Having just announced that it is to resurrect the Flight Simulator series, Microsoft has also confirmed a return for another classic PC IP – real time strategy series Age of Empires.
As the name suggests this new title in the series, called Age of Empires Online, will take the game online via a persistent “living, growing online world” that continues to develop even when players are not online.
It’s a Games for Windows Live title and will support free-to-play elements, though the nature of these remains unclear.
Sporting a more colourful, cartoony visual style than the historically accurate graphics and presentation that has typified the series over the years, the game looks like a radical departure from the series that was feared dead after the closure of its former developer Ensemble in 2008.
The Age of Empire franchise to date has sold in the region of 20m copies around the world.
The official website, which has details about signing up to the beta, can be found here.