Team games? By default your chat only goes to your teammates.
If you want to all chat, you either have to change message options from the diplomacy window or use * at that start of your message.
People do talk less in AoE than they do in StarCraft, for example. But they still communicate(sometimes). It is pretty common to see someone asking to open wall in a team game or ask for resources but GLHF and GG are not that usual. A lot of the time people also quit the game or go view the statistics screens after game ends, which hides the chat. The chat is also mixed in with the other announcements(like unit created, you’re being attacked, etc) so it quickly gets lost in game. The on screen time is also not very long.
Then there’s the fact that early game, there’s a lot more to do than in most other RTS games, you don’t really have that lull of the early game(like StarCraft) as a player to write and chat. All that time is away from your early game, which in turn can delay your tool times. I would say 1 out of 20 games I get a start where I don’t have to be doing something constantly.
TL:DR It works and people do talk but the game isn’t very conducive to chatting.