Microsoft Studios announced last week that Age of Empires Online will no longer be receiving updates. The game’s “development phase” has concluded, as such there will be no new content sans that which has already been developed and slated for release.
AOEO Trajan posted on the Age of Empires Online blog, delivering the news and assuring players that the game itself is not in danger — it just will not be receiving anything new, ever again.
Nothing is changing for the existing game. You can still do all the things you do today; we’re not taking away anything you already have. There will be no new civilizations or features, that’s all.
Trajan continues, stating the reason as being fiscal instead of turmoil within the company:
Because creating top-tier content, as we have been for the last year and a half, is very expensive—too expensive to maintain for long, as it turns out. We can no longer afford to keep creating it. AOEO already has a very large amount of high-quality, hand-crafted entertainment, and adding more is no longer cost-effective.
There’s no doubt that this is bad news for players of the game, but the decision to cease updates is better than the studio having to close the game down because of production costs. As of now, Age of Empires Online is in its “support phase”. That’s better than nothing, right?