I’ve only been active for maybe a day, but I seem to be seeing at least a good number of people in one particular thread who think this:
- Windows 10 exclusivity is going to destroy this game.
- Having the game exclusively in the Windows 10 Store - i.e. not on store shelves, not on Steam - is going to kill the game.
- The financial loss to Microsoft by the number of people who can’t play the game due to not having Windows 10 will be huge.
I have seen people post in other threads an “ultimatum” that the game comes to Steam or they won’t buy it. I’ve also seen an admin. here post her own comment about the reason they are NOT using Steam (quoting @C4N who was replied to here):
I guess the answer is pretty obvious but at the moment it’s not 100% sure because you need an Xbox live account to sign up for the beta.
But since AoE3, AoEIIHD and AoMEE are all on Steam I supposse this will be there too.
We’ve chosen to release “Age of Empires: Definitive Edition” exclusively in the Windows Store and we’re excited about what that entails, including tons of Xbox Live goodness (achievements, cloud saves, multiplayer on the fastest, more reliable gaming network and more).
Microsoft is making an absolutely horrible decision here. I’ve thought about my initial reply, where I tried to defend why Microsoft might be avoiding Steam, but I realized even my thoughts on this were garbage. LEt’s cover three specific reasons Microsoft is avoiding using Steam:
a. Achievements - available on Steam, see this;
b. Cloud Saves - based on my understanding, also available on Steam, but not critical; local saves are fine;
c. Multiplayer - you guessed it, available on Steam in numerous other Age of Empires games and Age of Mythology
So what actual benefits is Microsoft gaining by taking a game away from the most popular gaming community available? Hmm, I have an idea; maybe they don’t want to pay Steam a portion of sales on a brand new game, whereas on the older republished content they don’t mind?
Microsoft, this is an important statement from your gaming community. It’s not all about money. It’s about making the best decisions. Taking a PC-ONLY GAME and not putting it through Steam is a bad decision. Let’s review:
- GTA V is available on Steam. It’s a huge game, probably the biggest example I can come up with (I’ll ignore the fact that people are getting permanently banned from multiplayer for something I have no experience with to know personally).
- Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds is a huge game that is currently available on Steam. It has a huge gaming community because of Steam. Without Steam, it probably wouldn’t be so huge.
- Undertale also was a huge game. I never got on board this one (or the others, in fact, though I thought about GTA), but every day I see in chat people making Undertale-related jokes. It’s literally part of culture on sites like Twitch now. You get jokes about how you need more determination. You see people doing music remixes from game music. It’s everywhere.
If Microsoft makes the horrible decision to keep Age of Empires Definitive Edition off of Steam and not available for users outside of Windows 10, they are going to regret this decision. I can understand in the case of a game like Sea of Thieves (whose beta I also signed up for and did the online survey), but as a non-Xbox owner, I don’t like having to go through hoops and hurdles just to figure out how to sign up an account. You need to make it obvious, RIGHT FROM THE BETA SIGNUP FORMS, how to get your account set up with links to the proper places; don’t force users to guess. That’s why it took me two days to sign up here. I couldn’t figure it out because I am not an Xbox gamer. I’m a Nintendo and PC gamer. I will probably never own an Xbox. Going back to Sea of Thieves, if the game will be capable of communicating with the Xbox version, then that is something that would be awesome and I hope is something that can also be brought to the Steam platform someday for games; however, I can nonetheless understand why using your own platform works for something like that. Age of Empires Definitive Edition doesn’t need this.
I’m going to close with some comments from people in reply to the quote above. I’m only going to look at immediate thoughts, not going through the entire thread, with one exception.
Only most players aren’t excited about that.
Remember the disaster called games for windows live, a poorly developed platform that forced xbox live on the player?
And the way you are talking it will be the same again, clueless people that think that pc gamers are waiting for console experiences, most are not. We dont want xbox goodness, we want our pc experience and if you try to force this on us again people will bail out.
M$ is just abusing the game again for their own agenda with a platform that is already being torn down by most gamers and even developers because it attacks everything pc gaming stands for, but M$ does not seem to know what that is any more.
But at least then I don’t have a choice to make, if it isnt on steam I wont be pursuaded.
My own opinion about that decision.
- A huge catastrophic mistake
Aside from my own oppinion about this, there are some points that made me think about this releasing on Steam too:
- All the other modern AoE games are already on Steam (as said in OP).
- Steam API allows developers to embed 3rd party online systems (like cross-online with gog galaxy)
- AoEO were released at first on the marketplace, but released later on Steam too.
I’m sad I was wrong, really sad news for every PC AoE fan who’s been playing on Steam since 2013 (AoEIIHD).
Here’s one that matches a point I made about the fact it’s easier to crack games that are NOT on Steam (because Steam forces you to verify your code every time in the background):
Just registered to say that you are literally forcing the people to download a cracked version of the game that bypasses all the W10 nonsense. Even people with W10, many of us have simply disabled everything that has to do with the store, cloud, xbox live etc. With powershell MOD EDIT -
This in order to stop all the spying, telemetry settings, useless RAM usage and in general making your system far more stable.
Disappointing. You were better off via steam. Honestly how can one even say “xbox live goodness” in one sentence is beyond me.
Time didn’t change this general opinion. Posted after my initial reply to the thread yesterday:
Sorry I wont be buying it now, bring it to steam or loose most people’s interest, its an ultimatum.
In closing, I have been part of a particular beta before. I won’t say which one it is, but it’s the reason I have certain badges in my badge list. It’s the reason I can’t even give a review for the game. And the game itself? Per NDA requirements, I will not say. But I will tell you that the dev team pretty much ignored the beta team. The result was a game that, outside of the beta team, obtained mostly negative reviews. In fact, at this exact moment, the reviews from recent players are mostly negative. At one point, it was overwhelmingly negative. I’m therefore warning Microsoft: do not ignore the wishes of the community. It will lead to nothing but bad things. Trust me when I say this.