Age of Empires Online will be launched in the fall, according to Microsoft.
The Robot Entertainment and Gas Powered Games-developed title is currently in open beta, and will be released digitally and boxed as a starter kit at the same time. The retail starter kit provides players with a premium upgraded civilization along with "unique bonus content," and will "probably" be similarly priced to the digital version.
Microsoft is aware that some folks just prefer a physical copy to a digital one, which is why it is releasing bother versions.
"The industry in general is still in somewhat of a transition state," said Microsoft's Danan Davis to Eurogamer. "There are some players that still want to go down to the store and buy a retail product."
Age of Empires Online will launch with both Greek and Egyptian civilisations, and will be free-to-play with packs available which will include a free and premium upgrades such as civilizations, boosters and empires.
Microsoft announced today a "pro premium civilisation" upgrade, which are built to start at level 20 and aimed at the core RTS crowd. One of these booster packs is Defence of Crete, a competitive co-op mode, which takes Bizarre Creations' Geometry Wars as inspiration, according to Eurogamer, and pits players against waves of enemies.
Empire extras are basically "vanity items", which will allow players to customize capital cities in a more unique manner.
Packs will cost between $5 and $20.
A solid release date will be announced around the end of the month.