Today, August 16, 2012, marks the first anniversary of the public launch of Age of Empires Online.
The last year has been a very eventful one for AOEO. I tried to put together a comprehensive list of all the changes and improvements that we have made to the game. I couldn’t easily do it. So we made a snazzy graphic that you can print out at poster size and hang up all around your workplace. At least that’s what we have done with it.
Let’s be honest here. AOEO at launch was not a particularly successful gameplay experience. I believe that there was a good game buried in there, but we did not do a good job of making that game easy to discover and play. We also launched with too little content, too little variety, and a poor pricing strategy.
Some of you have been around since launch, or even before. Some of you took the leap of faith and purchased a season pass. To all of you, our long-term players, I say: Thank You. Without you, we would not have survived to make the changes.
And hoo boy, did we have changes to make. We’ve added three new civs to the two we launched with. We added Skirmish mode, and even made it free to start. We added gearless PVP. We changed the early-game experience, and made leveling faster, and added Steam support. We changed the prices we charged for the game, and then made the game truly free-to-play. Many of you joined us during these changes; and to you, I say: Thank You. With you, we have grown the game and are able to keep growing it.
Along the way, we made a significant change to the way that we interact with you, the community of players. Transparency is the proper way to run an online game. We’ll tell you what our plans are, answer your questions honestly, and admit it when we screw up. We’re probably never going to be as transparent as you think we should be, and we will need to hold some information until later than many of you will like. Still, I think we are treating you with respect as customers, and the best way to earn respect is to give it.
We’re not done here. This is just one year in the life of a game that will hopefully last many. For the next year of AOEO, I want to hear more from you. What do you like, and what do you dislike? What kinds of new content do you want to see? How can we get your friends to come join you in playing the game?
More is coming. Features you have asked for, and features you don’t even know to ask for yet. Content for Level 40 players with multiple civs, and features to help those people who got stuck at level 8 on one civ. More civs. More quests. We’ll talk about all of them in due time, with hints and teases and surprises and then full disclosure.
We’ll be open as long as you keep coming back to play. Thanks for playing.
Discuss AoEO’s first anniversary here: http://forums.ageofempiresonline.com/forums/thread/264999.aspx