Age of Empires 4 release date information
A basic small village from Age of Empires 3
Release date overview
Age of Empires 4 is one of the most anticipated games for any strategy game fan, which makes this release date that much more depressing.
The truth is that Microsoft currently has no known intention of making an Age of Empires 4, they might someday in the future for the Xbox One, but Microsoft is secretive and nobody knows right now. If they were to release the game, don't expect it to be anywhere sooner than 2014 through 2016, and even then, chances are it won't be developed.
After the collapse of Ensemble Studios in 2009, Activision offered to buy the Age of Empires series from Microsoft so that they could be the ones to make Age of Empires 4; unfortunately, Microsoft refused to give up the rights to make Age of Empires 4, which might mean they intend to continue the series in the future. On the other hand it might be because they want to die, nobody knows at this point.
Two Armies fighting on Age of Empires 3
About the collapse of Ensemble Studios
Ensemble Studios started out back in 1995 as an independent developer and in 1997 they came out with their hit game: Age of Empires. Their initial success paid for the development of not only a sequel but a resale of the company to Microsoft in 2001. After the acquisition, Ensemble Studios went on to make a spin off of Age of Empires called Age of Mythology, which was also quite popular.
Ensemble went on to make a third Age of Empires game, along with two full expansions. After which they were called upon by Microsoft to make a real time strategy game, Halo Wars, which was/is one of the most popular console-based RTS games out there.
Ensemble Studios was in the works of a Halo MMO, believe it or not, which would have been very interesting to say the least. Unfortunately for them Microsoft dissolved the company 2009 and cancelled all of Ensemble's works in progress, including the Halo MMO: Titan.
There are lots of rumors out there about why the company was dissolved. Some of the best ones would probably be either over-staffing or cost cutting out, probably because of increased competition from apple. Not very many people actually know the reason for the destruction of Ensemble Studios, but one thing that should be known is that while profitable, RTS games don't really make as much money as people think, it's sort of a niche market in a sense.
An army destroying a village in Age of Empires 3
The unknown fate of the Age of Empires 4 release date
Ensemble Studios had quite a reputation as a grade A game developer, which is why people were so confused as to why it was disbanded by Microsoft. Well the truth is that nobody really knows whether or not there will be a release date for Age of Empires 4. As of right now there are only faint rumors on forums here and there. People speculate as to whether or not Microsoft has any serious intentions of making Age of Empires 4, most people think they're satisfied with their Age of Empires MMO, which has received mixed reviews.
If you're an optimist then the realistic release date would probably fall somewhere between 2014 and 2016, and if it doesn't happen by then, then it would be hard to expect an Age of Empires 4 from Microsoft anytime in the rest of this decade.
If you're a pessimist then the official Age of Empires 4 release date is a forgotten name, someday to be erased from history through the slow passage of time, it all just depends on your point of view.
***If Microsoft or anyone else ever does start developing Age of Empires 4 this page will be updated to reflect those new updates***