APRIL FOOLS JOKE: I'm proud to announce that we've finally come to an agreement with Valve on future development of Empires. Through back and forth emails with Gabe Newell, I finally convinced him to seriously try Empires a few weeks ago. He loved it, and sees great potential in our ideas! All current developers have officially been offered a 3-year contract with Valve to complete Empires. With this new funding, we will be able to develop Empires full-time! The offer was also extended to Krenzo, who has expressed interest on returning to Empires after his term with Smashball is up. There is one downside to this: Empires will only be free for a few more months. To achieve a return on their investment, Valve has stipulated a small (~$10) price for the next major release (probably 3.0). As part of the agreement, we must meet certain feature requirements including: aircraft 2 additional player classes support for up to 64 players in a server complete soundtrack (we'll probably get some help from Valve on this) More detailed maps (again, Valve will probably help us out a bit) Now some people may be skeptical about paying for Empires, but I personally guarantee that it'll be worth it. Thanks to the entire community for all your support during these rough times.