Firingsquad had an interview with Brian Reynolds from Big Huge Games about their upcoming Age Of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties expansion pack.
FiringSquad: First, how did the idea come about for the next Age of Empires expansion pack?
Brian Reynolds: As Age 3 continued to get a good response from fans, it was decided that the experiment of a second expansion pack was worth trying, there was clearly enough interest. Although Age 3 up until this point had been strictly about the New World, it was also in a broader sense about the so-called "Age of Discovery" or "Age of Exploration" and the Far East was one region that really saw a lot of activity during this period, while the European nations were expanding into the New World, they were also coming into direct contact with the great powers of Asia for the first time China, India, and Japan from which they had previously had contact only through travelers' tales. So we thought these Asian nations would make a great addition to the game, and the central Age 3 concepts such as the home city worked equally well for European visits to Asia (or Asian visits to the New World!)