Age of Empires Online goes live worldwide on 16th August, publisher Microsoft Game Studios has announced.
There are two ways to get involved with Gas Powered Games' free-to-play strategy MMO. First up, you can jump right in via the game's website and then purchase extra content at your leisure. There's an estimated 40 hours of gameplay available without the need for opening your wallet.
Secondly, there's also a retail version on shelves for your local equivalent of $19.99 which includes:
- The Premium Greek Civilisation which unlocks the power of Rare and Epic items, Advisors to enhance your civilization, the Player vs. Player Arena and more
- Windy's Wild Widgets Store to give your civilization an edge with the ability to buy and sell special items (available exclusively at retail)
- Hotkey quick reference card
- Limited-edition poster and Advisor cards
- Instructions to download the free-to-play experience
A number of premium content packs are planned, the first of which will give freemium players access to all the extras included in the retail edition, at exactly the same price.
Pro Civilisation Packs, which offer additional civilisations for $19.99 a pop, are also incoming, as are $9.99 Booster Packs, which add new storylines and game modes.
The first Booster Pack, available from launch, is called the Defense of Crete and tasks you with seeing off wave after wave of invaders on the titular island.
There will also be in-game item packs called Empire Extras available for $4.99 each. The first batch offers the following:
- Bountiful Bushes: Beautiful Egyptian themed shrubbery (Available for Egyptians)
- Ornate Ornaments: Amazing Egyptian themed statues and decorations (Available for Egyptians)
- Glorious Gardening: Greek themed bushes and fountains (Available for Greeks)
- Startling Statuary: Greek themed statues (Available for Greeks)
For more on the game, have a read of Christian Donlan's recent hands-on preview, or take a look at the new launch trailer below.