Age of Empires: 15 Things You Didn’t Know (Part 1)



Age of Empires is one of the most popular and long-standing PC games of all time. However, despite the fact that the game has spent a considerable amount of time in the spotlight and under the scrutiny of the public eye, there are still some things that many people don’t know. With that in mind, here we present our list of 15 things you probably didn’t know about Age of Empires. Check out part one below, and stay tuned for part two, coming soon!

Number Fifteen: Its Success Has Been Attributed to Fair Play

And by that, we mean that the game has been successful because its AI (Artificial Intelligence) characters tend to cheat less than characters on other competing video games. Many gamers become excited when a game’s AI characters are really realistic.

Number Fourteen: Not All of the Games Are Historical in Nature

While many of the games in the series have historical themes, some games have mythical themes instead. Games in the series with more mythological thematic elements include Age of Mythology and The Titans.

Number Thirteen: Age of Empires Was 1998’s Computer Strategy Game of the Year

It’s true! The first game in the series was released in 1997 to mixed reviews, but in 1998, it was named The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences’ “Computer Strategy Game of the Yera.”

Number Twelve: It Sold Over Three Million Copies by 2000

In just the three years after its release, Age of Empires impressively sold over three million copies. This is especially impressive considering the subsequent game in the series, The Rise of Rome, never achieved the same status in popularity.

Number Eleven: The Research Required for the Game Was Not In-Depth

Despite many film producers insisting on researching the focal element of the film for years (especially if it’s based on a true story), the developers behind Age of Empires believed that researching the game’s historical subjects too in-depth wouldn’t be beneficial to the game itself. One of the game’s designers, Bruce Shelly, even said that researching subjects only lightly and not too in-depth is “a good idea for most entertainment products.”

Number Ten: Most of the Game’s Reference Material Was Taken From Children’s Books

Because the goal of the game was for its players to have fun, much of the reference material used in the game was found in the children’s sections at libraries. The designers and researchers wanted to ensure that the players could have fun without being overwhelmed by details.

Number Nine: It Was Designed to Appeal to All Types of Gamers

Shelley (mentioned above) has said that the game achieved success because it appealed to all types of gamers, from the hobbyist to the hardcore. Stay tuned for part two of our list of 15 things you didn’t know about Age of Empires, coming soon!

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