Info about AOE4 and DEs release order + Steam crossplay plans


#1

Since there is debate about releases…

While we know Shannon Loftis, general manager for Microsoft Studios Publishing, initially said at Gamescom last year after the AOE4 reveal that they “wouldn’t hold AOE4 for the definitive editions” if the case may be, Adam Isgreen however, Microsoft Studios Publishing director for AOE4 (“the guy on the Microsoft side making sure AOE4 is going to be an AOE game” to quote him exactly) later said otherwise in an interview taken after the release of AOE1: DE in February 2018, quite clearly letting us know the definitive editions are going to come first, referring to them as a “build up” for the latter AOE4 and that “people should love all definitive editions first”:

Interviewer: Age of Empires was a massive brand in the late 90s and early 00s, but these days it isn’t the behemoth it once was. Is there a pressure for this game to do well, and help reintroduce the brand, ahead of Age of Empires 4’s release?

Adam Isgreen: Most certainly. Sometimes I don’t think companies treat their IP with the respect that they deserve or they should. I’ve been really delighted that we’ve been given permission and support to go and make the Age of Empires games the way we want to make them and make them as good as they can be for the fans and support all the features that the fans would love. There’s a pressure, though. We want Age of Empires 4 to be an amazing game and the team at Relic has been doing some amazing work on it. I’m very happy with how it’s going now. The message we’re sending with all of the Age of Empires games as we go through them and do these Definitive Editions is that we really care about this franchise and what makes an Age of Empires game an Age of Empires game. This is all part of not only showing how great these games were, but it is a build up to a new game. We have a lot of respect for this IP, so hopefully, when Age 4 comes out, people will say they’ve loved all three Definitive Editions and will jump in even though they don’t know much about it. There are a lot of people who still play the Age games on a daily basis, a lot more than people realise. Maybe because it’s not in the limelight of the press all the time. It’s a big number.

This should also mean that AOE4 is still along way from being released, definitely not 2018.

Source: https://www.pcgamesinsider.biz/industry-icon/66694/how-and-why-microsoft-updated-age-of-empires-for-the-upcoming-definitive-edition/
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Also, related to the definitive editions, an interesting reveal from the same Adam Isgreen, if you are interested, regarding Steam cross-play:

We’re not leaving Age of Empires fans on Steam behind – we plan to release new content and features – like cross-network play – to let Steam players come along on the Age of Empires journey with us.

This can be quite big, because not only does it mean they have plans for cross-play between HD and DE, but it should also mean that AOE2: DE in particular will include all the new expansions as well (needed in order to work with Steam version). That a lot of work changing all that. I think AOE2: DE is far from release too.

Source: https://www.neowin.net/news/inter-review-to-war-with-the-new-age-of-empires-and-microsofts-adam-isgreen


#2

Thanks for another great info :slight_smile: You rock!


#3

I don’t for a minute expect Steam/XBL cross-play to happen for AoE games.


#4

Microsoft has already done Steam and Xbox Live cross-play for Rise of Nations: Extended Edition. So…


#5

I’m really happy with that interview. That they take some time with aoe4 and that relic did an awesome job thusfar with aoe4. That is nice to hear!

Age of empires online was rushed out after something like 2 years of production without decent equal pvp settings, without post game stats, recorded games, observermode and without more then 2 civs. Besides that the game was based on pay to win and microtransactions as well as grind to win systems.

It would be better if aoe4 would not make any of those mistakes. Knowing that they will take more time then the 2 definitive editions that are still comming in the next two years i would say that is a good decision, because then they will take about 4 years in total, which seems like a good amount of time to make an awesome game.

Does it hurt to know to have to wait so long? Yes a bit… But not if they share a bit of information about it around gamescom 2018 ;)…


#6

They have started answering youtube comments here and there for the first time with the likes of “can’t wait to reveal more either”. Im talking about the official AoE4 trailer posted by the Windows account on youtube. You can sort comments on ‘newest first’ to see.

So maybe they are actually preparing to reveal something at Gamescom 2018 this month.


#7

I really Hope to hear something New


#8

AoE series/franchies are the only ever in the world of rts. The only thing that rest of the poorer messy rts like command and conquerors took the lead because AoE series can’t able to agggrisviely market it’s brand. AoE series are of higest quality light and brighter graphics as compared to the rest of the rts out there. Anno, Sim, Stronghold, Empire Earth, Civilisation, command n conquers, warhammer, total war series, settlers etc are mere turn based, fantsy, futuristic etc unrealistic games with poor graphics, messy details and got bugs. AoE runs smooth then any other rts out there. AoE consists highly tactical, stragitical, constructive gameplay ever. AoE is the most realistic, historical, accurate rts ever as compared to other rts. The only counterpart to AoE series is Rise of Nations series. Microsoft Studios, Relic Entertainment and Big Huge games deserves all the credit. One important suggestion for the future AoE IV is to include 20th and 21st ages. I will also suggest that relic entertainment and big huge games must coorporate with each other to revive the fracnhise of Rise of Nation (RoN) as RoN 2, RoN 3 etc. Microsoft Studios has the best quality, windows friendly rts ever as compared to other companies!!!


#9

Right, but it was for the same game; what is being proposed here is cross-play for two different games: AoE II: HD on Steam, and AoE II: DE on Xbox Live. It’s not going to happen.

However, I hope that if AoE II: DE includes the new HD edition expansions then it also includes full audio narration for them, as I remember being very disappointed that they never bothered with this. In fact, I remember being pretty pissed off that they had the gall to release them as official expansions…


#10

Then how do you interpret Adam Isgreen’s quote in the OP? Seems to be saying exactly that - crossplay between Steam and Xbox AoEs. Do you think it’s just the DEs will also be releasing on Steam now?

Either way this is good news.


#11

Yeah, I read what he said. I interpret it as being well-meaning, but ultimately something that won’t happen.


#12

AoE still unrealistic compared with Total War.


#13

Never say never.

Microsoft could release AoE II:DE on Steam as a free standalone title for AoE II:HD customers or Microsoft could release AoE II:DE on Steam as free DLC for AoE II:HD.

I say free for the above because that would be the easiest way to migrate Steam players over to AoE II:DE. Microsoft could also charge for the same but I feel many players would be content with AoE II:HD.


#14

I admire your optimism.


#15

For the AoE IV release i can wait for 2019, let’s give them time if they are still working on. My real concern is that AoE IV may turn out to be a unrealistic fantsy, futuristic rts.


#16

I’m not talking about how much or how less realistic. The point is whether the rts is managable has a quality graphics, details and runs smoothly. Total War has boring turn based features, has a sheer volume of details which makes the entire game not easy to manage, this result in bugs when the game gets messy in one single battle engangement!!!


#17

How you call this? Is a mess.

Total war is an hybrid, talk about RTS part. The historical deep, AoE is more close to non historical aesthetic special AoE 1(DE) AoEO. Some carton look.


#18

Yeah hybrid but constructive


#19

I want historical accurate. For next releases of the saga.
If is possible more accurate Definitive edition concept.


#20

Mentioned previously in this topic about possible AOE2/3 DE crossplatform play with their counterparts from Steam. Here is a new article speculating about Xbox Live - Steam crossplay plans.

Cross-platform multiplayer has exploded in popularity in recent years, with titles like Rocket League and Fortnite leading the charge, with PC, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch supporting cross-play with several popular titles.

Now it looks like Valve and Microsoft are working together to bridge the multiplayer divides that sometimes mar the PC gaming landscape, with each company seemingly working on a solution that will allow Steam and Xbox Live to communicate with one another.

Recent additions to the Steam Beta Github repository have suggested that SteamIDs could be used to reference optional Xbox Live account data, an “xbox_pairwise_id”. This change could allow Steam and Xbox Live accounts to be linked together, allowing games on Xbox and Steam to play together with greater ease.

In the past, some PC games on the Windows 10 Store didn’t support multiplayer with their respective game’s Steam versions, with Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare’s Windows 10 Store version offering independent servers which lacked a large enough playerbase to be viable as a multiplayer game. This forced Microsoft to deliver refunds to players who wanted to play the game online, with PC cross-launcher play becoming another sticking point for Microsoft’s PC game store.

Microsoft has committed to improving their presence on PC, with cross-launcher multiplayer acting as an ideal starting point. This also would open the door for Microsoft to release more of their games on Steam, which would be great news for PC gamers who opt to avoid Microsoft’s unintuitive storefront.