i want to knwo the reason of it.
Financial crisis of 2007-2009.
ensemble closed down because of short term economic goals of the gaming division.
the game relaunched in 2009 on steam but by then there was no one else who could take over development for new content and realistically the game was kinda starting to look old (frankly 2005 models looked bad compared to the expansions)
with AOE 2 it got a remaster because microsoft wanted to update it to modern systems, and this mod group just so happen to already be working on it. so they update not only the engine but also some of the models, so right of a sudden there people who can now make models for AOE 2 and the game has millions of sales which encouraged the production of DLC. even tho AOE 3 did also sell a few million copies, reality is that it would have been a lot harder to launch more DLC for the game.
It is doubtful that aoe2 has a new game engine. If it did, then the game wouldn’t be so overall terrible with pathfind and all. Same goes to aoe 3. They both use older (newer respectively) versions of the Havoc based engine that was used in AoM.
A more modern version of havoc is used by starcraft 2, and the overall quality is visibly better when it comes to engine related things.
they made improvement to genie for AOE 2 HD and DE, parcticularly to the amount of directions a unit can look and when it comes to bit of color.
AoE III didn’t sell as AoE II. There’s plenty of topics discussing that, either you like or not the game. I really like it now and also when was released.
Ensemble closed down the studios, the golden era of RTS was done.
AoE II had a healthy modding scene and somewhat MP community. With the start of rereleases of games on Steam and in HD (or adaptations to modern hardware/software), AoE II HD was born, plus a very well designed fan expansion (The Forgotten mod) took the eyes of Microsoft. We live on nostalgia era.
The Forgotten was made official, there came plenty of new content for AoE II, so the popularity started to grow again. Microsoft decided to make an AoE 4 and remakes for all ages.
AoE III DE have been made only because of populairy of II and the release of 4. Seems that III it’s profitable enough to make at least one DLC, where popular designers of aoe III mods are working on. Let’s see how will be the support after AoE IV gets released.
And let’s not forget that Microsoft invested a lot in the MMO-RTS hybrid AoE online, which turned out to be a complete flop.
while true both games should have big enough audiences to receive support.
just because 1 game has more players doesn’t mean another cant also be successful.
now to be fair AOE 3 content in general takes more resources to make than AOE 2 content.
I think Age of 3 is successfull game. Some people dont like it because they want age of 3 like age of 2. Also these people want age of 4 to be like age of 2. Age of 3’s most importart failure is less having campaigns. Age of 2 is a full game. Age of 3 cant compete with age of 3 because of this.