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Age of Empires
The logo for Age of Empires.
Developer(s)Ensemble Studios, Big Huge Games, Robot Entertainment
Publisher(s)Microsoft Studios
Year introduced1997
Genre(s)Strategy

Age of Empires is a long running series of strategy games. The main series, which has always been made for the PC, is a Real-Time line of games that combines elements of faster paced RTS's such as Starcraft with the depth and historical flavor of the Civilization series. The emphasis of the game is balancing your civilization's military, economic, and technological growth with the ultimate goal of destroying or otherwise dominating ones' opponents.

The main entries in the Age of Empires series have focused on different settings in history. The original game focused on Ancient civilizations, with The Rise of Rome extending the focus further into the Classical era thanks to the addition of new civilizations. Age of Empires II focused on the Middle Ages of history, roughly from about 500 to 1500 A.D. Age of Empires III shifted its focus to the European colonization of the America's, emphasizing European powers that impacted the continents from about 1500 to the 1800s A.D.

Age of Empires also has a number of spinoffs. Most notable is Age of Mythology, a 2001 release that changed the traditional Age of Empires formula by incorporating the mythical creatures and heroes of classical mythology. A pair of turn-based games, The Age of Kings and Mythologies, were released for the Nintendo DS. There is currently a free-to-play entry in the series called Age of Empires Online, which was launched August 16, 2011.