While Ensemble Studios finishes Halo Wars, the development of Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties falls on Brian Reynold's Big Huge Games, best known for Rise of Nations and Rise of Legends (and developers of XBLA's Catan).

Reynolds says, "We feel that the in-depth experience of Big Huge Games in the real-time strategy genre, combined with the solid reputation of the Age of Empires franchise, will result in something fresh and unique for gamers." Considering Age of Empires and Rise of Nations are two sides of the same coin, it's certainly interesting to see how chummy Ensemble and Big Huge Games are here, considering they should be competitors. This would also be another recent instance of Big Huge Games working closely with Microsoft.

Strangely, the press release really doesn't drop many details. Asian civilizations will be playable, 15 new Asian "wonders" and "new ways of winning and trading." The screenshot you see above is also the only one that was released. The press release feels like Microsoft is just letting consumers know that Big Huge Games is taking the Age of Empires franchise out for a spin. We'll see how they enjoy the ride when the game ships on ... yeah, doesn't say that either.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.