Developer Gas Powered Games and publisher Microsoft have announced that they are launching a new civilization, Babylon, for the free-to-play online titles Age of Empires Online, set to be introduced on August 16 in order to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the title.
Those who are interested in playing as Babylon will have to pay 900 Empire Points, the newly introduced currency system for Age of Empires Online
, and the developers are also introducing a new Fertile Crescent booster pack on the same date which will cost 450 Empire Points.
Eric Williamson, who is the leading system designer working at Gas Powered Games, has told Eurogamer that Babylon is a “very economics focused civ. Where they really shine is their ability to build a strong economy, and quickly.”
The resource focus of Babylon is seen in their Ox Cart item, which can provide a huge boost to their economy, and once they go on the offensive, players can use the Siege Tower to keep enemies guessing about their armies.
Eric Williamson added, “You have the ability to mask what you’re doing by hiding your army inside the siege tower, and we’ve seen a lot of cool strategy come out of that.”
After Ensemble Studios was closed down by Microsoft
, the publisher took the valuable Age of Empires license and decided that it could be re-created as an online-only free-to-play title.
The game was introduced during the summer of 2011 and it had a number of teething problems, mainly because the development team offered too few civilizations on launch and restricted the content that gamers could access before they were asked to pay.
Age of Empires Online has seen a number of re-designs since then and now players can choose to pay for any faction they are interested in and new civilizations will be introduced on a regular basis.