything until they're ready to announce (or not). I'd imagine the internal game studios would really like to address the overall market as best they can - staying exclusive is sort of painful since WP and W8/RT are so small, market share wise, yet they probably still have to justify themselves financially.

Really, a timed exclusive is "good enough." What they need to do is get folks tied into Live, and easy to migrate. Bought the game on iOS? Have it waiting and ready on WP instead of double dipping. These games can make good "gateway" products, IMO.

I'd personally think they'd do well to bring the original Halo to mobile, but be sure to use it to promote he newer games, a hook for Live, etc.

"According to a report by Reuters, Japanese developer Klab will bring the games to Apple's smartphone by "using" Google's Android operating system." WHAT?

Anthony Tosie said,
Yeah, it's hard to understand what they mean -- if it's being virtualized or what.

Why would apple allow virtualization, they are really uptight about that sort of thing. No apps are allowed on the play store that are able to execute code that was not part of the app to begin with. I think virtualization could potentially break that rule

XerXis said,

Why would apple allow virtualization, they are really uptight about that sort of thing. No apps are allowed on the play store that are able to execute code that was not part of the app to begin with. I think virtualization could potentially break that rule


A wrapper would still be contained within the general code -- not sure if that would skirt any rules or not, which is why we contacted Microsoft for clarification.

SierraSonic said,
Where are the xbox games for pc? Or windows phone?

On the windows phone the XBOX branded games, are games that have achivements.
http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/xbox-games

For the PC, 'Games for windows live' are now xbox branded... yes oh yes the joy...
and of course the windows 8 'apps' games that are xbox branded... not many..

but you get a few cross platform titles,, PAC-MAN CE DX on the windows phone, and XBOX console... of course you have to pay twice... even on the same account.
Same goes for ilomilo.. not really checked the Windows 8 app games that are branded XBOX titles.

So android has the winning formula from what I'm seeing. Buy a game once, it works across your phone, tablet, and ChromeOS machine...

Either MS needs to link purchases in all their marketplaces, or they are going to lose a lot of business in the future as more people find out they are being ripped off in this fashion. This is sad as I would love to buy halo 5, play it on my friends xbone, while i can play it on my pc, and watch games on my phone.

I'm tired of having one massive ecosystem behind everything... that isn't connected to itself.

SierraSonic said,
So android has the winning formula from what I'm seeing. Buy a game once, it works across your phone, tablet, and ChromeOS machine...

Either MS needs to link purchases in all their marketplaces, or they are going to lose a lot of business in the future as more people find out they are being ripped off in this fashion. This is sad as I would love to buy halo 5, play it on my friends xbone, while i can play it on my pc, and watch games on my phone.

I'm tired of having one massive ecosystem behind everything... that isn't connected to itself.

Android or iOS, yes.

I was expecting Microsoft to make it one purchase over their entire eco system, if they did then I wouldn't even mind paying the overly expensive prices Microsoft wants us to pay right now vs our Android/iOS friends..
Lets have a look at the prices, keep in mind Windows Phone app is for the windows Phone alone (fair enough since there isn't a windows 8 app version, yet)

Plants vs Zombies
WP http://www.windowsphone.com/en...a47e-e011-986b-78e7d1fa76f8 $4.99
Android, https://play.google.com/store/...tails?id=com.popcap.pvz_row $0.99
iOS, https://itunes.apple.com/us/ap...s.-zombies/id350642635?mt=8 $0.99

But wait.. there is a XBOX 360 arcade version.. maybe Microsoft and pop cap give you the Windows Phone version free for spening 1200 MS points on the game? Nope. If you want that all intergrated gaming experiance you're going to have to pay for it.. oh never mind, the games don't even sync, let alone share the same acheivements...

As for playing PC vs XBOX.. that'll never happen, Microsoft wants to keep the console away from the PC gamers because joypads, however good the gamer is with aim assist enabled, simply can not rivel a keyboard and mouse gamer.
Now, if Microsoft mandated keyboard and mouse support for all xbox one games.. that'd be a different matter. Not only would PC gamers get decent ports with controls that worked, but xbox owners could also play with a mouse setup... and I'd probably buy one too.. (yeah, i know right..)

SierraSonic said,
So android has the winning formula from what I'm seeing. Buy a game once, it works across your phone, tablet, and ChromeOS machine...

Either MS needs to link purchases in all their marketplaces, or they are going to lose a lot of business in the future as more people find out they are being ripped off in this fashion. This is sad as I would love to buy halo 5, play it on my friends xbone, while i can play it on my pc, and watch games on my phone.

I'm tired of having one massive ecosystem behind everything... that isn't connected to itself.

I really think that DOJ destroyed MS and MS will never heal from that unless a new, younger CEO is put in place. Bundling was their downfall but somehow, at a time when the biggest monopoly of them all is doing it, MS can't seem to remember how to do it themselves..! Phew....!

Anyway, Microsoft apparently is good at listening: http://youtu.be/_ycEbeto_8k

matt4444 said,
They better not give them features such as achievements. Focus on your own platform instead of iOS.

They already do! You can get Xbox achievements on the iOS version of Wordament.

Nazmus Shakib Khandaker said,

They already do! You can get Xbox achievements on the iOS version of Wordament.

That really takes the biscuit.

why because more people get to play and share a game across different devices, dont be so dramatic about things like this. This just makes playing these games more enjoyable and more people to play with.

bguy_1986 said,
I'm going to be irate if windows phone gets the shaft again!

Was thinking the same thing, but honestly whats the reason to stick with windows phone? even skype is pretty much all but abandoned.

Don't get me wrong, I love my windows phone and probably won't change but I hate having to pay for games and apps multiple times with Microsoft's eco system and ... i don't really get much of a choice, what choices I do get are poorly supported.. even by Microsoft.

When Microsoft killed off messenger client, one of the big selling points for the messages hub on windows phone died along with it. I don't see why we couldn't get at least message to skype function replaced there... strange.

I'm hoping that they are building Skype directly into the phone and that's why it's taking so long... That better be the case!

Why are you paying for games and apps multiple times?

bguy_1986 said,

Why are you paying for games and apps multiple times?

Because that's what you do on Microsoft's eco system...
If you wanted ilomilo; you buy it on xbox 360 for 400MS points, then if you want it on your Windows 8 PC as a app you pay another £3.49 and then if you want it on your windows phone as well that's another £3.99... of course all on the same Microsoft account. I feels

To be fair to microsoft, they did change the name of the game to 'ilomilo plus' on windows 8.. shame the game is the same though.

sagum said,

Because that's what you do on Microsoft's eco system...

Well Bill has to make richest man again next year, how will he do it if you don't pay up?

bguy_1986 said,
I'm hoping that they are building Skype directly into the phone and that's why it's taking so long... That better be the case!

You are probably right. In fact, the NSA probably mandates it that MSFT integrate skype deep within the OS so they can start spying at whim, just like the Kinect.

a company has licenced one game from ms to put on ios and android and windows phone users go crazy, settle down and enjoy your beautiful phones and don't worry about things like this, im a windows phone user and couldn't give a crap about this announcement

bguy_1986 said,
I'm going to be irate if windows phone gets the shaft again!

I am going to be irate if this game does not have generous amounts of in app purchases. No matter how much they put IAP, it's never enough. Can't wait to spend money.