Bought age of empires 3 on steam - get an e error "unable to create account 100 – Bad CD key" would you guys help me?


Hello a friend of mine bought “age of empire 3 complete collection” through the steam store as gift for me, i clicked to accept in the email and it downloaded to my steam library, when i clicked play steam automatically started the vanilla version (without expansions) and provided me with a cd key, copied it to clipboard and entered it during installation (or before play don’t remember when i was asked) either way the game started and i could play the tutorial and campaigns. when i wanted to start multiplayer i was asked for an ESO account… never heard of it so i clicked to create an account. i filled in everything correctly, clicked to make account and then i got this message "unable to create account 100 – Bad CD key" what is strange because the same key did let me install and play the game. i checked the ESO tool or something i read about on forums and no account was connected to this cd key and game. so that couldn’t be the problem. i then contacted Microsoft (5 hours chat :open_mouth:) looong chat so i cant say everything told but in short, they verified the key…

from chat-log

[07/13/2018 08:29:13]Jay Nathaniel A:Upon checking the code and the resources here, It seems that the code you provided me is invalid. Here’s what we can do about this, all third party retailer has an agreement with Microsoft that if in case there is an invalid code provided by the retailer you can actually go back to them and have the code replaced for a new one.

so i contacted steam and they said:

I have read the message, however, if you have been able to download the game with the CD key that Steam gave you, that key is in any case valid. We have no control over the online accounts of this game. I also have no access to other keys that I can give you.

I know there is nothing I can do here at Steam or change this game to allow you to create an online account with the CD key.

If Microsoft can not help you, I encourage you to contact the support team of this game yourself.

so where the heck can i get a working cd key or create a working ESO acount.
also Ensemble Studios isn’t giving me any help as the game developer.
as you can read here:

After the closure of Ensemble Studios, the old employees have set up two new studios. Tony Goodman, one of the founders of Ensemble Studios, has founded Robot Entertainment, and another part of Ensemble Studios has established the studio Bonfire Studios.

so no hope getting a key there.

how is this posible. buying tha game full price at steam, and cant even play it online.

PLEASE help me out on this one

Steam Age Of Empires 3 Complete Collection. Error [100] bad CD key
Problem with AoE3 online connection

i have exactly the same issue having bought this game today and been told the same thing. if anyone can come up with a solution id be very grateful


Maybe this information could be of any help:

Also from the website at the security certificate has been expired recently which might be the real culprit of not being able to validate (new) keys during the ESO account registration/creation process.


First link is only to retrieve your account (when you already had one in the past) but that is not an issue here. You can’t CREATE a new account on there. It can only be done in game.

The second part is something I also thought off.

But who owns ESO and who can give me a working Key or verify it so I can create an ESO account. Because I do know that some friends who made an eso account years ago, they can still login with it and play online. The problem is that it is impossible to make an account.


Hello, this is currently a global issue, the new batch of keys doesn’t appear to be functional for multiplayer use.

If Microsoft can not help you, I encourage you to contact the support team of this game yourself.

Microsoft is the support team of this game. They are both the developer and publisher of Age of Empires 3, and they maintain the ESO multiplayer platform along with its accounts. Ensemble Studios was an internal Microsoft studio that’s since been dissolved by Microsoft.

The keys can only be fixed by Microsoft themselves.

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There might be an alternative to play this game online if you have AOE III with the Asian Dynasties Expansion:


I have the complete collection, so it’s with both expansions… what’s the way?


I’m not quite sure what you’re alluding to here. The site is a great AoE3 resource, but ESOC Patch does not allow you to bypass this error.

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I recently purchased Age of Empires 3 via steam while it was on special. However I am Unable to join the ESO Network due to failure on Account creation, The Error is “BAD CD Key [100],”

Steam gave me a valid CD Key and uppon Launching the game I was Indeed able to enter said CD key and it was valid. Yet I am Still unable to play online.

Does anyone know what the best course of action is regarding this?


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I managed to install and open the game, but now I’m having trouble clearing an account in eso, it says the following error account creation failed: 100 bad cd key .-.

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Failed to request steam product code. Please wait, try again in a few seconds.

Hi, i recently buy AoE3 and i can’t play multiplayer, the game says: we have an error with cd key or something similar, i buy it in steam, please, any help?


Hi, this is currently a global issue, the new batch of keys doesn’t appear to be functional for multiplayer use.

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I stand corrected. You still need an account to be able to play MP online, also using the ESOC patch. The question is who is in charge of the ESO website and accounts. I fear for you all no efforts will be put into fixing things and get things up and running again. I hope in the future AOE III can follow the same path like Project Celeste (AOE Online) and becomes managed by a community of fans and programmers.


I’m Brazilian and I do not speak English, so sorry for the mistakes.

I bought age of empires 3 by stean, I posed some days waiting for the installation or kay problems to be solved, I was able to install with the kay provided by stean but when I tried to make my ESO account to play online “unable to create account 100 – Bad CD key” the same problem as yours guys, but I tried to find out what error 100 was, and when I tried to recover the account name by the key and ID of the game, I discovered that there is already an account registered with my key, I suspect that the steam or microsoft sold refund key, they revalidated the key but forgot to delete the account ESO registered with the same key.

I tried to retrieve the name by the ESO accont manager from this site


please where can I solve my problem? to whom to contact? the email end this does not work, “The email address you entered could not be found, please check the recipient’s email address and try to resend the message, if the problem persists, contact your email administrator.”


On the support page regarding ESO account recovery I posted before already, which should be able to help with account creation problems too, they mention the following e-mail address:


its a dead link, iv emailed that address and my emails just bounce back.


That is sadly only for existing acount recovery. They can’t help you create an acount if you don’t have a working key and they can’t help you get a new key, it’s microsoft that distributes the keys. Got a new email from Microsoft tho. They send me this:

How are you? I hope you are doing good.

I am sending this email as a follow up on the conversation we got yesterday and. We were able to coordinate with one of our game specialist and we suggest to coordinate with steam to ask a new cd key for you to get started adn in the event that there are unable to provide a new one we suggest to get in touch with your friend who purchased it form steam to request a refund. I hope you understand that this is a third party account that is beyond our covered.


Kinda strange because it’s Microsoft’s game and Microsoft that generates the keys for third parties like steam…

Will send steam another message and will let you guys know what they reply.


Found an other message on an other message board, (don’t know if linking to an other board is prohibited here so when it is not allowed please tell me and i will remove the link) and contacted steam again…

Sended steam one of the posts someone made:


Microsoft does not offer any support channels for AoE3 anymore.

Steam seems to have since acknowledged the issue and is working with MS to fix it, so there is hope.

Steam support wrote:

Sorry about that - it appears that the publisher didn’t authorize the keys they sent us for online play. We’re currently working with them to resolve the issue; we don’t have an estimated time as to when it will be fixed. I apologize for the inconvenience


Got a message from steam again:


This is correct, this has not yet been fixed but it appears that the publisher didn’t authorize the keys they sent us for online play.

We’re currently working with them to resolve the issue; we don’t have an estimated time as to when it will be fixed. I apologize for the inconvenience.

If you have any further questions, please let us know - we will be happy to assist you.

Best Regards,

But still no solution, when will they fix this, and how, do we get a new key? Will it change automatically through steam? Or do we get a new code we have to enter manually? And how will we be noticed about this? Through steam? Or by mail?.

Steam has a news page on every game page. Why don’t they post the problem there so everyone knows what’s wrong. They leave people kinda in the dark on this one.


Oké this took too long, just got a refund. And if everyone does this maybe they are working harder to fix this problem. Can eventually rebuy it when they solved it.