Massive layoffs at Relic

For sure. Even if development were to stop, we have every reason to believe that the game would continue to be maintained, supported, and available for the foreseeable future, if not indefinitely. AoEO’s development stopped around November, 2012 (announced formally Jan. 3, 2013) and was running until July 1, 2014.

Castle Siege was maintained about two full years after development stopped, iirc.

With this being marketed as a numerical sequel, I would expect AoE4 to be available much, much longer than that. I always assumed that eventually the reigns would be handed over to FE to periodically release civs and so forth in the model of AoE2 and AoE3 DE. If so, then perhaps AoE4 will not end up following the life cycle we have observed in AoEO and AoECS.

Not the only one, Andy. I have been stalking these forums and all their various iterations ever since Age of Empires Online was announced.

I’m sure that you understand that even if new civs are not released in the near future for Age of Empires IV after season 5, there are likely civs in various stages of development which can be picked up later.

Microsoft in recent history is notorious for only revealing new content for an Age game about a month (or less) before release, so I wouldn’t lose hope just yet. There is an advantage to the structure of the current development team, a partnership between a few developers all working together, which makes recovery from a loss a bit easier to handle.


With Season 5 patch we are getting the following:

  • They are re-designing older units & adding new units to this game

  • They are adding new techologies & update current ones

  • They are trying to update the current civilziations to be more on par with the Malians & The Ottomans which I’m sure is their goal for all new civilizations to be done in similar ways

  • Hotkeys have received multiple updates over two different major patches, can you name a few examples of what options you would like to see implemented that is not already there?

  • You want more variety in SP content such as what exactly? Campaigns, SP skirmishes, and all sort of challenges are already in the game and more can be added in the future

  • You want more options to age up, again what are those options you want to see implemented? Give some examples here for the developers to take note.

  • A better civ design and not copy paste from AoE2? I’m sorry are we playing the same game? They are quite different, but of course more can always be done. The Mongols & Malians are two perfect examples for uniqueness compared to AoE2 copy paste design

  • The card system in AoE3 does not belong in AoEIV the way it’s designed and would upset most players I think so that would be a poor thing to add to the game

  • Better pathfinding can always be done, and is always needed in almost all RTS games I have played. Tricky one to get right

  • I agre with giving us more gaia options in terms of different animals etc on the map depending on the bio theme chosen

They are showing that they are trying to improve on the game, and Season 5 patch notes are no exception to this. We should continue to provide feedback to the developers, but please make it in a way so that the developers have something to work on otherwise it won’t help in my opinion. It’s easy to demand new stuff, but if you don’t know what those new stuff are then how will the developers know what you want or mean?

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For sure there are a number of factors working in AoE4’s favor that could steer the game to a much longer future than we have seen over the last decade. But the lack of roadmap and use of generalized language (continuing development as planned/delivering everything we’ve announced) are striking to me after all these years reading the tea leaves, as I imagine they are to you. The silence is loud to my ears.

It seems inevitable that the period of large-scale, active development of AoE4 transitions to a slower, more sustainable pace with periodic content drops from a much smaller team. In fact, we have already seen that occur shortly after launch. I think we may be seeing another downshift to an even slower pace.

Even if the pace and scale of new content were dramatically reduced, development would never truly stop. So they would always be able to truthfully say that “development is continuing.” I am having a difficult time ruling out this exact situation happening right now.


I would love for them to say this, but they didn’t really for the last two civs either. In fact in all the AoE games they don’t seem to say that until the actual DLC or update is imminent.

All the games seem to make a genuine effort to add and fix things we’re asking for, but they rarely give transparency on what’s coming or when.

Yes, iirc they announced the new civs only in August, 2022 before their October, 2022 release, about 60 days before. It is certainly possible that they are working on all sorts of huge things even bigger than ever before and just choosing to not update the public with roadmaps anymore.

I certainly do not know. I am just going off what I am seeing, and it seems weird that there is no roadmap or other public indicators. They have us trained to know that roadmaps indicate future content. We don’t know that the absence of roadmaps indicates the absence of future content, but it certainly seems like one very possible situation to consider.

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I don’t know why they are all so bad with this, but the roadmap has been missing for AoE2 as well and constantly being asked for.

Even the roadmaps we have had are usually vague and limited. Like they just threw one out so people would maybe shut up about it.

age 2 ones in aoe 4 requires a tweak, late game ones in play requires an remake or an dismatle of the current civ design to make unique units works.

no guarantee of that as andy mention

yup but the lack of comunication is uncertain if they are doing thta one mention th previous point

yup but can you press h to insta build an house and not in multiple unnnecesary sub menus which are menat to be used on grid system which is a system that is recently used in aoe franchise compared to custom ones. Thats why I want a fix on hotkeys which it also an ui issue.

campaign mostly but i know other ones is also necessary.

the og age up for some civs (maybe with aoe 3 twist to keep up with other civs or build houses or special building to age up but with a discount of the age up cost), aom age up style which grants a trype of power to use in the influence area. I think theres more option but I limited to those ideas for now.

a typical age 2 civ design is basic infantry which grow up to imperial with a side unit that counter what other inf dont. an archery with a basic archer, and strong archer and an anti archer. same with stables and a heavy cav. that model is sapmmend in every civ. even mongol that is the most unique cant escape from that design in some ages whcih makes civs not so unique for an assymetrical perpective.

do not but as I said an simplified version of it that is only used for 2 civs. not complex maybe at most 8 cards to not break the balance. But laso I take accoutn that maybe power per age up like aom is the one that mostly fits with that criteria

yup but in that case why they bump together melee ones which cause horsemen (as example) not ebing so effective as it should on mass or inf in general.

yes we have to support them but thw new stuff is basically integrating old stuff with a twist (at minimun) which is basically around every game and the games ms shut down. Also the lack of comunication dont help.

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I agree with you, out of all the aoe, aoe4 is going to be the least expanded probably, but development and patches will continue

most probably, especially if FE has worked on the other more successful branches of the same franchise.

thats true though haha, although its not harder than Unreal or unity, its indeed hard to understand but its pretty useful.


As someone who has a lot of work experience, and been working for some rather large International recognised Corpo’s within the tech industry.

I would not worry to much about AoE4 to whatever happens at relic.

There is one detail that is often glanced over when it comes to AoE.

That AoE (be it 1 2 3 or 4) is a Franchise title.

This means that the people who “Makes and runs” the game isn’t really the ones who own it.

The game runs as a Franchise owned by Microsoft (as Megacorp as u can get). And whats important for them is the well ofcourse Profits, but besides profits, is the Namesake.

Meaning, they don’t really care who’s in the “Bottom” for the lack of a better word, the guys doing the ground work.

What matters is that the Franchise owner’s Idea is Delivered the way the Franchise Owner (or in some cases, like this case, the ones given responsible for the Design), envisions it.

I’ll give you an Example:

McDonalds. You’d think they are the same resturant? that Mcdonald in your local town, is the same Mcdonalds in your neighbouring town?
But It’s not, they have 2 very seperate owners, the “franchise” itself is the same, but the people who “owns” the resturant itself are completely seperated, and run by either a Subcontractor, which could be a company by itself, or a single private person even.

While the Franchise owner quite often is the one taking the responsibility to find Locale and arrange the renting contract with the landlord of that locale, the subcontractor who is going to “run the buisiness” has to pay himself in.
And while he pays himself in to the McDonald buisiness, he also has to follow all the rules and regulations McDonald gives the subcontractor, which is what you see, the uniforms, design of the resturant, and equipment, and which suppliers the Subcontractor has to order their goods from.

in a sense, McDonald pretty much dictates everything the Subcontractor has to do.
But why would you want to subcontract to McDonalds if you have “no freedom” to what you want?
Well for the simple reason as crusty crab would tell you; Money.

McDonald is a international, well recognised title, where customers already are familiar and have set expectation of it. Meaning you as a Subcontractor gets acces to this humungous Customer base mcdonalad have, you also don’t have to worry about marketting as this is taken care of by McDonald themselves.

So the resturant you run has tons of exposure, is well known, and will get regulars almost immidietly.
You as the subcontractor almost have a “guaranteed” customer base, only limited by geography.
And whatever profits your resturant comes out with, once all the bills and the “royalty” to mcdonalds is paid off, You’re the one sitting with all the bonus ontop. And this only scales the more central and bigger that resturant is.

Say you have 16 million euros in annual revenue.
8 million goes to all the “fixed” bills, such as rent, salaries etc. 4 million goes to all supplies. 1 million to maintance and equitpment, and then the rest is yours. So out of those 16 million euros, you get to take 3 million euros into your own pocket to do whatever you want with. You can either chose to use it on yourself, or do as many will do, use some of it to try “expand” the resturant, increasing the customer base, increasing your revenue, which in the end, increases even more personal profit.

So what does this have anything to do with AoE4 and Relic?

In this case, Relic is the subcontractor.

Meaning, they most likely want to keep the contract and reserve a team of developters to keep developting AoE4 as its regular revenue for them from Microsoft.

Or in worst case, They get replaced by another subcontractor, while the degree of developtment quality can vary, it might become worse (more buggy, slower porduction), but it can just as well go the opposite direction (less buggy, more content)

The Product itself, will be the same.

Just like McDonalds, it dosn’t matter if Joe who owns the local Mcdonald resturant desides to quit and the new owner, Mehmed the Imperial Factory co takes over and decides to churn out free Mango-Smoothies in his menus.
It’s still going to be the same McDonald, serving you the same BigMac’s and Fries. Only difference is that you might get a free Mango-smoothie every now and then (as this is paid from Mehmeds own pocket to try increase the player base)

You get the Idea.

This is pretty basic buisiness practice.

And in the IT sector, its barely any different.

Some of the big Telecom and ISP companies, are just Names. The people running the whole thing is a hodge-podge of different subcontractors.

The ones building the new 5G antennas? Not AT&T, Telenor or whatever your local provide might be.
But a Subcontractor, who runs the servers? Another subcontractor, Who runs the marketting? yet another subcontractors. The only thing the Namesake owner of the Telecom company does, is to pick and choose what subcontractor to use whenever the contract with the previous one is about to run out.

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truth but in fairness to all world’s edge contractors i don’t think you can get much slower than relic in terms of pace (baseline here being how bloody long it took for certain things to be implemented compared to how other contractors handled it in other titles)
an example: the beta of aoe3 DE only had grid panel hotkey system (sounds familiar?), after beta feedback came in the devs brought the fully remappable keys back in by the next beta to my knowledge, aoe4 meanwhile took until 9 months AFTER launch to implement the same thing, was also reported in similarly timed beta by community
now before anyone says anything about how both games launched, aoe3 being definitely the buggier release generally, its still important to mention how quickly that was corrected with aoe3 DE, it released in october and had most of this corrected by december, aoe4 meanwhile again took MONTHS to get anything fixed, by the time aoe3 had its stuff mostly resolved, aoe4 only BEGAN patching stuff like duplication exploits and other bugs (vacation at relic happening right on aoe4 release was great example of mismanagement, vacation is obviously a good thing with any workplace, but timing here was terrible to say the least)

But AoE4 has been getting updated just as much as the other AoE games.

yes, but it took major uproar for that to happen, you forgot?
support during reminder of 2021 was really weak, barely there, then early 2022 changes were made and it smoothed out

It was patched just about monthly from the beginning. Same as the other games, uproar or not.

i recall a number of key quickfixes happening in days of release with 3 de, smt that never occured with aoe4, despite arguably being needed to about the same extent




以微軟的實力,維持世紀帝國這塊招牌完全沒有問題。所以不用擔心世紀帝國4會夭折。但之後要怎麼讓遊戲持續推出新內容就看微軟的意思了。我是不太希望像AOE3 的亞洲文明一樣由不同團隊設計啦!AOE3 的亞洲設計潦草,到現在的決定版裡歐洲、美洲文明都有一定程度的更新,只有亞洲連個新的3D建模都沒有。

Relic’s inhouse engine really wasn’t meant to handle this type of RTS game. I’m not surprised that it always takes them forever to implement these kind of things.


It is just sad that many companies are so used to releasing the unfinished, beta-state of a game…
And they all promise to improve.

This “Gollum” game is almost the same thing as AOE4 (AOE4 is a little bit better game when it comes to performance, but).
Lots of mechanics, graphic design, hotkey, UI, attention to detail, etc were not complete from the start.
It just makes everyone mad and sad at the same time.
Gollun just ruined the Lord of the Rings.
AOE4 ruined the AOE franchise.

This is the same thing and needs to stop!