Bad news for those of you who couldn’t wait to get your hands on a remastered version of legendary RTS Age of Empires next week: you’re going to have to wait a bit longer. Age of Empires: Definitive Edition was due out on Thursday, October 19th, but it’s been pushed back until early 2018, with no specific date set.
Announcing the delay, the development team said they needed extra time to test the game’s various modes, and it sounds like they want to expand the scope of the reboot too.
“When we set out to re-release the original Age of Empires, we had many debates over the extent of restoration that we should undertake…it’s a classic and it deserves to be treated with careful reverence,” they said in a blog post. “At the same time, in a living, thriving genre, norms continually evolve, technology advances, and player expectations change. This is as true for RTS as for any other genre.
“How can we modernize the game while preserving the fun, discovery and magic of that first experience? To that end, rather than a final release of Age of Empires: Definitive Edition on October 19, we will instead be inviting thousands more players from the community into our closed beta between now and launch to allow for more in-depth testing across single player campaign, multiplayer balance, fine-tuning the lobby, etc.”
Hardly ideal. The closed beta sign-up is here—because this is a Microsoft Studios-published game you’ll need an Xbox Live account to take part. That also means the game won’t be releasing on Steam when it comes out, just the Windows Store.
This blog post on the Age of Empires site lists some of the ways that the Definitive Edition will expand on the original, including an attack move command, improved visuals, a more flexible camera and unit queuing. Despite the delay, I’m still excited.