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Microsoft announces Rise of Nations: Extended Edition for Steam this June

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Microsoft Studios will publish Rise of Nations: Extended Edition — an updated bundle featuring real-time strategy title Rise of Nations and its Thrones and Patriots expansion — through Steam this June, the company announced today.

Rise of Nations: Extended Edition will cost $19.99 and be available exclusively for PCs running Windows 7 and 8.1. For a limited time, players who pre-order can get the game at a 20 percent discount.

In addition to the original gameplay — resource gathering, building structures, organizing and running armies and researching developing technologies — the Extended Edition includes improved visuals, lighting and textures. This version is also fully compatible with a number of Steam features including Steamworks, Steam Trading Cards and Achievements, and also supports cloud saves, Twitch integration and an online multiplayer component.

Microsoft Studios seems to have acquired the Rise of Nations franchise during the asset auction for now-defunct 38 Studios, which included the IP originally developed by Maryland-based Big Huge Games. The Rise of Nations games, along with the Rise of Legends games, were purchased last December; at the time details on the buyer had not been shared.

Prior to the December asset auction, auctioneers unearthed an unannounced game that had secretly been in development at 38 Studios prior to its filing for bankruptcy. Rise of Nations: Tactics was an iOS spin-off of the strategy series that would have featured an asynchronous multiplayer component inspired by Words with Friends. For more details, check out our-indepth look into the unfinished game and our interview with developer Stuart Jeff.