(Direct copy from AOEO blog section. Link .)
I announced in January of this year that AOEO had entered its support phase, meaning that no new content would be added to the game. Then, last month, we mentioned in the forums that AOEO had an end date. That information should have come clearly from me, with a clear and specific itemization of what that means to you, the players. So let’s fix that.
Age of Empires Online will close on July 1, 2014. On that day, the service will cease to function, and no further games can be played. The servers will be taken offline, and no features of the game or the game service will work without the servers. Until that date, the game will continue to fully function just as it does now. You can quest, raid, chat and trade as much as you like until then.
However, no one new can join the game. If you have ever downloaded the game, from Games for Windows Live, Steam or other digital sources, or if you bought a code at a retail store, you can still play the game in its entirety. New players cannot join.
Existing players will continue to receive full support until the sunset date. Our community team will still maintain and moderate the forums, still stream single and multiplayer play, still diligently answer your support requests. Our server team will keep things running. We’re still here, helping you, listening to you, and playing with you.
All purchases have been disabled. This means that you cannot buy more Empire Points, which is the way you pay for additional content, like new civilizations. You can still earn EP through regular gameplay, just like always, and the stores still function normally, to buy civilizations, vanity items, consumables and more. But you cannot spend real money on more EP.
That creates a problem for some of the newest players, however. If you have just started to play AOEO, but not bought any EP, you may be ‘stuck’ in that it will take a long time to build up enough EP to buy a premium civilization. To help all the newest players, as well as give a gift of thanks to our grizzled veterans, on Tuesday, September 17, we will grant 1000 EP to all existing players. This is enough to purchase a full civilization, with a little left over for some fun. That should be a sufficient boost to let new players jump into the game fully and earn more EP over the next several months.
There are still plenty of players here, from the diehard Season Pass holders to people who just joined last month. Plus, there are lots of people who downloaded this game over the last two years and who have wandered off in the meantime. Reach out to them! They can come back, see all the changes that have been made, and enjoy the EP gift to try out some of them. Most importantly, they can play with us all. Like any good game, AOEO is more fun with friends.
To all our players--current, former, and in between--thank you. Thank you for choosing to spend your time here with us in Age of Empires Online. We’ll be here with you until the end.