Analysis of DLC's sales to AoE 2

In this topic, I would like to present an analysis of all three DLCs released so far for Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition.

Game charts (game without DLCs)

Lords of the West (DLC)

Dawn of the Dukes (DLC)

Dynasties of India (DLC)


According to these charts, Lords of the West DLC has the most AoE 2 players and Dawn of the Dukes DLC a little less. Dynasties of India DLC as the newest and most expensive DLC (Dawn of the Dukes DLC costs the same, but it was free in the AoE 4 preorder) has more than three times fewer players.

Dawn of the Dukes DLC and Dynasties of India DLC have a very good reputation with a similar percentage of positive reviews. Lords of the West DLC also has a good reputation, but has a 10% lower percentage of positive reviews than the rest of the DLCs.

Based on the charts, I conclude that the best-selling European DLCs - most likely from the common knowledge of European history and its civilization. For sure, the creators will in the future create another European DLC for greater reach and a decisive profit.

In addition to the European DLC, they most likely have much shorter ranges, but they do not differ much in quality from the European DLC. Certainly, such DLCs are aimed more at AoE 2 veterans and for advanced enthusiasts of history around the world and, above all, the inhabitants of local areas. Perhaps the next non-European DLCs will have a large number of civs, similar to the DoI DLC, i.e. 3 civs (perhaps even 4 civs).

At the very end, I would like to write that the most reasonable model for publishing DLCs would be to release large DLCs (3-5 civs) focusing on non-European areas and smaller European DLCs (2-3 civs). So that people would not be bored with the constant focus on one continent, I think that next DLCs should focus on other continents: now Africa and America.


You know that the older dlcs have been out for much longer and on sale multiple times also?

And ofc the more dlcs are there the less newer ones will probably be bought aswell.

I don’t think we can read anything out of these stats, but I’m pretty sure FE will track how their dlcs are perceived and make their own conclusions.


I took that into account…

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So less then 1% of the player base is buying DLCs?! That is really, really, really low to me. Seems like people dont really like new civs at all, which is pretty much what i expected. No one really likes the new civs which are played like an existing civ or use gimmicks to make them unique. Both arent interested at all.

These stats back up my opinion about fixing the game first. That needs to be a priority. Thinks like TG rating is broken since release and devs dont really do anything about it. Also smurfing becomes much more an issue in ranked, but this is also fully ignored by the devs. Things like these needs to get much more priority.

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Maybe the dlc sells in bundles aren’t included?
It looks also suspiciously low to me. With this sell numbers it would probably not be worth making these…


To me it also seems a bit ridiculous, considering literally everyone I know has all 3.


According to the achievement stats half the playerbase “isn’t interested” into winning a game with the tutorial civilization and 60% isn’t interested into hunting boar into the dark age, nor can be bothered to seed more 1000 farms. It’s just that many people buy the game and don’t play it this much. And even then 1% is too low compared to how many people who are invested in the game have them.


Rather, it seems to me that not every AoE 2 owner is his faithful fan. There are many people who play a game for a while and then give it up. Instead of looking at the total number of AoE 2 DE owners, it is better to look at the number of active players (number of players per week) and compare this number to DLC sales. Those who do not play AoE 2 will not come back to the game to correct their mistakes, because if they liked to play AoE 2 at all, they would have played it despite the mistakes.

This doesn’t relate to AoE 2, but it fits the context. If there is a poor restaurant there are no customers. If they start to season their food better, they will not win customers without advertising, renovation and new dishes. If the developers do not release new DLCs, they will not gain new players and those who have abandoned it (e.g. due to boredom). Bug fixes are of interest to those who play the game on a regular basis, not those who do not. People finally have to understand this…

For those who don’t like the new content, there is AoE 2 HD.


It should also be remembered that there are people who buy DLC and do not play its content, and there are also players who would like to buy DLCs and play them, but unfortunately cannot afford it - e.g. due to the lack of money that can be allocated for the purchase of DLC for example.

BTW, I would like to buy all DLCs for AoE 2 DE myself, but I can’t afford such an expense yet. I only have DotD DLC purchased on promotion. I played LotW content during an event where it was possible to play it without having this DLC (July 6th-July 20th, 2021). After the premiere of DoI, I was playing Hindustanis civ a lot, hungry to play new civs from the Indian subcontinent. Unfortunately, but after receiving the scholarship, I cannot afford to invest heavily in games (and even more so in DLCs), because I also have other expenses, more priorities.

A small sample size always leads to confirmation bias.

That being said i always am amazed about how low this number is. I did expect much higher sales of DLCs. People always claim DLCs are mainly for single players who love campaigns, but if i see these numberr and match them with my experience in ranked, then almost all DLC owners must be playing ranked and the single player community just fully ignore the DLCs. But this a contraction with popular believe of DLCs are mainly focussed on the SP community.

Pretty good point. But then you still end up around the same numbers. Using a site like you can see the number of players in the last 28 days on each ladder. Some people are active on multiple ladder so you cant just add all numbers together. Also you cant see unranked anymore. But based on the ratio ranked / unranked in the past and the active players on ranked, i would estimate the multiplayer base at around 250.000 active users each month. Many people claim that the community is about 20% MP / 80% SP. So using that you still got to 1.25M active users. Then compare this to the latest DLC (Since people who bougth older DLCs might have gone inactive), and you still gets a surprising low percentage.

So all these stats still suggests a really low interest into buying DLCs Ăłr the stats are just totally wrong. I know at least one thing we arent correcting for: We are looking at Steam sales, but not everyone uses Steam. A part of the community is using the Xbox live platform.

But even if correcting for this i still find the number really, really low. Something really seems off to me.

Bug fixes are used to let the player base stay at the game. So without bug fixes the player base will slowly decline and new DLCs will sell less and less. DLCs are mainly bought by the regular player base. So it make sense to make the regular player base happy, so they will stay longer and put more money into the game.

That’s really strange, considering the DLCs have spectacular campaigns, amongst the best in the game by far. The DLC campaigns blow pretty much every other campaign out of the water, so I would definitely expect lots of sales with the SP community.

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All of my friends have all DLC-s, this seems to be a big nonsense.

Ownership is based on reviews but for dlcs that usually never get many reviews (even though many people buy), this will of course mess up the estimate


A high estimate of just 8.500 people buying the last Indian DLC seems far too low indeed. I see many people playing the Indian civs during random matches.

I personally got 1 DLC for free, 1 on sale and the latest one I bought at launch cause I like the Indian theme. I’ll get any others as well. With the prices of gas and groceries going through the roof these days, I feel less bad about spending 10 euros on a fun DLC.


If the DLC sales were so low we would not have gotten 3 already. With the suggested numbers looks like they are hardly paying for themselves.This is no charity but a businness.


In my case i didn’t buy beacuse 10 € is too much for me for 3 camapgins per DLC(There are guys who are doing custom campagin-for free and they are much more fun that one that devs created) . I love singleplayer and that is the only thing that intrest me, as long as they invest in singleplayer part of game i would buy.
For Multyplayer part i don’t like classic multplayer and Battle Royale is kind of not my style. That’s my opinion.
Im waiting for summer sale then maybe i will buy some DLC’s.

I buy the dlcs for the constant support of the FE team and all that stuff.
I think it’s fair to have like 2 dlcs @10 € per year. It’s not that I think everybody should do it that uses aoe2 de constantly but for me it’s a fair price tag.

Another way of estimating the % of players who bought each DLC is looking at achievements, since some are really hard to miss (win a game with civs).
That seems to be the most reliable way of seeing who owns DLCs, although not 100% reliable (the highest vanilla civ are the Celts at 49.8% then the Franks at 34.3%). I’ll also not count the Gurjaras since the Prithviraj campaign can be accessed without the DLC.

LOTW : Burgundians 7.8%, Sicilians 6.7%
DATW : Poles 4.7%, Bohemians 4.5%. Train 10 houfnice as the Bohemians : 6.8% (one third who bought the DLC and played as the Bohemians didn’t win even once ?)
DOI : Dravidians 3.1% Bengali 2.7%

So we have the minimal values of : 7.8% of all DE owners on Steam have LOTW, 6.8% have DATW and 3.1% have DOI.

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