"We're honored to have the opportunity to develop Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties' with Ensemble Studios and confident that the innovation of both teams will deliver an exciting experience for fans of this franchise," said Brian Reynolds, chief executive officer and creative director of Big Huge Games. "We feel that the in-depth experience of Big Huge Games in the real-time strategy genre, combined with the solid reputation of the Age of Empires' franchise, will result in something fresh and unique for gamers."
In addition to the introduction of playable Asian civilizations, the expansion pack will provide new content and several new gameplay elements that include new ways of winning and trading, random map styles that feature remixes of classic "Age of Empires" game styles, and 15 new Asian "Wonders." The introduction of these features will coincide with the basic core gameplay of "Age of Empires III" that gamers have come to know and love. "Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties" will also ship as a Games for Windows title with easier installation, improved reliability and support for key Windows Vista features, including the Games Explorer and Parental Controls.
"The success of Age of Empires III' has given us the opportunity to expand the gameplay further and offer a fresh perspective through this expansion pack created by Big Huge Games," said Bruce Shelley, lead designer, Ensemble Studios. "We're delighted to have them work on this project with us and certain that they will deliver a great addition to the franchise."
"Age of Empires III," which launched in October 2005, is one of the fastest-selling titles in the franchise's history, placing gamers in the position of a European power struggling to explore, colonize and conquer North and South America, roughly during the time period of 1500 to 1850. The game has garnered numerous awards, including GameSpy's 2005 Top Ten PC Games of the Year and PC Gamer's Editors' Choice. It has sold more than 2 million copies to date and is currently among the top-selling titles for Games for Windows. In addition, the first expansion pack, titled "Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs," was released for the game last fall.
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