Microsoft may not be the most friendly group of folks out there when it comes to working with other companies – particularly Apple. But according to a report from Nikkei (via Reuters), the company is nevertheless planning to bring one if its most popular PC and console games to Apple’s mobile platform – Age of Empires!
Microsoft’s “Age of the Empires” will be available as a free-to-play game worldwide on smartphones by the end of the fiscal year 2013 and other titles will follow, the report said.
While a follow-up report states that the “agreement is only to develop a mobile version of “Age of Empires” and there were no announcements on other titles,” it’s hard to imagine that Microsoft won’t follow through with additional ports if Age of Empires proves to be successful on iOS. The game was initially reported to be a free to play title, however Reuters’ follow-up notes that there so far has not been any official confirmation on whether or not that’s really the case.
The new mobile Age of Empires title is set to be developed by Japanese developer KLab Inc., through a licensing agreement with Microsoft. It’s not the first time Microsoft has tested the waters of the App Store for gaming – they’ve released previous titles as well, including Wordament, Kinectimals, and Ms. Splosion Man, although Age of Empires should be by far the most popular of the three. The game should launch by the end of 2013.
Despite the exciting possibility of Age of Empires for mobile devices, it’s unclear whether the games will include support for tablets, or just smartphones (although IMO Age of Empires would be far better on a device like the iPad), or whether the game will be a direct port, or an all-new version of the game.
We’ll keep you updated if and when we here more – but as a closing thought, I certainly wouldn’t say no to an official Halo port for iOS…