[Update] Microsoft signs a licensing deal with Japanese social gaming studio KLab

Free-to-play Age of Empires game may be on the way (Updated: it is)

[Update] Microsoft signs a licensing deal with Japanese social gaming studio KLab
Updated on June 27th at 10:45: We've had a few more details through from KLab about what we can actually expect in the upcoming iOS and Android Age of Empires game.

It's not going to be a port or a remake, but an entirely new free-to-play experience set in the Age of Empires universe.

KLab describes it as "a new genre of strategy game appropriate to the platform and the audience".

After the game is initially launched on iOS and Android, KLab and Microsoft plan to make the game available on Windows Phone 8.

Original story follows...

There are rumours swirling around the cavernous innards of the internet that Microsoft is set to release some of its classic PC titles on iOS and Android, with a free-to-play Age of Empires reportedly in the works.

According to Reuters, you see, The Big M has signed a "licensing deal" with Japanese developer KLab.

The latter will reportedly port some of Microsoft's best-loved console and PC games across to Apple's and Google's mobile platforms.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves, though, soldier. A 'licensing deal' can mean a whole lot of different things to a whole lot of different people.

Technical terms

On this occasion, it could just mean that Microsoft has agreed a deal with KLab whereby the Japanese social game specialist is entrusted with the development of IAP-centric card-based mobile games based on various Microsoft properties.

What is probably doesn't mean is that Microsoft is outsourcing development of some of its core gaming properties and is planning to release full-blown iOS and Android ports of the likes of Age of Empires BEFORE launching versions of them on Windows Phone 8.

We've reached out to both KLab and Microsoft to try and get some clarification on what the precise terms of this licensing deal are.

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Harry Slater
Harry Slater
Harry used to be really good at Snake on the Nokia 5110. Apparently though, digital snake wrangling isn't a proper job, so now he writes words about games instead.