Aoe4 as an Esport

Hey guys, what do you think of Age 4’s future as an esport? I honestly think that if microsoft plays their cards right then this can become the biggest RTS esport. Once aoe4 releases it will be the latest triple A RTS we’ve seen in a long time. A sort of regional tournament leading up to a huge tournament every year like for sc2 sounds like it would be a good path for the aoe4 to take. What do you guys think about this in general?


That would be really cool but i don’t know if the price helps. Esports are mostly f2p


A more important question to ask before wondering about IV’s chances is looking at the game market and asking ‘how big are RTS games’, in other words, is there an audience on which esport scene could be built upon and potential competition that would show the potential for investment into creating one. Because without proper funding for an extended period of time chances for this game to blow up like I don’t know… Fortnite, Terraria or Valheim- are rather low like for any other game. 3%, 5%? Among strategy fans ofc considerably bigger.

Strategies on PC are huge but filtering everything that is focused on SP-only stuff and is an actual RTS then it’s probably not that big. And certainly when you search on the level of products from huge publishers like Microsoft- not a lot of examples to use in a discussion.
The gaming market grew in such a way that for decades consoles have been a vital part of it and whether developers or even publishers liked it or not - they had to think first and foremost multiplatform, and by default designing for consoles excludes quite a few classic-PC genres and subgenres. As a result that genre became much less prominent than it was 20 years ago when AoE II released.

It’s impossible to even guess, not because a lot of behind that kind of success is a MS dedication to spend a lot of extra money + luck, but we don’t know how this game is going to even look like. Closed beta was a good vertical slice, but I don’t think that build could be used to judge IV’s chances to nurture esports scene.
Define ‘huge’. Looking at the industry as a whole even the most popular RTS games, classic or not, have a fraction of the player base from huge titles. And I’m already skipping in mind F2P titles for obvious reasons.

CS got big because everyone played mod and then went straight into fairly low-entry pricepoint full releases when FPS games started to grow really big. The same goes for Call of Duty.
RTS games are not exactly on the rise in popularity among players as a whole. You’ve got very strong enclaves around Total War series, around many types of 4X games, around various (survival) builders… But major publishers kinda abandoned or messed up their IPs and for years the number of AAA releases from them was dropping a bit.
Partly because older AAAs would be today probably just AA titles. And only available on PC. That is not a lot of potential money to be made here, and they don’t care/want to deal with mid-sized projects.

Kids are playing Apex, Fortnite, Call of Duty, FIFA or whatever FOTM game their friends like. Nobody now is growing up playing WarCraft II till 3am.
They are getting free cosmetic drops from Twitch or whatever and dance moves microDLC for retweeting some dumb ■■■■. Who will print out tech trees, whip out a notepad and start designing build orders and map strategies for some RTS game?

Forgot to mention - by default, whether game is good or not, only a small fraction of players is interested in playing competitive multiplayer for a long period of time. And when it comes to MP- looks like we’ll be getting a very classic system. And that kind of thing is not fresh nor as attractive as maybe it once was. In order for the MP scene to get huge, the sale number would have to be counted in few millions.

Personally I was (well, still am) hoping for more innovative multiplayer modes. DEs were experimenting with that- challenge map in 3DE, co-op missions in 2DE. A lot of people love online coop and a lot lot PvE. And for every free Warframe or Destiny 2 you seem to have Outriders or other ‘normal’ games that seem to make money (well wrong use of words. I mean they are not designed to be f2p and a price tag:)). I’d love to see something fresh and dynamic and not just typical, classic encounter design.

The world is moving forward, and staying in the same place results in moving backward. Classic pvp design is awesome but guess what- we have an awesome version of it in recent AoE2/3DE. Making another one like that is just fragmenting the market, not bringing new people in. Not calling to change or abandon these modes, just add something new that will appeal to new players.

It’s much easier to get into multiplayer modes in Apex or Siege and be good/feel good/get better almost instantly with every round, than to jump into 1v1 on Arabia and get instant gratification and incentive to stay and learn.

tl;dr - maybe, maybe not :slight_smile:


Who would want to watch your kind of games except yourself?

While you clearly make some valid points i feel like your view drifted into a bit of a pessimistic assumtion though :wink:

I full agree with “maybe, maybe not” because we just can not know. However, just because other games are more “noob friendly” or “casual friendly” or whatever you want to call the easier entrance for apex etc. that does not mean no one will go for any game that has a higher hurdle to get into. Less, yeah, but not none. Your post felt in the end like that was the problem and i think that is too balck & white as a view.

The biggest point for AoE4 in regards to new people: It is a new AAA RTS game with big names behind it.
Don’t get me wrong, old RTS games are great like AoE2 etc. but they are not in the media, they are not being much reported about or discussed outside of our RTS bubble. They are not “hip” or “new” which are selling points for newer generations. AoE4 breaks this barrier which is normal of course for a AAA release, but that is also why it may draw more people into RTS than you would think with the view of “hurdle to big, look at the other RTS games”.

This is for some younger ones the first big RTS game they see in the news or read in the gaming magazines about. It is a new chance to get a different generation on board. There are still people who enjoy challenge and learning. Sure, it is not the majority, but we dont need the majority to be a succesful esport.

Another big point is the Game Pass having AoE4 in it. This allows for a lot of people who would not buy a 60$ game but have the game pass anyways to jump in “for free” (yes, i am talking about people who were already subscribed before AoE4 making it free for them). This opens up another area of potential new audience.

So while i agree with your basic statement, i felt you left out a few of the positive aspects which i wanted to add here :wink:

TL;DR: There is definitely potential for growth, but we have to see how it goes :slight_smile:


Yeah, people lost intesrest so much that there are more people watch AoE 1 at 2.0 speed than AoE 2 at 1.7 speed.

I think AoE2 will be the esport, and AoE4 will be catered more towards casual play. Way too expensive and some other things that hint towards that.

It seems to me that AoE 4 has excellent chances to take a serious place in the RTS esports world.
The fact is that the e-sports RTS market is now empty, not a single major publisher is now investing large sums of money in any sports RTS (Blizzard is not going to engage in StarCraft 2), so the absence of serious competition is the best conditions that can be.

Considering how much money Microsoft invests in sporting events AoE 2 DE, in fact an old game, we can assume that much more money will be poured into AoE 4, namely, big money is the key to the success of live sports, attracting advertisers, buying streamers, athletes, bloggers and so on, this is how Valorant, for example, from a weird clone of CS GO, became one of the most popular games on Twitch.

So yeah, we have a good, well-made RTS, we have a publisher with huge (almost limitless) resources that confidently wants to have a sports AAA RTS that will be great content for Game Pass, this is a great foundation for success.


“None!” is the answer! You keep posting these weird “slow pace should be equal to fast pace” posts and everywhere you get the same response form people…

The game you are refering to does not solve what you say your problem is. If both sides can program an AI for their play the faster one will still be better because as you said you can influence manually the fights even with the AI. It is more like the default action of a unit that you can program, a-move in RTS for example.

So your claim has only two possible outcomes:
a) AI is the best way to manage troops, then it will be boring for good players to play since the games does everything for you → no one plays it = bad
b) the AI control is a foundation (like with a-move in most RTS) and then still the faster and more strategic player wins over the slower strategic player (since you kept refering to strategic) → not making slow players equal to fast

RTS competitiv does not need a “slow player” boost to make them artifically compete with better players. That is by definition not competitiv but rather cheating.

So for the topic, this is not an issue and RTS will not reward you for being worse than your opponent. You can play slow strategic but also fast strategic and because it is REAL TIME faster wins. Your problem will be solved if you go to CIV or other turn based strategy games.

Agreed, the public attention which this size of an AAA RTS release gets will definitely create an upwind for RTS, just because of all the new attention. Will be interesting to see if MS can use it well or not.


How about instead of only using insults/personal attacks as response you use facts and arguments like me? If not, then yes we will never agree.

I even quoted you in the other thread so there is no up side down turning. I literally used what you said there.
Also, not wanting to remove “the better player wins” is now fear of change? Oha my friend, hot take :smiley:

EDIT (since you edited):

Your “gamble” is to remove the foundation of RTS which is to reward skill and the better player. I dont need to try a game which is set up to be “weaker players get enhanced by AI to be on equal terms with better players” when i play competetiv RTS. You can do whatever already with custom maps and scenario editors and so on. All the freedom to do fun maps and play however you want with whomever you want. But competitive is by definition designed to let the better player win.

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Of course not. It is about where you click. It is about efficient APM, not just spamming.

No,the pace part is not true. That is exactly what makes the difference. If you can play strategic (efficiently) with a faster pace you are better and will win most of the time.
You will never break this point because pace and speed are connected to time and we are talking about a REAL TIME game which means time is a ressource that you have to use.

TL;DR: APM spam = not useful, strategic clicks or efficient APM = useful and better the faster you can do them

You should make your own game really, what you suggere is not AOE and if you are sure that will be good, then do it :wink: .

To stay in the topic, they need to improve a lot of mecanisme from the BETA if they want an e-sport game.

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Right now we do not even know if the game is worth playing at all. I can not say anything due to NDA but I have serious doubts about the game. And I have no issue at all with the graphics.

I think at best it might do as well as aoe 3 or aoe 2 in terms of esports.

The problem it has competing with other Esports is that they offer a free version of the game.
If you look at the biggest Esport scenes they are all free-to-play (at least multiplayer). Sc2, DOTA, League of Legends, CS:GO, Valorant etc…

So if they really wanted to be as successful as possible in the Esports scene they could have made a “free-multiplayer-only” version of the game.


AOE 2 will never be an esport. It has had two decades to attempt that and has failed to become one.

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It’s really hard to tell if a game can become an esport before it’s been played for a long time. My personal opinion is that it felt competitive but was lacking some elements present in aoe2 and league of legends that make ideal competitive games. That said it is still skill based and fun to play. Also since it isn’t quite as intense it’s easier to play when you are tired which makes it more compatible with most peoples lives than aoe2, or league, or csgo.

idk what qualifies as an esport to you.


Yeah, too bad there were no pro players, no prize money, streamers or content creators…
No competitive play, nothing. Never.



If we’re counting these as indications that AOE 2 is an e-sport, then it can be said that AOE 4 will most definitely become an e-sport.


What? There are tournaments all the time.

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