Tencent is teaming up with Xbox Game Studios to create a brand new Age of Empires mobile game. At present, the game is only planned for a Chinese release, but there's a decent chance that if it does well, it could end up being localized for the West.
What do we know about the new Tencent Age of Empires mobile game?
This news comes to us via Asia gaming analyst Daniel Ahmad on Twitter. Ahmad says the title for the game will be Return to Empire. It'll be a collaboration between Tencent's in-house TiMi studio, Xbox Game Studios, and World's Edge, a studio created to oversee the Age of Empires intellectual property. We don't have a concrete release date for Return to Empire yet; it's likely the game's name would change if it were localized for the West, too.
As Ahmad points out, this new Age of Empires mobile title is the first product of a collaboration between Tencent and Microsoft announced back in May 2021. If you know TiMi Studios' name, it's probably from mobile games like Pokemon Unite, Call of Duty Mobile, and Honor of Kings, the latter of which was released in the West as Arena of Valor, albeit with some minor changes.
When will we know more about this Age of Empires mobile title?
Right now, Return to Empire isn't scheduled for a release outside of China. According to Ahmad, it'll "[retain] the core RTS gameplay" of Age of Empires and will offer the chance to choose from various Eastern and Western empires. Ahmad says there's a gameplay demo on the way tomorrow, although again, it'll only be accessible on Chinese mobile platforms and won't be coming to Western devices.
We'll have to wait and see if Return to Empire gets any kind of Western localization, but one thing's for sure: this marks another step in Microsoft once again putting the Age of Empires IP front and center. Age of Empires 4 is on the way later this year, and Microsoft is still adding new content to Definitive Edition versions of both Age of Empires 2 and Age of Empires 3. It's clear that the long-running real-time strategy series is a big part of Microsoft's world going forward, and that it's a cornerstone of the Xbox giant's entry into the Chinese market. We'll bring you more on the new Tencent mobile title as soon as we get it.
Are you excited for more Age of Empires? Which is your favorite game in the series? Let us know in the comments below!