Age Community was the home of the Age franchise with the release of Age of Empires III. It included links to developer blogs, forums, multiplayer leaderboards and stats, media, downloads and variety of other content made specifically for the community. As the expansions for Age of Empires III were released the site continued to grow. However, with the release of Age of Empires Online the focus was put on this new entry in the franchise instead of the franchise as a whole.
Much can be said about Age of Empires Online and what effect it had on the community. When it was announced the game was hosted on a new website, http://www.ageofempiresonline.com, and the community began to split. Although Age of Empires Online eventually became a respectable entry in the franchise before it was shut down, the damage had already been done to the community. In the years that followed Age of Empires II: HD Edition was hosted on the Age of Empires Online forums before eventually being hosted on the new http://www.ageofempires.com.
The new Age of Empires website started out as little more than a blog site with links to purchase the entries of the franchise on Steam. Over the years that followed the forums were relaunched again and again until finally in 2017 the new Age of Empires website started to take shape with the announcement of Age of Empires: Definitive Edition, definitive editions for Age of Empires II and Age of Empires III and the long awaited Age of Empires IV. For the first time in years player created game mods were hosted on the Age of Empires website along with game stats.
As the definitive editions continue to release it is great to see how Age Community is being reborn on the Age of Empires website. In addition to user stats, there are now leaderboards and an insider profile to manage communications and register for upcoming betas. My hope is that the experience on the Age of Empires website continues to improve in the coming years and through the release of Age of Empires IV. The community once again has a home now that the research has completed to the Age of Community and it’s a wonderful thing.