Age of Empires Online’s lifespan has been quite the roller-coaster ride. Upon release it was marred by bad balance and Pay-to-Win practices. Gas Powered Games, the studio behind the MMORTS, stepped up and began re-balancing all aspects of the game in order to improve the experience of F2P users. Throughout this whole process, the developers have also been steadily adding new content including brand new civilizations, each complete with unique looking units.

This as you can imagine, is a very time consuming and expensive process and according to a blog entry posted today on the official website, something the developers can no longer keep doing. The blog very plainly laid out the reason for the cut in content stating: “we can no longer afford to keep creating it”.The blog post goes on to say that the games community will still see Gas Powered Games full support with tickets, forums, and everything else remaining the same.

No one can necessarily fault the developers. The predecessors to AOEO, Age of Empires 1, 2 and 3, all halted further development at some point, with the key difference being that those titles were obviously not F2P. Which brings to question if it was the game that should be faulted for failing or rather the decision to pair a game series such as Age of Empires with the F2P model. What do you think?

Michael Dunaway has been part of the MMOBomb team for years and has covered practically every major Free-to-Play title since 2009. In addition to contributing First Look videos and news articles, Michael also serves as the Community Manager for the upcoming MMORPG, Skyforge.


  1. It was only $20 to unlock a whole Civ. Compare that with $60 just to get extra storage slots in Dekaron, and AoEO was very cheap for a FTP game.

    Though their FB page asked yesterday (day before?) what version of AoE we liked and why. I would love to see the game play of 2 (plus expansion pack) revamp to match today’s GPUs and that seemed to be the general consensus of the others that answered. So let’s hope they are thinking retail AoE4 in the future!!

  2. Well the problem from the very start is that the publisher is Microsoft, which means players need to use real money at some point.

    Before the balancing was done, almost all decent items, advance features and commanders were only available via payed membership.

  3. good game used to play with my friends quit later cause missions got too hard and thinks to get were too easy i am not sad nor impressed it closed cause as i said i got things way to easy and i didn’t spend anything at all(as far as it goes for real money)was expecting tbh this to happen sooner or later

    • It is a good game, sadly it gets way too hard late game(For the more casual audience) and in most cases the business model is a little restricting in replay-ability. They have only 3 playable factions for free and the rest are pay only civs that instantly start you at level 20, between learning and hair ripping challenge. They made the game look like it was targeted for a casual audience, but threw in the difficulty of a ‘core game. This ultimately will drive players away in later levels. Not to mention the End-game had little to no reward to it. They used to have specific coins for specific shops to promote the use of features, but since they scrapped that, there’s almost no point in playing Skirmish, PvP, or Defense of Crete since you can just get those legendary gears for gold.

      I knew things were taking a turn for the worst when they released Vanity Island. I liked the costumes and skins for the characters but this looked like a cry for help to encourage players to spend their empire coins on that instead of their expansions.

      It was a fun game, but there was just not enough right with it to keep it afloat.

  4. You can’t stop updating online game. Especially if it’s a free to play online game. When f2p online game stops getting new content it’s as good as dead. If this was their plan from the very beginning they shouldn’t have made it free to play and online only.

  5. We have SO MANY F2P titles out now, that if companies keep producing very specific audience focused games or release games that look like they should have been out in early 2000, then those games are bound to have a very small player base and sooner then later shutdown.

    We are already past the phase for f2p that companies to just say, hey dont worry about the production quality, dont worry about graphics grammar or gameplay. Its f2p its fine you cant complain. We are WAY past that stage, just look at games like Planetside 2, LOTRO, Aion, to some extent Tera plus all the other very high quality games coming out. Of course this includes broken cashshops, like early Allods and many other games. Its alot harder to get away with any of that anymore.

    Game developers need to step it up if they want to produce games that can compete in the f2p market period. And game publishers cant just host crap games and think they can milk it enough for it to matter.

  6. I think it was the decision of making it F2p. I would rather have seen AOE 4 and buy it because I really enjoyed AOE 1, 2 and 3. I still play 3.

  7. Gas Powered Games? Didn’t they make Supreme Commander?

    A lot of MMOs are biting the dust because there’s way too many mediocre titles out there. I mean damn, why would I play this game when I can just pick up the actual Age of Empire games?

    • I dare you to name 1 better mmorts out there. Marketing and pay systems might have sucked on this game, but it doesn’t make it a bad game. Maybe the genre is also not appropriate for f2p, I dont kow. And ffs if all the bad comments refer to the game’s graphics its obvious that only ignorant kids make them.

      • It isn’t really an mmorts.. its more of a RTS with a chat box hooked up to the game server instead of your skirmish or mission and the “MMO” title slaped on like the “MMO” part of “MMO”FPS. Give SC2 a chat box like AoEO and its practically the same idea.

        • You are absolutelly right on that. Thats why I also stated that the genre might suck (MMO+RTS union just never works well)

  8. seriously, i haven’t seen this mmos bite turds like ever.. Dec through now is like MMOpocalypse. started with city of heroes… and now it seems like a lot of companies are shutting games down etc.


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