aoeAccording to a report from Japanese news outlet the Nikkei, by way of Reuters and MacRumors, Microsoft is gearing up to release some of their classic gaming franchises on iOS and Android devices. This initiative will begin this year and it is said that the first title to grace our touchscreens will be the historical real-time strategy epic Age of Empires.

There appears to be no confirmation from Microsoft on this development just yet, but it makes a whole lot of sense. Microsoft is already no stranger to the App Store in terms of gaming, with big IPs such as Kinectimals [$2.99 / Free], Tentacle: Enter the Dolphin [$0.99], and Ms. Splosion Man [$2.99] all gracing the platform already. Also, with the success of bringing classic franchises to tablets and smartphones like Star Wars: KOTOR [$9.99] and the sadly in limbo Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition it definitely shows that people are interested in experiencing some of their past favorites on today's mobile devices.

Here's the rub, though: according to the Reuter's report the mobile iteration of Age of Empires will be free-to-play. Details such as whether they simply mean a free trial with option to buy the full game or a full-blown IAP fest remain unclear, but if you can suddenly pay real money to bypass cool-down timers in an RTS that could really make things screwy. At any rate, this is big news so we'll keep an eye out for more details on Age of Empires or other Microsoft games heading to iOS later this year.

[Reuters via MacRumors]

  • D-Vader

    Never owned Age of Empires myself, but played it at a friend's house, and I loved it (understatement). If Microsoft can pull this off right, and not screw it up with crappy Freemium stuff, it may destroy any last remains of a social life that I may or may not have.

  • saltysick

    Awesome sauce! AOE on iOS equals amazing. Can't wait.

    • saltysick

      I vote for the option to purchase the game with no IAP. 2KGames/Fireaxis got it right on X-COM. Would like to see more developers not give in to the IAP model on games like this. IAP works on games like Candy Crush. Real gamers aren't afraid to spend the money for a good game.

      • Maszej Raval

        Yea but how many real gamers exist on ios or dont feel threatened by the platform like ifn and gamefaqs users are? How many od them actually play games on the iPad if they also own a vita?

      • saltysick

        Good point, but I think we are likely to see those numbers grow with iOS 7 and the advent of the rumored "controller" for iPhone/iPad. Obviously, it is difficult to outdo PC/XBOX/PS when it comes to pure gaming, but I think there are many like me who would like a solid "console quality" game on a device like iPad/iPhone for when they are on the go. Now, if apple finally makes a larger screen iPhone like the rest of the world then they just might be onto something.

      • DBrown519

        Amen bro!

      • Greyskull

        I'd prefer PC quality myself; and TBS strategy, tactics, and indie (FTL plz?) PC games are more in line with an ipad/iphone's capabilities anyway.

  • Aventador

    In article there is a mention of old X-box games being ported to iOS which is amazing; if Microsoft indeed does provide license and push forward development of popular X-box games ports we will have shower of golden classics raining upon us.
    Just price them all as premiums with no F2P and IAP cra* and you will have a loyal customer.

    • MikeyD

      A golden shower?

  • Marley_Sage

    Just a rumor, apparently halo 2 is coming to ios, official announcements will be this July. If its true....

    • fleshman

      Lol, nice joke

      • Jake7905

        I originally thought it was a joke when I first heard XCOM was coming to IOS, so who knows?

  • Morgan01

    More possible free-to-play crap? Really? Don't get me wrong, awesome games in their won right. It's just that I'm so done with the free-to-play BS, paywalls, arduous farming, and such.

    • Maszej Raval

      Its free to play, dont you get it? A free game you can play. So awesome you can have an all time rts classic like we of empires all for free "to play"

      • Zeldaniac

        I'm pretty sure you just completely misunderstood his point.

      • drwifflesniffle

        Free to Play=Free Game+$100 for extra Bucks, Gems, Coins, gold, etc.
        Paid Game=$10.00 Game+No gimmicks
        You understand?

      • Morgan01

        Call me syndical, but when I see the word "free", I think about all these freemium titles designed to bleed your wallet.

      • Greyskull

        Until an update changes the gameplay formula and introduces in-app purchasable currency. Apple just had to get a piece of that sweet money. Before iap was baked in; when it all went through 3rd party servers, you didn't see games completely change on a developers' whims. Well, that and the intro of the iAD. 1 step forward with Apple, 2 steps back.

    • Jake7905

      Free to download, never free to play.

  • Maszej Raval

    Ultima Forever anyone? By the way, I didnt ask for this.

  • Patrick Neef

    Only a company like Microsoft is able to completely f**k this opportunity up. I expect Baldurs's Gate (iOS) level of playability here, which means a straight port instead of rethinking the interface and controls.

  • lambomann007

    There's already a free to play Age of Empires on Steam, Age of Empires Online. It's not too bad. Could be that they're porting that over? They better port it to Windows 8/Phone 8 too. Can't see how they'd skip their own platforms.

  • DannyTheElite

    Hope they bring an iOS version of Forza Motorsport/Horizon

  • setarrif

    While there is for sure interest for oldies on iOS, I guess the reason why such ports are made is more because of the technical limitations of the devices. Look at XCOM: yes the game is close to the PC and console versions... if you don't look at the poor textures, the missing shadows and light effects, the interface glitches and the missing voices besides English.
    Apple and devs should be more flexible and allow sub-content packs (language packs, texture packs, visual upgrades for better devices, etc.)
    I believe there was an article somewhere that pretended that the latest iPad is close to a Xbox 360 or PS3. iOS 7 and its controller support should help. But for now, if Apple doesn't improve on texture compression, shader support and suchlike, oldies will probably stay the better choice.

  • Reignmaker

    Zero interest if this is just Age of Empires Online for mobile devices. If they can figure out a way to bring us the authentic Age of Empires experience in tablet form, then they'll have my attention.

  • TheNorthernSkeptic

    LET THE ENTIRELY SPECULATIVE IAP BITCHING COMMENCE

    • derek4real

      Ya those peeps should be shot

  • Amenbrother

    Man IOS is really coming of age....

  • DemoEvolved

    Age of empires online has a totally fair f2p model and its a no brainer to port it to ios. Seeing as that studio needs money, I would give good odds that this is the product getting the port, nice that ms would allow it

  • volcanopele

    Never has my excitement level changed so rapidly over the course of reading one article. I loved Age of Empires (particularly Age of Kings) back in the day, and the Steam version that came out a few months back, though not without its bugs, was great to see. And then I see that it will be free-to-play... Yeah, not a port of the real Age of Empires, but of that Online abomination I suspect. Definite pass. Though I am encouraged by is rumor of Halo 2. MS can't possibly bungle that up, can they?

  • Superterry

    OMG I loved this game so much. :D I still have the game on my PC. :P (be jelly) and I may get it for the iOS too! <3 THIS IS SPARRRRRTAAAAAA

  • GameExp3rt

    Played demo a few time (about over 9000 times) I wonder how its gonna turn out.i also requested this also millions of pple did to.

  • fleshman

    I dream about a Zoo Tycoon port...

  • Adarn Jones

    For me, the best game Microsoft could bring to iOS, and this is something I've wanted since day 1 of the iPhone, is the original Hexic.

  • Greyskull

    This is what I had figured on.

  • mrmarmite

    Age of Empires on my iPad sounds good to me! Mind you I'd love to have Rise of Nations even more!

  • GameExp3rt

    Microsoft has confirmed that a mobile version of the Age of Empires franchise is being developed for Android, iOS

  • anabolicMike

    Screw IAP and FTP. Ill pay 15 bucks + to have all the fun on my mobile I did on my computer. Lol

  • Tulai Paul

    This is inevitable. The stiff competition will enable the users with the opportunity of playing free games from various competitors. Even the world famous companies like appnext or chartboost have also been offering a lot of free stuff

  • lordyokomoto

    Any more news on this guys