||Hi this is Aaron Greenberg and just
wanted to say a huge thanks for asking me
||to share what Ages of Empires
means to me.
||This is a franchise that I go
way way way back on.
||In fact I think I've spent more
time playing Age of Empires 2
||than any other game before
I joined the games business.
||When I was working at
Microsoft early in my career,
||it was a game I had on my laptop,
||I played it everywhere I went,
whenenever I was there,
||and got me dreaming of "maybe I
could actually work in games some day."
||And to be part of a team that
has brought Age 2 back,
||that has worked to bring Age 4 to life,
||has just been one of the
career highlights for me,
||and to be part of a
team that's done that.
||2017 when we were in Germany
was a very special moment,
||when we announced that
we were making Age 4,
||and to see the fans,
all around the world,
||in so many different countries,
in so many different languages,
||growing and supporting and building
the community that we have today.
||And I'm really excited about
what's coming next in the future.
||So that's what Age of Empires
means to me.
||It's deep deep deep rooted
from my early days to today
||one of my absolutely favorite franchises
||and I can't wait to see what's next.
||Hi folks, my name
is Sam Reynolds.
||And I work bringing all XGS
titles to Steam for our PC users.
||I've been a gamer since I was
probably about five years old,
||and in all of that time, some of
my strongest and fondest memories
||are of the original
Age of Empires.
||I first watched it being played
at a friend's house
||with about six of us all
crowded around the screen.
||Everybody was shouting
out different advice,
||nobody knew what
was going on,
||not even the person
controlling the mouse.
||And then a little bit later on,
someone actually installed it
||at our PCs at school.
||So every chance we got
a group of us would rush over
||try and grab a seat, and get
down to some serious LAN.
||And I just loved the game!
||The historical setting and
the way things worked
||meant that every match
was essentially a story.
||The way that the Ages progress
means that you've always got to be
||balancing your military versus your
economy versus your research.
||And the thing that really
brought it home for me,
||was that there were so
many different ways to win.
||I annoyed a lot of my friends
by being a bit of a "turtler"
||and this was back in the days
before the trebuchets
||so I could kinda
get away with it.
||Obviously I wanted to own it myself,
so I could finally play the campaign.
||So I had to wait until Christmas,
and when Christmas rolled around
||we were on holiday, so I had
to wait another two or three weeks.
But back in those days
||I could pass the time
looking at the manual
||and the tech tree,
which came in the case.
||And they must've been the
most read bits of paper
||for a thousand miles.
I read them a million times.
||My disc was actually stolen
a few years later,
||So I dropped out a little bit,
but I'm now very happy to be
||the proud owner of
all four titles.
||And, yeah, it's amazing to see
the franchise come so far,
||it's amazing to be celebrating
the 25th Anniversary...
||And, yeah, I look forward
to seeing what the future holds.
||One of the things I absolutely
love about our franchise
||is how there's so many different
ways to experience Age of Empires.
||I'm mostly a casual player,
I like to play Skirmish a lot,
||but I also really enjoy playing
with my family and my kids.
||Some of the fondest memories
I have are of learning
||about history together through
the campaigns and the videos.
||We also like to play multiplayer
against each other.
||We essentially play these one hour,
and longer, treaty games.
||We like to take the time
to build up our eco,
||to create these beautiful
medieval towns full of castles,
||to build up our big armies, and then load
them up with trebuchets and bombards.
||And then all bets are off!
||It's every person for
themselves after that.
||So for all of you who
also have similar stories
||and experiences with Age of Empires,
||thank you so much for your
support over all these years.
||Age of Empires is a very
special franchise for me.
||Personally as a gamer, but
also as a Marketer.
||My career started in 1997,
||when I was hired as the Product Manager
for PC Games in the Netherlands.
||And one of the first games that
I worked on, was Age of Empires.
||And one of the most
||that I have in my
collection is this one.
||It's a signed copy by
||who used to come over and
excite the teams and the media
||about the franchise.
||I'm very grateful that I've been
part of this franchise from the beginning.
||And it's also interesting to see,
kinda like, how our fan base
||has grown over the
years as well.
||I used to play the game,
just with my friends
||and in today's environment,
with Age of Empires IV
||I'm actually enjoying the games
with both of my daughters
||as well as my son.
||So I'm just very excited
that I'm part of the franchise,
||That I can work with
all the talented people,
||that I can see the reactions
from the fans out there.
||And I'm very, very excited about
what the future will bring as well.
||So thank you all.
||The story of "AoE and Me" is one of
nostalgic dreams forming into reality.
||Age of Empires was one of the first games
that I remember playing growing up.
||Way back in 1997, 1998, my family
got our first at-home computer,
||and among the games we had
was one from Ensemble Studios.
||From the first time I launched
Age of Empires, I was hooked.
||Not only did I like the
||but this was a game where I
was learning history as well,
||and, more importantly, I could
build out maps and scenarios.
||This was my first gateway
into game design.
||I recall a vacation where I wasn’t
allowed to bring the family laptop,
||so I brought pens and graph paper, and I
was drawing out Age of Empires maps!
||If 10 year old me knew that I would
one day be working for Age of Empires,
||I would have been blown away!
||This is a game franchise
that I grew-up playing,
||aging up myself as the
titles aged up as well.
||Every time I expanded my
horizon on game design,
||there was Age of Empires
with a new expansion,
||new title, or peripheral
product to teach me more.
||I always viewed myself as an
educator as well as a gamer,
||and Age of Empires is
that same perfect blend.
||Flash forward in time:
I’ve gone to college,
||I've gotten my
Master's of Education,
||and I've moved to the Pacific Northwest
to be with my husband.
||And I'm looking for a job in 2019,
when a recruiter contacts me and says:
||“Have you ever heard of a
game called Age of Empires?”
||Hello, I was lucky enough to be,
||already be in Microsoft 25 years ago.
||And in fact the person who
hired me to Microsoft
||and the gaming industry, eventually
became the producer for Age of Empires.
||So being able to work on
Age of Empires again
||is literally coming full circle
back to, like back home.
||And it is a game that
obviously we all love,
||and it is really really awesome
to be able to work on something
||that so many people feel
very attached with,
||and that includes me obviously,
||And sometimes I literally
pinch myself to say like
||"Hey, I get to work on Age of Empires!"
||And so thank you very much everyone
out there who's playing the game still.
||And I hope you will also continue to
spread the love of Age of Empires
||to all our friends and family
and more people in the world.