Microsoft licenses Age of Empires franchise for iOS and Android
Microsoft has been pushing a few of its gaming franchises to mobile devices and now it has licensed one of its most famous franchises for iOS and Android platforms. An Age of Empires game will be developed for the aforementioned platforms, along with its Windows Phone version.
Back in 2011, Microsoft released Kinectimals for iOS and it was released for Android last year. Later, Microsoft Studio along with Twisted Pixel also released Ms. Splosion Man for iOS. The company has announced that the new Age of Empires game will be developed by Japanese developer KLab and it will be released globally. This game is said to have a mobile social component which is something KLab is pretty good at achieving.
KLab has plans to license various titles from Microsoft’s PC and console library and port them to mobile version. Japan’s Nikkei newspaper reports speculations that such a deal may pressure Sony and Nintendo to do the same with their titles.
Android and iOS are key competitors to Windows Phone mobile operating system, which currently shares just 3 percent of the U.S. subscriber base, as reported by data firm ComScore. However, with Klab working being involved in the development and Microsoft’s own arsenal of gaming titles it is not a surprise that these titles will be pushed to such popular platforms.
The Nikkei further reports that Age of Empires mobile version will be released by March 2014 as a ‘freemium’ game. This means the game will be available as a free download but users will be charged for additional in-game items and services.
Microsoft’s Age of Empires series includes seven games and three spin-off titles, and has sold 22 million titles globally. Various versions have been in development for 15 years, KLab said.