We first heard rumors that Age of Empires II would be coming to Steam when some scrubbed Valve's databases last week, but now the news is official. Microsoft announced today that Age of Empires II HD Edition will be coming to Steam on April 9, or April 5 for those that prepurchase.
Since the original Age of Empires franchise developers, Ensemble Studios, has been closed since 2009 , Hidden Path Entertainment of Counter Strike: Global Offensive fame will be working on Age of Empires II HD. Interesting note, after Ensemble Studios closed its members formed several indie studios, two of which were acquired by Zynga. They've gone on to make games like Orcs Must Die, Words With Friends and We Farm for iOS. Oh, they also had a part in Age of Empires Online, thought they passed it on to Gas Powered Games -- to GPG's ultimate demise.
Expect a fully rebuilt graphical engine with HD visuals, every single player mission from the original Age of Empires II and its Conqueror expansion, and good ol' online multiplayer like we all remember.
Age of Empires II HD will be coming exclusively to Steam on April 9 (April 5 for prepurchases) and as such will have full Steamworks support. Expect leaderboards, achievements, matchmaking and the sharing of user-created content through the workshop. This is retro done right, methinks. Check out the announcement trailer below, but please excuse the GameSpot watermark as they seem to have the exclusive on it.