: Today, Microsoft shut down Age of Empires Online
, its free-to-play expansion of the popular strategy franchise first created by the erstwhile Ensemble Studios
in the mid 1990s.
Age of Empires Online
was originally developed by Robot Entertainment and later by Gas Powered Games. The game originally launched
in 2011 but ceased updating
in early 2013. Its closure was announced
less than a month ago.
At last year's GDC Europe, Microsoft's Kevin Perry delivered a lecture on how the company originally whiffed the game's free-to-play design -- calling the business model "a disaster" at the time of its launch -- but was able to turn the game into a success.
You can watch Perry's talk for free
at the GDC Vault.