A new team is being formed by Microsoft Studios to work on a new installment for a “beloved strategy game franchise”, and it is raising many questions across the web. Is it a new Age of Empires? Is Halo Wars coming back? The cryptic job posting has spawned both belief and hope for both, but which could it more likely be?
The mysterious job post was first discovered by steverulez.co.uk, and it claims that Decisive Games, Microsoft’s strategy game development team, will split into another team that will bring the “next installment in a beloved strategy game franchise to the next generation of gamers.”
The entire posting reads:
“The Decisive Games team is focused on world class strategy game development, and is building a studio that will bring the next installment in a beloved strategy game franchise to the next generation of gamers around the world. This is a highly-collaborative, agile team, with a play-centric approach to game development.” — Decisive Games
Speculations are being tossed around over the two most obvious choices, Age of Empires and Halo Wars. There are good reasons to believe either one of these games may be returning. The free-to-play title Age Of Empires Online started back in August 2011, but it was canceled and shut down in July last year. Age Of Empires III was the last retail entry in the series by Ensemble Studios back in 2005.
Microsoft closed down Ensemble Studios in 2009 after the release of Halo Wars, which seems like it could be making a return given how long ago the game’s release was. The reception to Halo Wars was rather mixed, though, and it seems unlikely to make a return due to its reviews. On the other hand, Halo remains a staple in Microsoft’s fan-base and Halo 5: Guardians is coming up in the new year.
Whether or not the new installment is going to be exclusive to consoles has yet to be announced, so it is assumed that it will be on both console and PC, favoring the belief that Age of Empires IV may be on its way as Halo Wars was exclusively for Xbox 360. The Age of Empires series has always been fairly well received, which means it could sell more and benefit Microsoft, who is stuck in a period of low sales. The use of the word “series” implies more than one game has existed beforehand too, while Halo Wars has only received one game.
For now, only speculations can be passed around, but it would be grand to see a new entry for either game. Perhaps E3 this year will finally let us know what Decisive’s new team is up to.
What are you hoping for? Age of Empires IV or Halo Wars 2? Let us know in the comments below!