Age of Empires Online
has already been confirmed as being available both online and at retail outlets. The main game will be a free-to-play model which will offer more than 40 hours of gameplay. However, those wishing to extend their playing experience will want to purchase Premium Content Packs, Pro Civilization packs, Booster Packs and/or Empire Extras. Details of the pricing plans began to emerge before the chaos of E3, but it is only now that we can bring you full details of the retail product and the features that players can expect from the free-to-play model.
The free game will include these features:
• The greatest ancient civilizations, including Greeks and Egyptians.
• Constantly new and evolving content, including new civilizations regularly!
• Quest, battle, co-op, chat and trade with other players - all free!
• Participate in Player vs. Player games.
• Build and show-off your own custom Capital City.
• Enjoy historical settings with gorgeous visuals and a cool new art style.
• Level up through the entire game, more than 40 hours of free gameplay!
Premium Civilization Packs will cost $19.99 / £14.99; we previously revealed the additional features
that will be available once you upgrade to one of these packs. There will be packs available for both the Greeks and the Egyptians on the day of launch. Those players who are planning to buy the game at retail outlets will receive the "Greek Starter Pack" and a couple of extra material bonuses. The box will include:
• The Premium Greek Civilization which unlocks the power of Rare and Epic items, Advisors to enhance your civilization, the Player vs. Player Arena, awesome Technologies, and much more!
• Windy's Wild Widgets Store to give your civilization an edge with the ability to buy and sell special items (available exclusively in retail)
• Hotkey quick reference card.
• Limited-edition poster and Advisor cards.
• Instructions to download the free-to-play experience.
The Pro-Civilization Packs will also cost $19.99 / £14.99. Although these won't be available at launch, they offer all of the benefits of a Premium Civilization Pack, but players can jump straight into the action with a starting level of 20.
The Booster Packs will cost $9.99 / TBC. These expand your play options, usually by adding new storylines or new game modes. We had already revealed that the first booster pack will be the "Defense of Crete" Booster Pack
, and it will be available for purchase at launch.
Finally, the Empire Extras will cost $4.99 / TBC. These are new items and "historically themed architectural pieces" that players can use to customize their city. There are four Extras that will be available at launch:
• "Bountiful Bushes" - Beautiful Egyptian themed shrubbery (available for the Egyptians)
• "Ornate Ornaments" - Amazing Egyptian themed statues and decorations (available for the Egyptians)
• "Glorious Gardening" - Greek themed bushes and gardens (available for the Greeks)
• "Startling Statuary" - Greek themed statues (available for the Greeks)
Microsoft has confirmed that two more Civilizations and one more Booster Pack will also be coming soon.Age of Empires Online
is due to begin on August 16th, 2011.