Age of Empires Online
may be a freemium title, but Microsoft Game Studios General Manager Dave Luehmann tells us "it's not a nickel and dimey microtransaction thing." During an interview at Gamescom
today, the executive expressed that the studio doesn't want it to feel like some other freemium titles where "what you don't want to do in the game is what you pay for," or "that you pay to skip the parts you don't like." Luehmann explained, "I don't like to pay for things I don't like to do, that seems kind of backwards. So how about we produce things that people actually want?"
Robot Entertainment Designer Jerome K. Jones, who is working on the game chimed in, "So it would be like paying for an expansion pack. ... You won't buy one thing at a time. You might buy an entire civ or another region with a bunch of quests in it."
The game is currently in Beta
and will officially launch in the first half of 2011. Both Robot and Microsoft are trying to figure out how much to eventually charge for content. The duo told us the game currently has over 25 hours of free stuff available, which kind of stops making the game sound "freemium" and makes it sound more, um, free?