Microsoft's first major foray into free-to-play gaming has hit a snag Thursday.
Developer Gas Powered Games announced via its blog Thursday afternoon that development on "Age of Empires Online" has been completed, and that no new content would be developed and released for the game. Community leader AOEO Trajan said in the post that, essentially, what is available now for the F2P RTS is all that will be released.
"Nothing else changes for players, nothing that currently exists will be removed," he said. "You can still play everything you own, earn EP, and purchase any content you do not currently own. We will still fully maintain and support the game and its players; no one is losing anything that you have earned or bought."
Players are left with only the six released civilizations and their skill trees. It's a sad fate for a game that was so promising when it was unveiled in 2011. But from release, the game was met with criticism over its F2P model, its art style and the lack of variety among the playable civilizations -- launching only two available.
Gas Powered Games announced last month it laid off a portion of its staff. While the layoffs and the scaling back of support on "Age of Empires Online" are possibly related, Trojan refused to comment. He did, however, address the reasoning behind the lack of new content.
"Why no more content? Because creating top-tier content, as we have been for the last year and a half, is very expensive -- too expensive to maintain for long, as it turns out," he said. "We can no longer afford to keep creating it. AOEO already has a very large amount of high-quality, hand-crafted entertainment, and adding more is no longer cost-effective"
Trojan later went on to say players will not see any difference in the game itself, or in the technical and community support from Gas Powered Games.