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News Archives - December 2004

Age of Mythology on ES Site Now

ES updated their site with a screenshot of Age of Mythology now; no doubt the next screenshot will be of The Titans...and the next, of Age of Empires 3. In the mean time, happy new years to everyone!

PC Gamer's Age of Empires III Issue Arrives

Just before we suspect Ensemble to make an official announcement about Age of Empires 3, the latest issue of PC Gamer has arrived to many gamers' mailboxes with a 10 pages of exclusive coverage of the game. It does indeed appear to take place during the "Age of Discovery," so I guess the rumors were right. Now all we can wait for is the official announcement from Ensemble along with more information for us non-PC Gamer subscribers. Here's a short excerpt Immortal God got from his issue

Continuing from where Age of Empires II left off, the third chapter in the series begins in 1500 a.d. and chronicles the Age of Discovery that started around the time when Columbus "discovered" the new world. (Yeah, we know -- several indigeous tribes were already living in America long before then. Write a historian, not us.) The single-player campaign then follows the course of American history up through 1850 -- ending right before the start of the civil war.

AoK: The Conquerors on ES Site

As expected, a screenshot of AoK: The Conquerors has replaced one of Age of Kings at the ES site. Some feel that Age of Mythology won't be featured in this timeline due to the fact that it's not part of the Age of Empires franchise...meaning we may seen an announcement tomorrow. If not, probably Saturday.

Next ES Site Update: Age of Kings

Ensemble's site has yet another update, this time with a screenshot of Age of Kings. We'll probably get the update with The Conquerors today, AoM and The Titans tomorrow, and... Age of Empires III Friday? We'll see!

And Now, Rise of Rome

Well that was quick, ES updated their site again with Age of Empires' expansion pack: the Rise of Rome. Looks like they're gonna be doing the x-packs to their games too. Here's what the ES site shows now:

1997 AD - Age of Empires

The next update on the ES website features their first game, Age of Empires. It's likely that it'll have the release dates of Age of Kings, Age of Mythology...and then Age of Mystery Game. Here's what you'll see if you mosey on down to the ES site:

Here's hoping that come new years, it'll have the first screenshot of Age of Empires III!

Yet Another Confirmation of Age of Empires III

GaryPayton, who recently won the AoM GGL Championship, spotted something interesting in the latest news post while browsing the Age Community site.


For Age of Empires III Press Inquiries mailto: Age of Empires III Press Inquiries.

For talk about this, visit this thread over at AoMH's Future ES games forum.

1995 AD - Ensemble Studios Founded

The ES teaser has changed yet again, this time the message is: "1995 AD - Ensemble Studios Founded". It looks like the speculation that it would be announced on Christmas night most likely isn't true, and the rumor that it'd be called "Age of Ensemble Studios" is possibly true ;).

ES, another mistake? ES was founded in 1895 silly ;)

Through the Ages Returns

That's right, Ogre, our favorite 3rd-person speaking behemoth is back with the return of Through the Ages. He'll be entrusting the webmastership to one of his loyal staffers: Soggy Frog. I'll be sure to get together with Xiphoid and the other Age webmasters and give him a proper initiation, complete with shaving Ogre's back hair and sanding his corns. Welcome back TTA, it's been a while!

"Wow, it's been a long time, far too long. I know, it's been a rocky road for the site this year. Up and down server problems didn't help any, nor did the lack of goings on. Well, the site is back and has a new webmaster in training. Or, at least, that's what I'm going to call him. Soggy Frog, you might know him from the forums, has taken the wheel. I suppose, though, at the moment, he has a guiding hand in the Ogre. Hopefully, the frog won't destroy too much."

Cortez Cortez Cortez

ES has posted the next installment of their history timeline:

I guess they aren't going to have the time period of the colonial era as the point where they announce AoE 3, perhaps they'll go all the way to "2005 - ES announces Age of Empires III" or something to that effect. As far as us getting a toasty christmas present of ES goodness, my bud Xiphoid from PAoM got the inside scoop on that from one of his ES friends:

"I spoke with an employee at Microsoft today and he said that MS employees have both Christmas Eve and Christmas day off and that ES usually has the same days off. It wouldn't make much sense to start a marketing campaign on a day when employees are off work. Also, it doesn't make much sense since the majority of people will be occupied with either traveling, family or other holiday activities on that day, mitigating any marketing plans. Most likely, the announcement will come one day after Christmas."

Here's hoping for hearing about Age of Empires III a day after Christmas! The date in this one was off by a hundred years, an HG t-shirt to the ES guy that fixes it. Send me an email, blue guy ;-)

As if you needed any more confirmation of Age of Empires III ...

A very sneaky Sithmaster_821 found a post by Tony Goodman - ES' head cheese - in an automotive forum that confirms that ES is working on Age of Empires III:

Menu dei Motori: you´re planning a new game? aom 2 ? :D
Tony_Ensemble: Actually AoE III.

Now I couldn't tell you if this is actually him or not, but I thought I'd post it anyway. Interesting enough, if anything.

Gamespot agrees with AoE3 Christmas Announcement Rumor

Elpea spotted a validity-check at Gamespot for the rumor that says Age of Empires III will be announced this Christmas. Not a whole lot to say about it, so here's what they say:

"Last week a stark, black-and-white splash page popped up on the Ensemble studios site. It read "The wait is almost over...2300 BC - Sargon I Unifies Sumeria." Three days later, it read "The wait is almost over...1200 BC - The Troyan War" in slightly larger letters. As of 4pm PST today, it read "THE WAIT IS ALMOST OVER…1096 AD - The First Crusade" in LARGE letters. Seeing how the countdown is going about 1000 years a week, and assuming it will stop with the present day, it should one week from today--Christmas Eve. And since Ensemble Studios only makes two franchises--Age of Mythology and Age of Empires--the lack of deity-speak makes it a pretty safe bet the game they're announcing will be Age of Empires III."

Do you think the rumor is legit? Talk about it on the forums!

ES Site Features a New Historial Event

And we learn the exact date of the first crusade:

With these dates rapidly approaching the expected Colonial era (and the Modern era), I would think that we're going to get an official announcement fairly soon...maybe within the week. Eeeeeeeeee!

Another Age of Empires III Article Found

It looks like another article that's popped up on the internet points towards a colonial era-set Age of Empires III, as FlipBizcut reports over at AoMH's Future ES Games forum. Now considering the fact that it is assumed that PC Gamer will have the first dibs of AoE 3 information and ES would want to keep everything under wraps before then, take the information from this article with a grain of salt. In any case, here's a snippet from it:

"First of all, this new opus will extend from discovered from America, to pass to its conquest (as well of the North as of the South) and should stop with the American Civil War. At the beginning, we will have the possibility of choosing between various colonizing nations of the time, like France and its Christophe Colomb, or even Spain and its Conquistadors. With us meetings with the Indians and another Incas.

In addition to the usual history mode, another solo mode will be born. It should offer a long-term challenge, since it will propose to us to entirely conquer each zone of the American continent. I will not go more into the details. Will know that the tactical aspect will be more thorough than before, with the management of naval cargo, etc. Indeed, you will have to sometimes export weapons of France, for example, to import them into America and to give them to your troops. But attention, your boats will be able to be made attack by the enemy fleets!"

476 AD - The Fall of the Roman Empire

ES' latest history lesson involves the fall of the western Roman Empire, but nothing about Age of Empires III. Here's hoping it comes soon, because I don't know how much more of this waiting I can take. Next date on ES site: "2004 AD - Ensemble Studios announces AoE 3: Age of Discos." Yeah Saturday Night Fever!

Artwork? Perhaps Not!

Forummer WhoAskedU posted an in-depth analyzes of the screenshot/artwork we had seen from the scan on the CGW magazine. He posts a series of interesting points which definitely will make you think it's really a screenshot.

You can see the analysis and ask questions at his thread.

Age of Empires III on CGW

It seems the AoMH forumers are up to it again - that is searching for more Age of Empires III information! Angel Sunny, having bought the recent issue of Computer Gaming World Magazine has released a few points on the article about Age of Empires III. Among the high points of the article, which was unfortunately fairly short, CGW had made claims that ES is hard at work on "Age of Empires III," and this was informed to them unofficially at press time by an unnamed inside source. As well, it seems that AoE3 is planned for a release at the end of 2005, will remain faithful to the franchise, but will implement revolutionary features.

Other issues mentioned in the article hint that the game "might eschew a traditional story line in favor of a world map to conquer (such as in Rise of Nations)." Although the article was not very descriptive about ES' upcoming project, CGW intends to write up a more detailed article once AoE3 is announced.

1200 BC - The Trojan War

The latest update to the Ensemble website is the changing of old Sargon's bit to:

Not too much that could be taken from this change, except that it's obvious that a timeline of important events will probably be made. Where will it lead up to? Maybe the discovery of the New World by Columbus? We'll see!

Age of Discovery = Secret Project?

Both KXY_Paradox and Joe Urena were observant enough to realize that the Eagle Games website replaced "Age of Discovery" on the product release schedule to "Secret Project!" This would indicate that it is indeed AoE 3's name, otherwise they wouldn't have bothered with changing it. Interesting.

More evidence for Age of Empires III's name to be Age of Discovery

Clarissimus came across a nice bit of info on the Eagle Games website, the producer of the Age of Mythology board game. Down on the right-hand menu bar, a schedule lists off all of the products Eagle Games' plans on releasing; it is there where he found:

Age of Discovery: The Boardgame
October 2005

Unless EG has licensed a whole new product that just happens to be named after the most rumored name for Age of Empires III, Age of Discovery should be Age of Empires III.

2300 BC - Sargon I Unifies Sumeria

Or so says the ES official site nowadays. While everything we've heard so far directs AoE 3's setting to be in colonial times, this "hint" is just a little bit early...talking about the formation of the first empire back before Cortez was a baby kind of makes me unsure of what exactly is going on with AoE 3. Maybe the newly-encountered image is a fake, or maybe AoE 3's span of time will extend slightly beyond colonial times. Who knows? I'm just hoping for something solid straight from ES at this point.

Thanks to PAoM for the info on this news bit, 'tis appreciated.

First Age of Empires III Artwork ... or a Screenshot?

Zowon has came across what looks to be artwork for Age of Empires III and an announcement by PC Gamer that next month's issue will feature screenshots, an interview, and plenty of other introductory information for the game. While it does look like artwork, he says that some believe that it is an actual screenshot, which would make things interesting indeed. In any case, if this is the real deal I think it's safe to say that AoE III will be set in colonial times. The wait better be over or my fingernails are going to be chewed down to the marrow. Fingernails have marrow...right?

[Updated 12/6/2004: Picture removed per PC Gamer's request]