Empire Earth (series)

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The Empire Earth series is a franchise of real-time strategy computer games developed by Stainless Steel Studios and Mad Doc Software, and published by Sierra Entertainment, Activision, and Vivendi. The games in the series are historical RTS games that are similar to Age of Empires.[1] Rick Goodman, who designed Empire Earth and Empires: Dawn of the Modern World, was one of the lead designers of Age of Empires. The games use the Titan and Titan 2.0 engine, which was sold after SSSI closed.

Chronology[edit]

The first game of the series, Empire Earth, was released in 2001. It was developed by SSSI (Stainless Steel Studios), and published by Sierra Entertainment. The game was praised for its in-depth gameplay, and received positive critical acclaim. The 2 million unit sales were enough to spawn an expansion pack and several sequels to the game. The game had 14 epochs in it, which totaled 500,000 years. The game also included 21 nations, from every age and location. It was also developed for the mobile phone in 2005.

Released in 2002, Empire Earth: The Art of Conquest was an expansion pack for the first Empire Earth. The expansion pack added several new campaigns and features to the game, but was received negatively because there were many small bugs that were never addressed by Mad Doc Software. The expansion pack was released in 2002, after the release of Empire Earth but before the release of Empires: Dawn of the Modern World.

Empires: Dawn of the Modern World was not technically the sequel to Empire Earth, but it was released in 2003 and sometimes called the Spiritual Sequel to Empire Earth.[2] The game was also designed by Rick Goodman and the SSSI team, and had many throwbacks to the first Empire Earth. Empires: Dawn of the Modern World was much more condensed, with only 1,000 years and only nine civilizations. Even so, the game received positive acclaim as a good RTS, but not very innovative.

Empire Earth II was released in 2005, two years after Empires: Dawn of the Modern World. Empire Earth II was developed by Mad Doc Software and published by Vivendi, since Stainless Steel Studios left the project to develop Empires: Dawn of the Modern World. Empire Earth II used revamped graphics and weather effects, but still retained the original feel of Empire Earth's gameplay. The game was received relatively well (about 79% on average according to MetaCritic), a little lower than the original Empire Earth and Empires: Dawn of the Modern World.

A screen shot from Empire Earth II

Empire Earth II: The Art of Supremacy was released in 2006, and was an expansion pack for Empire Earth II. The expansion pack added several new campaigns, civilizations, units, and features to the original Empire Earth II game. However, the game was received worse than its expansion pack predecessor, and was considered bad for its lack of innovation with the new campaigns it offered.

Empire Earth III, also called EE3, is a real-time strategy computer game by Mad Doc Software and released by Vivendi Universal on November 5, 2007. However, it was received poorly in contrast to its predecessors.

Empire Earth Mobile is a Civilization' style TBS developed by Vivendi and published by Wonderphone. It is quite smaller than any other title in the series, with only four epochs and other condensed features.

Marketing[edit]

The series' tag line for marketing (which is also the ending statement to the in-game video at the loading of Empire Earth) is:

'Epic' is too small a word

as the games are very epoch diverse. [3]

Demise[edit]

The decline of reviews for each game, trend line shown in red.

The Empire Earth series was ended with the release of Empire Earth III, which received mainly negative and average reviews and widespread condemnation from fans of the series. Any remnants of it were removed from Mad Doc Software's official website. On November 1, 2008, multiplayer support was dropped for Empire Earth, Empire Earth: The Art of Conquest and Empire Earth II,[4][5] Leaving only Empire Earth II: The Art of Supremacy, Empire Earth III,and Empires: Dawn of the Modern World with multiplayer servers.

Empires: Dawn of the Modern World multiplayer is no longer active, except to enthusiasts, partially due to the end of main support for software updates.[6] Online activity continues to decrease on Empire Earth II: The Art of Supremacy and Empire Earth III due to the lack of updates and support.

Reception[edit]

Empire Earth, the first in the series, was well received by the critics, averaging an 82% overall.[7] Empire Earth II did not do as well as its predecessor, with only a 79% average.[8] The expansion packs were given mediocre reviews at best, with Conquest averaging 66% and Supremacy averaging 61%.[9][10] Empires: Dawn of the Modern World had a closer rating to Empire Earth than anything else in the series, with an 81% average.[11] Empire Earth mobile averaged about 77%.[12] Empire Earth III was the worst received title of the series averaging only a 50% overall.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Gamespot rating". Gamespot. Retrieved 2006-12-30. 
  2. ^ "Empires: Dawn of the Modern World". GameZone. November 12, 2003. Archived from the original on 2007-06-14. Retrieved 2007-04-15. 
  3. ^ Rausch, Allen (2004-07-09). "Empire Earth 2 (PC)". GameSpy. IGN. Retrieved 2007-06-20. 
  4. ^ http://www.joystiq.com/2008/10/08/servers-for-21-sierra-games-shutting-down/
  5. ^ http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/55173
  6. ^ http://empires.heavengames.com/cgi-bin/forums/display.cgi?action=ct&f=3,1861,,10
  7. ^ "Empire Earth". GameRankings. Retrieved 2007-03-21. 
  8. ^ "Empire Earth II". GameRankings. Retrieved 2007-03-21. 
  9. ^ "Empire Earth: The Art of Conquest". GameRankings. Retrieved 2007-03-21. 
  10. ^ "Empire Earth: The Art of Surpremacy". GameRankings. Retrieved 2007-03-21. 
  11. ^ "Empires: Dawn of the Modern World". GameRankings. Retrieved 2007-03-21. 
  12. ^ "Empire Earth". GameRankings. Retrieved 2007-03-21. 
  13. ^ >"Empire Earth III". MetaCritic. Retrieved 2016-04-14.