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Age of Empires IV to Launch with Less Civilizations Than Age of Empires II


Jun 29, 2019
Against the assault of laughter
Age of Empires IV had its (very brief) gameplay debut during the recent X019 event in London, where Microsoft also announced the creation of a new development studio called World's Edge specifically dedicated to the real-time strategy franchise.

During the same event, PCGamesN got to interview Age of Empires franchise director Adam Isgreen to learn some new details about Age of Empires IV.
Isgreen confirmed there'll be fewer civilizations at launch than those available in Age of Empires II, for starters.

You can expect fewer than the 13 that shipped with Age II, as we’re aiming for more uniqueness with each civilisation rather than quantity.
He then also commented on the differences between the various civilizations featured in Age of Empires IV.

Let’s just say the level of departure grows as you move across the civilisations we offer. The English intentionally play the most like the Britons from Age II; the Mongols are the largest departure from that template. All the others fall in between. Our goal is that the cognitive load (i.e., how many things we want players to have to think about at any given moment) is similar in commitment across the civilisations, but each has a unique focus for where you spend that mental time.
Lastly, Isgreen said that unlike previous franchise installments civilizations will indeed change a bit when transitioning through different ages.

There are aspects of the civilisations that do change across the ages, but at the same time maintaining clearly understood gameplay and balanced cognitive load is very important to us. I can’t go into more detail on this right now, but yes, we’ve thought about this quite a bit!


Dec 20, 2018
Will have to Depends on how unique the civilizations are, and hopefully more special units, buildings and tech.


Jul 26, 2018
That's OK, if they have more gameplay variety, as they have said. Age of Empires II's civs don't really differ at their core except for certain civilization bonuses, graphical tilesets and elite units they've got. So I don't see a problem with having fewer civs.


Aug 13, 2015
Well that's about to be expected. AoE 2 has DOZENS of civs and over 20 campaigns. Its a massive game