An Update on Creator Guidelines

Hey all, a quick note from the team. Honest game reviews make us better. While content creators will always be allowed to share their thoughts on Age of Empires games openly and candidly, we do have two expectations of our creators:

  • Uphold NDAs when given confidential access to programs and information.
  • Abide by the Code of Conduct and Xbox Community Standards.

Violating terms of either of these guidelines may lead to removal from our Partner Programs - often on a temporary basis. If you have questions on this policy or its enforcement, please reach out to our Support Team.


Fix this goddamn game instead of banning people for expressing their opinion, mother of God… Not even the modding update works now and I don’t want my players to run into game breaking bugs contrary to you.


This about Age of Noob? Because I’m pretty sure he followed both of those rules, and yet he was still booted out of the program for expressing his opinion. Bad move.

As of now, I will be boycotting any and all purchases related to the Age of Empires series until the situation is resolved.


Weak post, Microsoft. Removing someone from the programme in retaliation for being called out for your own failure to uphold your end of the bargain is a really bad look. That also goes for when one of your partners failed to uphold their end of the bargain and that partner is the one getting called out.

Maybe look internally and see how dissatisfied the community is with the abomination of a “game” that you have allowed to use your IP and even share the stage with the real games, rather than finding excuses to silence criticism.

For shame.


Operative words there: pretty sure

Unless you have a copy of the NDA and read through it, it seems like conjecture to me.

As for the Code of Conduct and Xbox Community Standards, there’s a lot to read through there… which it sounds like you’ve already done?

So, you’ve read the NDA, vetted all the other terms out, and know all of AoN’s actions – assuming this is even related to his situation – so case is closed? Thanks for clearing it up for us :slight_smile:

I’m a little curious why everyone is overlooking AoN’s video from 3 months ago that was titled, “Moving on.” (Which is now, conveniently?, deleted from his channel (or maybe he just hid it more). It was easily findable just two days ago, but now I can’t locate it.) In it, he was, literally, backing away from AoE quite substantially… or at least that’s the vibe he gave. So, if he was still a partner, then you think he would still be gleefully cranking out a bunch of AoE content? Based on that video, it really didn’t seem like that’d be the case… but maybe I misinterpreted it. Can’t double-check now because I can’t find the video.

Resolved as in ‘reinstated as a partner’? Since he’s no longer a partner, maybe he’ll post the NDA for us all to see so we can each draw our own conclusions. Without seeing the NDA, it’s a little hard for anyone to give too informed of opinion on the matter. Otherwise, it’s just jumping to conclusions. And since we all like AoN, it’s easy to be biased and defend him based simply on his character and passion for AoE. I’m sorry that I prefer to see more facts to help make an informed opinion… but nobody – neither AoN, nor MS – are obligated to show us anything

Come on, state clearly what code AoN violated

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Nowhere in the OP does it state he violated a code, but I digress.
Maybe he violated the NDA? Do you have a copy of the NDA we can all see, by any chance?

PS: Although all signs point to this thread being related to AoN, nothing says that it’s related to AoN. Admittedly, if it’s not related at all to AoN, it’s mayyyybe not the best timing to post a thread like this b/c as we’ve seen, everyone thinks it’s related to AoN

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Either reinstated or paid for the work he did, or both.


I hope this happens. I think he could do well making an ASMR channel, as well, since his voice is so calm, if he ever wanted to try and diversify along that route

Frankly, the “pretty sure” doesn’t matter to me. He clearly thought he didn’t violate the NDA, and we’ve seen no specific evidence to suggest otherwise.

So we’ve got maybe he violated it, maybe he didn’t. Either way, it was clearly a minor accidental infraction. Given that, Microsoft has every right to choose how they react. They chose the nuclear option. Microsoft does not deserve our support here. Even in the worst case as far as AoN is concerned, this is still absolutely indefensible on the part of Microsoft.

This becomes even more true when you look at the context of it. Microsoft is obviously trying to silence criticism, because it’s been revealed that rather than releasing a mobile adaptation of their much-beloved franchise, they’ve sold the rights to a dodgy company with a history of lazy exploitative games. And people are naturally angry at them for this. Censoring criticism when you’ve been doing the right thing is going to engender less strong negative feelings than when you censor criticism when a whole bunch of people are already primed to criticise you.


Yeah the thing about this is it’s never up to us, it’s up to whichever lawyer(s) drafted it, and you can bet any amount of money it will hold up.

A lot of the disagreement here is moral, while failing to recognise the legal reality.

People are also assuming it’s to do with the feedback to the mobile nonsense (for a game that is an obvious redo of an existing title, with barely a lick of paint over the top, etc), because that makes emotive sense. But there’s no evidence to suggest this is the case. For all we know, AoN broke the confidentially aspect of the NDA and that was enough to boot him. We don’t know.

Choosing the explanation you think makes sense because it allows you to gotcha the devs is a logical leap, and due to how NDAs work (disclosure, I’ve signed a bunch over the years, including some that have elapsed), we’re never going to find out the actual details. So people are just going to confirmation bias themselves, over and over again. But I figured I’d write this out once, and see if it helps adjust peoples’ expectations at all.

The “legal reality” is that even if we assume AoN definitely did violate the NDA, World’s Edge can choose whether to enforce it in its strictest form, enforce some lesser penalty, let him off with just a warning, or ignore it entirely.

They chose to be extremely strict about it, in this case, purely to appease TiMi over the criticism they had faced from AoN. There is no other explanation.

That’s the bottom line.


If AoN is reinstated as a partner, what do you think he will do? Release a bunch of AoE videos moving forward, as if he was still interested in releasing a bunch of AoE content?

Better yet, if he was never removed as a partner, what do you think he would do moving forward, when 3 months ago he said, “Moving on.” Did you watch that video before?

You don’t understand how the legalities of this kind of stuff work. That’s okay.

Again, you’ve approaching this from an understandable perspective of moral right. But you’re also making assumptions you have no way of evidencing. There are other explanations, it’s just that you’ve chosen the one that makes sense to you.

Yes, the confirmation bias seems strong in this case. Somewhat expected since AoN is well-liked, but I am surprised it is clouding objective reasoning/analysis so much. Unless it is just little guy vs. big corp (anti-corp) sentiment

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Microsoft does not need you crawling to their defence. They will be just fine.

They have all the power here. The power to choose whether or not to kick out AoN. That’s just a simple legal fact. Contracts are not binding when neither party wants them to be, which would be the case if Microsoft didn’t actively choose to kick AoN out.

Stop defending them on this. It’s pitiful.


For sure there’s an element of david vs goliath going on here.

There’s also a big element of outrage over how bad the TiMi game looks.

But the main concern is the fact that a big company is stiffing a creator out of money. It doesn’t actually matter whether the NDA thing is legally justified or not, what matters is that they’re using the alleged NDA violation as an excuse to hide themselves from criticism. People hate censorship. Combine that censorship with the terrible game and the David vs Goliath element, and it’s a perfect storm.


Alright, well, thanks for the discussion I guess. It’s funny that you complain about censorship but have to undermine my position by attacking my character in order to get ahead, but whatever works.

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I would like having people so eager to run to my aid but I suspect it’s the fact I’m not called “Microsoft”.

Anyway again everyone seems to miss the point here to focus on details which is not age of noobs or showing how of a simulation of an AI you can be by applying literally a legal document while ignoring morals…
The point is that the franchise is declining, I don’t know how much money they’re getting out of it but the standard is lowering down a lot since Ror and like any cornered dog they’re using morally questionable methods to defend themselves which do nothing but increasing the sentiment that something’s going wrong.

They can’t even fix minor bugs without adding others and recently, what’s most important to me, they messed up somehow the mod center since no creator I know (let’s remember we work for free contrary to Microsoft) can update its content to fix bugs.

Maybe since they can’t fix bugs in the main game they decided that the best way to be competitive with a bunch of passionated independent creators is to make modders unable to fix bugs in their mods, at least in this way they can justify the price of the last DLC I guess since the mod versions are still available for free (but can’t be updated).


In a sense, you’ve became david vs. goliath here. Goliath being the many AoN staunch supporters or anti-MS people. Your voice, because it isn’t part of the AoN Goliath, being silenced. Seems a little like that anyways :slight_smile:

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