Age of Empires 4 Microtransactions: No Diplomacy Options Here
Age of Empires 4 will not have microtransactions, according to the game's Creative Director Adam Isgreen. Instead, the upcoming RTS will have expansions and DLC. Echoing Isgreen's words, such a model makes perfect sense for a strategy game.
Last week, Age of Empires 4 gameplay was finally revealed at Microsoft's X019 event. Speaking with PCGamesN, Isgreen said that Microsoft would forego microtransactions and loot boxes in favor of a more traditional expansion model. Of the decision, he said:
The idea of microtransactions in a real-time strategy game isn't a thing. DLC, expansions — all of that is things that we're going to be exploring for Age 4.
For strategy fans, such a stance comes as little surprise. Outside of some mobile titles that are tangentially related to big strategy franchises, I haven't seen an RTS that employs honest-to-goodness loot boxes or micros. And there's no reason to believe that Age 4 would buck that trend.
Regardless, with the conversation around microtransactions in gaming perennially swirling like a horde of angry English pikemen, it's nice to know Microsoft and Relic are taking this stance.
Isgreen further solidified the expansion and DLC route by saying that the team will continue to work with the community to develop new content ideas:
While we definitely already have ideas in terms of where we want to go past Age 4, in terms of expansions and stuff, a lot of that is going to be driven by the community and the players, where they want to see the game going.
As of this writing, not much is known about Age of Empires 4. We know that it is currently being developed by Relic Entertainment, that it is set in the Medieval period, and that the English and the Mongols feature as two of the game's civilizations.
Isgreen also told PCGamesN that the development team has introduced new mechanics to AoE 4, specifically in regards to civilizations, ages, and resources. He also emphasized that the game's combat and various play modes have also been tweaked from previous entries.