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Microsoft Studios (2019: known as Xbox Game Studios) is the video game production wing for Microsoft, responsible for the development and publishing of games for the Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Games for Windows, Steam, Windows Store, and Windows Phone platforms. They were established in 2002 as Microsoft Game Studios to coincide with the already released Xbox, before being re-branded in 2011. The subsidiary had also been known as Microsoft Game Division and simply Microsoft Games before 2002. Microsoft Studios develops and publishes games in conjunction with first and third party development studios under their publishing label.”


Age of Empires: Castle Siege shutting down May 2019

Sadly, it’s time to bid farewell to another online-only iteration of the Age of Empires franchise. After retiring the multiplayer RTS, Age of Empires Online, Microsoft announced on November 13th that Age of Empires: Castle Siege would be the next title to be shut down. The game’s homepage now displays only the following announcement:

“We wanted to share that after May 13, 2019, ‘Age of Empires: Castle Siege’ will no longer be supported, and will no longer be available for download. Current ‘Age of Empires: Castle Siege’ players can still download and play the game up until May 13. After May 13, matchmaking services will end, which means the game will no longer be playable. While we’re sad to close ‘Age of Empires: Castle Siege,’ we’re excited for what’s to come for the Age franchise with the recent release of ‘Age of Empires: Definitive Edition’ and upcoming titles such as ‘Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition,’ ‘Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition’ and ‘Age of Empires IV.’

More information can be found on the official Castle Siege forums at forums.castlesiegegame.com.”

In addition to the details above, the official forum post offers a helpful FAQ detailing refunds and informing readers that the forums will be closed and archived on December 31st, 2018. I’ll have the date added to the Watch List calendar and a page for the game up on the site soon.

Thanks to @DeadGameNews on Twitter for pointing this out!

Alan Wake returns to Steam & GOG, back on Xbox "very soon"Previously, on Alan Wake…

In May of 2017 Remedy’s community staff gave a brief heads-up that the game was going to be delisted from all digital platforms due to expired music licensing, plunging Alan into the suffocating darkness of digital unavailability. Suddenly, on October 25th Remedy announced via Twitter that the game had returned to Steam and GOG.com and would soon be re-emerging from the blackness on Xbox 360.

“Big thanks to our partner and Alan Wake’s publishers @Microsoft who were able to renegotiate the rights to the licensed music in Alan Wake, so that the game can be sold again.” @RemedyGames

In subsequent replies on Twitter, Remedy confirmed that all of the game’s licensed music was kept intact thanks to Microsoft and that the Xbox version would return “very soon”. To commemorate Alan’s reappearance and celebrate the Halloween season the game is also on sale for 80% off through November 1st on Steam and GOG.com. If you’re after the Xbox 360 version keep an eye on this page.