Q: What is the Age of Empires Insider Program?
A: The Age of Empires Insider Program is a new opportunity for gamers to get an inside perspective on the Age of Empires franchise. Insiders will receive email updates and surveys relating to the game’s development, and every Insider will be automatically considered for access to the beta for Age of Empires: Definitive Edition!
Q: What do I get by signing up to the Age of Empires Insider Program?
A: By signing up as an Age Insider, you’ll receive a number of perks and bonuses. First, you’ll receive a monthly newsletter from our team providing an inside look at the news and developments in the Age of Empires franchise. You’ll also receive surveys via email asking for feedback about our games, our website, and our community. We will award you a unique “Insider” badge on the official Age of Empires forum, identifying you as one of the leaders of our community. Last but certainly not least, you must be an Age Insider to be considered for early testing phases of Age of Empires: Definitive Edition.
Q: When does the closed beta start? Will Age Insiders get access to Age of Empires: Definitive Edition soon?
A: Yes! Our first set of surveys (which you must fill out to get on the list for the closed beta) have been sent out! We will send several rounds of beta surveys, so even if you missed the first round, make sure to jump into the Insider Program ASAP for your chance to be included in the next one.
Q: How do I sign up?
A: You can sign up to the Age of Empires Insider Program through our website. The sign-up process takes about ten minutes and will require an Xbox Live account, a contact email address, and the completion of our Age Insider Survey. You’ll also need to confirm your email address when you’re done.
Q: Do I need an Xbox Live Account? What if I don’t have one?
A: Yes, an Xbox Live Account is required. If you don’t have one, don’t despair! Creating an Xbox Account is free and takes less than five minutes. You can create one by visiting aka.ms/accountcreate. Once your account has been set up, you can use it to register for the Age of Empires Insider Program.
Q: If I sign up, am I guaranteed access to Age of Empires tests and closed betas?
A: No, signing up for the Age of Empires Insider Program does not mean you’ll be automatically selected for any of our testing phases, nor that you’ll receive every survey; our development and research teams will determine which Age Insiders best match our research needs on a case-by-case basis. However, signing up as an Age of Empires Insider is a prerequisite for participating, and even if you’re not selected for a closed testing phase, you’ll be the first to find out about other opportunities to get involved!
Q: When do I find out if I have been chosen to take part in the closed beta?
A: The closed beta will take part in several phases. At the beginning of each phase, we will identify Age Insiders that best fit our research needs and send those Age Insiders an invitation via email; that email will have instructions for accessing the beta build and providing feedback. We will announce each round of invites on our Facebook, Twitter, and Official Forums, so keep your eye out! If you don’t receive an invitation, you haven’t been selected for that beta phase. But don’t despair—more phases are on their way, so you may still get your chance, and there are still plenty of ways to participate in the Age of Empires community in the meantime!
Q: How can I improve my chances of being selected for future testing phases of the game?
A: First and foremost, we use the data from the Age of Empires Insider Program sign-up survey to help us select players. We're looking to bring in a range of different kinds of players, with different kinds of PCs, so there's no "right" way to answer the survey. Beyond that, we're looking for Age Insiders who can provide meaningful feedback to our development team. Two ways our team can evaluate that are by monitoring who's active in our forum, and who completes the surveys we send as part of our Age Insider mails. While neither will guarantee inclusion in a testing phase, both are helpful to us in evaluating who might be a good fit for our current testing phase in order to create the best game we possibly can.
Q: What’s the difference between the Age of Empires Insider Program and the testing phases/beta tests?
A: The Age of Empires Insider Program is open to everyone age 18+ and is designed to bring our most dedicated fans closer to the Age of Empires franchise with exclusive content, regular surveys, and the opportunity to be invited into testing phases. A “testing phase” is any period during which we grant access to the game early to help us gather valuable feedback. For these phases, we will select participants from among the group of Age of Empires Insiders.
Q: Why do I need to be 18+ to sign up?
A: There are a couple of reasons for this. Age Insiders are required to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (“NDA”) so they don’t publicly share information about the game before it’s ready. This NDA also covers our surveys, as well as exclusive information that Age Insiders learn through our email updates. As an NDA is essentially a contract, there’s a legal requirement for the person signing to be 18 years or over, so this carries through to the Age Insider Program as a whole.
Q: Does the requirement for an Xbox Live account mean that the game is coming to Xbox One?
A: We love our fans who own an Xbox One, and we understand wanting to play this legendary RTS on the platform of your choice. However, for the 20th Anniversary of the Age of Empires franchise, we decided to honor the Age legacy and stay true to the platform where it all began: the personal computer. Therefore, Age of Empires: Definitive Edition is a Windows 10 exclusive; there are no plans to bring it to Xbox One.
Q: I’m all signed up! What now?
A: Welcome to the team! Keep an eye on your inbox for our Insider-exclusive communications, as well as beta invitations (if you’re selected for the next phase of the closed beta). In the meantime, get involved with the community! Head to our forums where you’ll stand out with your shiny new Insider badge, or over to our website’s history section where you can explore the history covered in Age of Empires: Definitive Edition. Remember to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and say hi!
Q: Why am I still not getting the survey?
A: It could be one of a few things, here's how to fix them!
1. We are sending out the intake surveys every Friday. If you missed the first one because you hadn't signed up yet don't worry you will get the next one!
2. If you signed up through any of these domains there is an ~90% chance that it will block emails from the survey tool we are using. We would recommend signing up again with a different email.
3. If you didn't use one of these domains then make sure you check your spam/ junk email folder again, and double check that you spelled your email correctly when you signed up!