Microsoft Studios has some bad news for AoE fans. Bad, but not terrible. A recent blog post entitled ‘Future of Age of Empires Online’ delivers the unexpected news that development for AoEO has ceased. AOEO Trajan states emphatically that the game is not closing, simply that content creation has ceased. The game will remain online and operational basically as it is today. A “small amount of content” is expected to be added soon.
The decision to nix continued support was entirely financial.
Why no more content? Because creating top-tier content, as we have been for the last year and a half, is very expensive—too expensive to maintain for long, as it turns out. We can no longer afford to keep creating it. AOEO already has a very large amount of high-quality, hand-crafted entertainment, and adding more is no longer cost-effective.
The F2P browser-based Age of Empires Online was released in August 2011 to mixed reviews. It went through radical changes including content updates and a business model change in its year and a half of active service.