It's been a while since we've heard anything about Age of Empires IV, but now in an end-of-year update, Xbox Entertainment Studios general manager Shannon Loftis has shed new light on how development is coming along.

The game is being developed by Relic Entertainment, known for the likes of Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War and Company of Heroes, and Loftis says the team is "making great progress", with the core of the game now in place.

"We are making great progress on Age of Empires IV. I don’t want to make you jealous, but we are literally playing this game every single day—both in Washington and in Vancouver.

RTS development is funny: it takes a while to build the separate systems (AI, economy, sim, rendering, etc), and then it takes a while for them to come together. But when they do, you suddenly have a game—a game that needs debugging and balance and polish— but the core of the game that you know you’re going to ship. And the best part is that it feels like an Age of Empires game.

Our partners at Relic have been incredible stalwarts as we all migrated development from office to home, and modified (through trial and error) our processes to help facilitate productivity to keep the game on track. So much passion, such great developers, artists, designers, narrators, audio experts, and community—not to mention the backbone functions that keep the company going."

Unfortunately, we haven't got any new videos or screenshots to share - and we still don't know whether a console release is in the works - but hopefully we'll get to learn a lot more about Age of Empires IV throughout 2021.

Are you excited for Age of Empires IV? Let us know down in the comments below.