Well before the original Xbox console was released, Microsoft was releasing hugely popular games on PC. And among those games, Age of Empires was among Microsoft's most popular. What followed was a decade of popular Age of Empires releases, from the original through Age of Empires 3: The Asian Dynasties. Now the franchise has spent a decade rebuilding, with three Definitive Edition releases over the past three years. All that's left is Age of Empires 4.
Age of Empires 4 was announced all the way back in August 2017. It was announced even before the rollout of the three classic Age of Empire Definitive Editions. The years since have been starkly quiet, up until a surge of new information about the sequel during 2019. The game was still in development and early gameplay confirmed it was coming together. Yet again, however, the Age of Empires 4 development went quiet. Anxious RTS fans shouldn't worry, however.
In celebration of the new year, a lengthy "Age of Empires 2020 Review" was posted by the game's PR team. Within the update, a short message updating fans on Relic Entertainment's progress was shared. The good news is that the team is "literally playing this game every single day." It sounds like development is inching closer to completion. The bad news is that Relic and Microsoft still aren't ready to share a release window for Age of Empires 4.
While the update doesn't provide any specific information about Age of Empires 4's development, it does hint at progress. Basically, it sounds like the "core" of Age of Empires 4 has come together. That being the separate game systems like AI, economy, sim, rendering, and so on. However, now that it's come together, there's a lot of balance, debugging, and polish that needs to take place. Still, it's said that now "it feels like an Age of Empires game." Fans can hardly ask for more than that.
Relic, meanwhile, has transitioned to working from home due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. No release window may be available just yet, but the team still insists that the game's development remains "on track." Relic is coming together, still passionate about the project despite the serious challenges posed by the pandemic.
There's also a special treat shared at the end of the Age of Empires 2020 Review update. The blog says that the Age of Empires team is "full-steam ahead" on not just Age of Empires 4, but "future projects" as well. It seems that Age of Empires will be around for hopefully another decade yet.
Age of Empires 4 is currently in development for PC.