The blog makes sure to point out that the game definitely isn't dying, and players that have purchased content don't have to worry about losing their investments (yet). So why is the game ceasing new production? Simple: the all-mighty dollar (or lack thereof). AOEO's Trajan has this to say: "[C]reating top-tier content, as we have been for the last year and a half, is very expensive-too expensive to maintain for long, as it turns out. We can no longer afford to keep creating it. AOEO already has a very large amount of high-quality, hand-crafted entertainment, and adding more is no longer cost-effective."
While new features and civilizations will never see the light of day in Age of Empires Online, there's something else players should be concerned about as well: any future bugs or even current bugs will be fixed slowly, if they're even fixed at all. While I don't want to jump to conclusions too quickly, this doesn't sound promising for the future of the game. Free-to-play games survive due to a constant stream of content, giving players new ways to spend money. Without these new features, will Age of Empires Online survive until the end of this new year? We'll make sure to let you know if the situation becomes worse than it already is.
Are you disappointed to learn that new content will stop being produced for Age of Empires Online? Sound off in the comments!