Before people start crying about death of AoE4

I’ve taken my time to compare some familiar RTS titles. And as one can see just based of the steam charts.

Many of them doesn’t even come close in numbers of what AoE4 has, even with the massive player drop.

If you think loosing such a big playerbase is bad, it is not as Dramatic as people want it to be.

While certainly, having gone from 70k players down to 10k players is by all means not good. Being able to retain 70k players would be absolutely fantastic.

The sad fact is that. Video games, in general. Be it RTS, FPS, MMO, Sports, Racing, Whatnot.

if ever able to have good player retention. However what is more important is to have enough player Numbers.

And as one can see, even “more popular” games such as CoH2 and TW:Warhammer II, has about the same numbers as AoE4.

So are they also Dead games?
Is the entire RTS genre DEAD?
So we all just quit playing RTS because I am not satisfied with the player numbers?

In am not saying we should not voice our concerns. I am after all not a member of the Duma.

But there is most certainly no need to be overly dramatic about it!
And the worst of all, the hate among fellow AOE players.

Let people Enjoy AoE2, AoE3, and AoE4 for what it is. Let people voice criticism over things within the game that causes concern, but be civilised about it and focus at the topic at hand! Watching people bash each other over the same Title. “My AoE is better than your AoE”. Kinda reminds me back when I was about 1/3rd of my size.

Regardless, Be happy that both Old and New titles are still getting development. Because there many other titles out there that isn’t as lucky.

And you guys want to see a really bad example of a game that Flopped hard, but still is being developed and carries on?

So how about we just focus on the issues at hand rather than panicking and screaming the game is dying.


You have the right idea but the wrong approach. A lot of those games are not 6 months old or in the case of Dune, are in early access. Looking solely at number of players is not enough.

Take any of those popular RTS like CoH2 and look at the number of players during the first 6 months after its initial release. Then plot that graph against AoE IV. That may or may not be possible if the data is already gone, but you get the idea.

Your goal should be to measure how fast of a drop in player base those other RTS experienced during their first months. I don’t recall such a massive loss as AoE IV has had, being so new and carrying such pulling power from its franchise.

Let’s take AoE 3:DE for example (not the best one since it’s a re-release of an older game, but we do have recent data):

From it’s initial 18k peak, it dropped down to around 9k players after the first 6 months. That’s a loss of 50%.

Usually, brand-new big-name games have a massive starting peak and then stabilize once the hype is over. AoE IV is weird in that it was able to maintain a significant player base for ~3 months after its release, but then all of a sudden people started abandoning ship.

This is Flight Simulator 2020’s hype peak for example. First month 61k players, next one 15k, but then after that it plateaued and those are the loyal players it would seem:

What’s worrying about AoE IV is that the constant decline is not from people who fell for the hype, but from the loyal players.


This. People got tired of the promise of the “Great Patch” where most known issues would be fixed. After some months many players got tired of waiting for a minimum improvement.

OP says from 70k to 10k but actually is more like 6k. From 6 to 10 there is 40% missing…


Those numbers show the decline of steam players.

We don’t know (or at least i don’t) what are the numbers behind game pass. I don’t know if Xbox shows such stats.

So unless we have a complete picture we can only speculate on the numbers based on stats.

What i’m interested is how big the playerbase outside steam realy is.

Another paradox is that despite the steam decline, the viewship acros the board (twitch, Youtube) is actually growing a little.

So maybe concentrating on the competitive scene was not that bad of an aproach.

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oh yeah if you search in aoe 4 leaderboards is even worse the scenario. Since the page doesnt tell how many player are active or how many of them already quitted the game or the lag/period required to remove those from the list it (add the fact that gamepass can inflate artifiacially for the type of player that just install and play just a couple of hours for curiosity and then quit) went from 88k+ on quickmatch to 15 k as you can see

Finally, a good argument.
And yes, it is indeed concerning about that strange player drop, and as it may be as you suspect, consisting of loyal players dropping off later.
It keeping that post-release-retention that is the most important.

But I don’t think its necessarily loyal player. AoE is unique in the fashion that the latter game are still supported and update. And they do play a little differently than AoE4.
And I think this is where that strange player drop off occurs.
A lot of people from especially from the aoe 2 went to try out AoE4.

As we can see in this charts

One does notice a minor increase in the AoE2 curve in the last 6 months, when the AoE4 curve is dropping, and does that slow drop off bit.
I think this is the part where more AoE2 players are retuning back to AoE2, as they didn’t find AoE4 to their liking.
While it is certainly similar in many ways, it does has it fair share of difference.
As a AoE2 player myself, I might be one of the few who actually does prefer the AoE4 system.
I still play AoE2 even now, whenever I feel a bit burned out from AoE4, as it is still different enough to not feel quite the same game.
Or I just want to play my favourite nations again. (japan, khmer, spain) Which AoE4 doesn’t have.

But tbh, it does seem the player numbers have somewhat stabilized around 10k players. And well see what happens when more content gets released, when more SC2 tournament players starts coming over to AoE4 as the wololo red bull with its hefty prices might allure the and that Blizzard pretty much stopped supporting the SC series.

I say, there is no worry about the game dying this year, or next year. I think this game will carry on.
So we will probartly have to wait and see for a year or so to see the end results of the state of the game.

Also I know a fair bit of people who find AoE4 quite pricy, and just waiting for it to come on sales. (4 of my friends refuse to pay for it full price as they find it to expensive, and rather just play AoE2 instead.)


Maybe I am out of the loop. But where can I find any information about the “great patch”? I can’t recall they came out officially with statements, I know they were working like hell just to get server-side patches to work like they do now.

Reason I account 24H player peak, is that player numbers fluxuate quite a bit during the day. So by taking the peaks each day should at list give you a maximum who is actively playing.

10k Players is still a head above water numbers. Especially when you take into account other major popular RTS’s has this numbers. And when you take a look at the RTS that fails becoming popular, they barely have player numbers in the 100’s.

heck, I am impressed the Devs are still pushing patches in Iron Harvest still, and they barely have a 3 digit player count.

I hear you, but Steam statistic have been proven to very accurately reflect the bigger picture. That is, it approximates how the game is performing on all other platforms. It would indeed be great to have everything from everywhere aggregated and then discuss that, but for now, Steam numbers is the only thing we have.

I’ve said it before that AoE IV is fun to watch. Personally, I find it more entertaining than to actually play myself, which in itself tells you there’s a problem with the game. Same thing happened to me with SC2.

The problem then is twofold:

  1. For competitive fans, it’s not the same watching a 1vs1 of top 20 players as playing yourself and either get completely obliterated or win the game in 5 min, or worse, suffer from someone exploiting a bug or dumb mechanic.
  2. For solo players, you go and have a skirmish against the AI but the AI is terrible, all maps feel the same, water combat is a joke and all maps have the same sheep and wolves and you’re just simply droning through the game.

It’s hard to tell. I was trying to dig for SC2 and WC3 numbers, but that was near impossible to find any up to date numbers of those games.

Another thing I think a lot of people don’t see, and honesty, I think this is were Microsoft is at.
Is not really that AoE4 needs to be bigger than AoE2.
The most important thing is the total number of players, the entire AoE franchise brings together.
And if you take that into a account. Then the numbers become quite different:

23k players from AoE2.
10k players from AoE4.
5k player from AoE3.

when added you get a 48k players.

And then you also have to put into consideration, What was the player numbers before? Well at least just based on steam numbers, it doesn’t seem that AoE2 suffered any significant drop in player numbers once AoE4 got released.
It used to lie around 20-30k numbers all the time.
And AoE3 on average around 5k.

Then when AoE4 got added, it now brought +10k extra players for the AoE Franchise.
So this is still a net-gain.

And when you think of it also, they did great on sales initially, so the game was a success.
And now it left behind 10k players who is quite likely to buy future expansion, or even better which Microsoft will prefer.
Buying Xbox Live passes, to get future content from these 3 games for free, aswell as access to the other AoE games.

Hey, you like AoE4? Well you should try out AoE2 and AoE3 also.

While it might seem like a greedy thing to do, which it is at its core.
It does add the benefit that they will continue support the AoE franchise, as long as they manage to keep a steady player number.


Ranked, not Quick play. Team games players were the key.

This is really how we should see it. I think the game underperformed significantly, edging on bombing, but even if it added just a few thousand new players to the franchise, that’s a win.

AoE IV did something no other AoE game did before: focus on eSports (AoE 2 is good at that as a consequence of being a good game, not as its main driver).

That experiment seems to not have worked the way Microsoft intended, so here’s hoping we either see changes to the game to incorporate other features, or the next AoE will go back to a more traditional style. AoE Online also failed and I am sure Microsoft will not consider a similar flavor of that again either.

But AoE IV will not die. It’ll probably stabilize at around 4k active players after the first year with spikes once new civs get added, but it will remain as a good alternative for folks who want a modern eSports focused RTS that is not SC2.


even worse. those number I remenber they break the 100 k which is sad to see them on 30k

Well Steam reviews rate would argue against that.
If the game really sucked that hard, it would have at least, Mixed reviews or bad at worst.
But instead it has Very Positive. So I think that argument is pretty invalid.

I hope there won’t be a next AoE for a while. And rather have them focus bringing more content forth for the entire franchise.

I still think AoE4 will grow into a good game, especially on the competitive scene. (if they add no to minimal of new Civs over a year)

If anyone should have given up on their game, its Amazon and their New world. but they are still pushing through, and it is somewhat slowly manage to keep its player number stable, if not potentially growing ever so slowly.

And I think, Microsoft, also being a MegaCorp. will be pouring more money into the franchise and rather set it on a steady if not very slow growth.

biased hype and the fact you cant change reviews after done one. Most review are basically meme worthy or simple reaction but not structured. If you see an analysis fro the current state it may go from negative or neutral (for example bug showcase).

I think this says it all. You know you can sort it by new fresh reviews aswell. Even if old reviews are now in your terms, just “meme” reviews.
The fact that it got nice reviews early in the game, when AoE4 was way worse than it is now, is still something of a achievement.

Bro … main problem is that MANY MANY people dropped from the QS leaderboard just and only because they moved onto rankeds … thats all … Just watch and see how many pro players u can find among top50 …

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Maybe no new AoEs for a while is the right approach. I was wishing for a DE version of AoM, but I can wait if they want to focus on improving this game that I already bought. That’d definitely bring my faith back, but unfortunately for me this is a game that is not fixed by adding new civs. Its core mechanics, tech tree, etc. would need a significant overhaul too. I doubt that’s going to change.

But again, in some years time, when Microsoft decides to launch another AoE, I hope they look back and learn from what worked and what not.

I keep comparing AoE IV to Flight Simulator 2020 in the sense that both are Microsoft titles, they have been around since the dawn of computers, and they both saw a new release after a very long hiatus. The difference is that FS2020 revolutionized simulation games (every other sim game now looks like a potato) while AoE IV played it too safe and not only in the graphics department.


Well tbh, i think they toned down the graphics quite a bit, because they wanted to attract as many people as possible.
AoE is a franchise that is hugely popular in “poor” countries. say south America, south east Asia, balkans.
where people barely have money for a computer.

The fact that my old computer graphic card failed, and I could run this game on the internal graphic card astonished me.

For me, I’m not to fussed about the graphics. they’ve grown on me.

But yes, I do hope they make a AoM DE. it’s another game that needs to be shown some extra love.

If anything, this game does have a really great campaign. (although missions are meh) the Documentaries are really well made and interesting. and its always extra fun to see it played out in the game as well.

En el caso de age 3 DE fue a la inversa, tenia algunas criticas mixtas al principio (algunas mas por la corrección política que otra cosa) tenia más criticas buenas eso si pero las malas no eran pocas precisamente, pero en el 2021 y 2022 joder colega el age of empires 3 DE remonto pero de buena manera, las criticas fueron más positivas gano mas contenido y colega te seré sincero como jugador de 3, yo en mi vida pensaría que le fueran a dar tanto amor al age 3 DE sinceramente si le dijeras a mi yo del 2020 que agregarían civs africanas a Mexico y a Malta te juro que no te lo creería, ahora casi todo es posible, me hace pensar también que también es posible que el age of empires 4 se arregle pero requerirá mucho, pero que mucho trabajo, tanto en contenido como en balance (el ultimo dlc del 3 fue de los mas balanceados que saco, entrego claves a algunos youtubers del 3 para que testearan las civs y encontraron cosas muy rotas que fueron arregladas antes del lanzamiento, espero lo mismo si algún día ocurre con el age 4)

Por que te seré sincero, no esperaba mucho del 3 por seamos justos, siempre fue el apestado de la saga, pero ahora que le dieron algo de cariño y se nota muchísimo, cambio bastante a su versión del 2005 quedando casi irreconocible.