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How TiMi Studio and World's Edge are adapting Age of Empires for mobile speaks to TiMi Studio Group GM Brayden Fan and producer Robin Xin about the strategy game's development
How TiMi Studio and World's Edge are adapting Age of Empires for mobile
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Age of Empires is one of the most recognised real-time strategy games in the world - so it’s little surprise that the IP is coming to mobile.

To make it happen, World’s Edge, which oversees the franchise, has partnered with Tencent’s TiMi Studio, developer of one of the most successful mobile games ever in Honor of Kings. It’s also worked on huge games licences, including Call of Duty: Mobile and Pokémon Unite.

The title will be a free-to-play entry in the series, with pre-registrations available across North America, South America, Europe, MENA and Southeast Asia. The title will include “elements of real-time strategy” gameplay that the series is famous for, while combining it with 4X strategy, a genre that has proven lucrative on mobile.

Age of Mobile

A similar title called Return to Empire has already been released in China, with AppMagic data estimating lifetime gross revenue of approximately $94 million to date on iOS. The figure does not include data from third-party Android stores in the country.

Speaking to, TiMi Studio Group GM Brayden Fan states that while that Return to Empire and the global version of Age of Empires Mobile “share some classic art assets and unique mechanics that have already been verified by a large number of players”, they have been “separate titles from the beginning”, with different game design philosophies and concepts.

“Age of Empires Mobile will place more emphasis on Age franchise content and catering to the needs of global players,” says Fan.

“Another big difference is that Age of Empires Mobile will not reset players’ progress after each season, so players will be able to progress and grow unimpeded.

“In terms of development, Return to Empire was developed by TiMi Studio Group and authorised by World’s Edge, whereas Age of Empires Mobile has been co-developed by TiMi Studio Group and World’s Edge.”


TiMi is one of the world’s most successful mobile developers and houses more than 5,000 staff working across multiple teams across offices in Shenzhen, Chengdu and Shanghai. TiMi’s Age of Empires team is based in the Shanghai studio, with 100 developers working on the title - not including the team at World’s Edge.

A different experience

While TiMi has had success across genres, RTS games have historically been challenging to bring to the mobile space. And as a longstanding RTS franchise, Age of Empires has a fanbase that expects the classic gameplay the IP is known for. So how are TiMi and World’s Edge adapting the game for mobile and how will it differ from PC?

“The gameplay and controls are custom built for mobile play, which requires a much different approach from a PC game.”
Robin Xin, TiMi Studio

Age of Empires Mobile producer Robin Xin admits that Age of Empires is an iconic franchise, for which they are delivering a new experience for, said to be necessitated to fit onto a mobile device.

“Age of Empires Mobile is a simulated war strategy game from the Age of Empires universe that combines RTS elements with fast combat, base building, social competition, and historical heroes for a new way to experience the epic battles of history,” says Xin.

“The gameplay and controls are custom built for mobile play, which requires a much different approach from a PC game. We need to make sure the user interface is clean and simple enough to manage on a phone.

“One thing that we want to help players do is focus more on their overall strategic planning, so we’ve reduced the number of combat units players need to control at once, as well as the frequency of operations required to manage their military might.

“We’ve also augmented our gameplay and will introduce various single-player missions. Some of these will be based on the RTS gameplay you know, while there’s others that will offer new strategy mechanics.

“And we do think our multiplayer modes add further distinction, notably the epic siege wars that are at the heart of our alliance gameplay. Here, you’ll join with other players and cooperate to achieve ultimate victory in competitions against other massive player alliances.”


Xin says that Age of Empires Mobile will enable “massive battles” of thousands of players on the same screen, with an emphasis on pre-battle strategy and planning - which sounds a lot like a 4K strategy title.

“With more than 10,000 players on a single server, we hope players a nearly MMO-feel to our in-game world as well,” says Xin.

Age of Empires Mobile has just surpassed one million pre-registrations. It’s currently available in beta in the Philippines, France, and Indonesia.

The title is set for a global release later this year, with the App Store page claiming an August 19th, 2024 launch date.