Massive layoffs at Relic

What are the requirements exactly to be a ‘fan boy’. If you own all the games are you in? How about all the games but not all the dlc? Where do we draw the line here anyway?

for me line is the following, blindly defending a clearly messed up practice, design choice etc. going after people that just post constructive criticism to improve the game, as for hater, its hating on the game or any part of it regardless of any progress made on it in the meantime

Anyone should be able to talk about a game and say both the good and bad things. It’s not rocket sience!


Let me just say Aoe3 DE launch, AoE Online, Aoe castle siege, Aoe World Domination and so on, if aoe4 did something its to popularize even more the franchise (btw aoe4 released on a decent state if we compare it to other RTS like coh3)

Let’s speak about the elephant in the room. SEGA is just the wrong Publisher for Relic.
All the problems can be tracked down to Sega approving and enforcing bad ideas.

Best solution would be to somehow make Microsoft publisher for Relic.
They need to hire Relic for new game, and bring on Steam Halo Wars 2 and Rise of Legends.
We need Relic for Rise of Nations 2 and Age of Mythology 2.

well yes SEGA is undeniably a major problem in all this, no doubt based on games released by relic under their banner, i’d say it’d be wise of relic to keep part of development focused on some sort of microsoft contract, besides aoe4, as weird as this is, microsoft is the only big publisher with a serious RTS effort in place, activision refuses to greenlight warcraft 4/SC3, EA just won’t greenlight C&C and so on, i bring big guys up here as a serious RTS needs serious budget, i have hopes for stormgate but imo, there’s only so much an indie studio can do realistically

AOE4 divided the franchise fans

It focused on other players who don’t care about history.
Mostly, Starcraft players etc.

Most AOE2 players just don’t like it, because it lacks a lot of mechanics, units, Gaia, etc
This is why it is a pure failure, targeting the wrong audience and expecting success out of it.
It was supposed to be the next AOE2 since it is in the same era.
A lot of them were ready to move on from AOE2, but instead, they targeted W3 and Starcraft players…
Did everything the same with those games!
Those games are not historical, they are sci-fi games…

AOE is a history game, Methodology is an exception, it is based on myths etc.

Newer, COD has more players, older ones die bcse people move on.
But Relic decides to target the wrong audience for no reason…
And this is why AOE4 has fewer players than AOE2…
This is a failure, huge mismanagement, and horrible decision-making.

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By this standard, every Age game except II is a failure.

I understand you’re relying on the
assumption that IV was meant to be “the next II”, but we just had a thread about IV replacing II and most people believe all Age games can exist in parallel.

So that’s a silly assumption, and again, one you’re only making to justify calling IV a failure.

My opinion is that basing design on II was a safe bet when releasing a franchise sequel 16 years after the last main entry (III). It didn’t mean that IV was meant to be the next II.

All the Age games to date can co-exist. The Definitive Editions are both new enough and receiving active support. Age IV has a new season coming, the PUP for which seemed wildly positive. It received solid reviews on release, and has maintained (and improved on) numbers that no Age game but II has.

That’s not a failure.


“failure”? I dont think a failure is a game wich recieves 30k+ money for tournaments and still has enough influence all over the franchise to create polemics and to be interesting enough for you to still be talking/hating about it.

If this game is “a failure” then why microsoft is still supporting it. :slight_smile:

A somewhat off-topic but somewhat related observation:
Return of the Rome has been out for less than two weeks. You already have very detailed descriptions and instructions about most of the new campaign on the fandom wiki.

While for AOE4 released a year and a half ago, most of the scenarios do not even have a wiki page, and for those that have, there is minimum information:

There isn’t even anyone who has the interest of picking some historical or gameplay trivia from them.
You rarely see good videos or writeups about AOE4’s sp contents either. Most of them were posted in a short time frame after the game was released.

Or maybe I’m looking at the wrong place and there is another site where AOE4 players discuss campaigns. But from my observation I think it’s safe to say remaining AOE4 players do not care about sp (which is an integral part of the series), or the game never tried. Those who care couldn’t really be attracted by this game.
So in general it was indeed mainly aimed at pvp and esports.


I want to say that the decision making in creating the AoE4 stylized campaigns couldn’t have been worse, but that is just assuming that competent people were on board on making those decisions.

There is no way that there was someone who actually knew and cared about the Age of Empires franchise was making the shots on the style for this campaign. The documentary presentation is completely miscomprehending what age players sought and just could not have been decided by someone who properly understands what came before.

The more sinister outview is that the instructions were to disregard the main audience and seek a new ambiguous audience that could potentially be bigger. But, in that case, it is a disgusting business practice to name it Age of Empires instead of something else entirely. Like some monster possessing the corpse of your beloved franchise for the sake of ripping you off.

I await the endless, pointless, just tiring responses trying to defend this. And there is of course those that will pretend none of this is true–I really wonder what tint your glasses are.

AoE4’s campaigns remain the most incredible part of this game, in the literal sense. I still cannot fathom how this was OK’d.

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So to be clear, it doesn’t matter what anybody could say in defense of this, and you’re not actually interested in any discussion about it?

I’ve often said I like the campaign style, but also that different styles of campaign should be something the devs go for.

That said, if all people want are exact carbon copies of what came before, in the name of “nostalgia” or some other backwards-looking thing, I’ll likely not agree with that.

I encourage and defend experimentation, even if it leads me to be repeatedly grouped in with that mythical demographic that likes content nobody asked for and no “true” fan could’ve been looking for. C’est la vie.

It’s not like II and III even share the same campaign styles. The design differs, significantly, at times. But only IV is bad, “sinister” even, for having its own style.

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You’re twisting the main argument as always.
Different style is never the main problem. You can make good campaigns whatever style it is. But for AOE4 campaigns it does not turn out good. There is no interest of it in the remaining community.

As I have already said in another post:
AOE & AOE2: grand historical scope + huge diverse scenarios with much freedom
AOM & AOE3: smaller scope, character centric fictional storyline + small scenarios with strong guidance and less freedom

Now AOE4 is grand historical scope + even smaller scenarios with even less freedom.
It just does not work out. There is not anything memorable. Either it be a character, a very characteristic story, or the greater historical background. None of them. If you go for some “documentary style” it contradicts it if you pick very scattered, small, 1v1, linear scenarios. That gives you the feeling that you’re nothing more than the random, repetitive “fighting scenes” that occupy screentime when the narrator it’s talking. Instead you should be playing the central roles that determine the events mentioned in the documentary. And that’s what makes a good campaign with the self-proclaimed “documentary style”. It makes no difference if AOE2 or 3 did the same thing, if it’s “nostalgic” or not, or if nobody has done it before.

BTW, it might surprise you but a lot of AOE3 players including myself also think AOE3’s campaigns are not very good. Good story maybe. But not good AOE campaign.
And I can say this out loud in any AOE3 forum without having to read another thesis on “it’s just different”.


I’m not twisting anything. I took no issue with your post, so I don’t really know why you’re jumping in on a specific issue I took with Achronic’s.

Players can think campaigns are bad or good, that’s the whole point. That’s exactly why I want more styles of campaign (which, incidentally, is something Relic have a fair bit of experience with). But that’s not why they were done in the first place. The devs didn’t make the AoE III campaigns knowing folks weren’t going to like them. That surely wasn’t the point, right?

The point was whatever the developers thought would work. But you’re the one trying to single out Age IV as being the odd one out. That argument doesn’t really work if one post later you’re saying “actually the previous AoE had bad campaigns too”.

But in your post your conclusion is a justification for the campaign design. Yes, it onboards players for MP. It explicitly and obviously walks the player through game mechanics in the traditional RTS style. That is an absolutely valid justification. RTS games are niche, and using SP to inboard players into MP is a tried and tested approach.

That said, I disagree with how well the missions in Age IV “work out”. But we’d probably need a whole thread on that and I don’t really care enough. Your opinion is valid. I respect it. I’m happy with agreeing to disagree about the campaigns in Age IV. I love the timeline visualisation. I even like the live-action videos and actors armouring up (though definitely a tad repetitive, they’re cool to look at. I don’t know enough about historical armour types but I like seeing them come together. I have some friends that are massively into that kind of stuff, including some that do re-enactments. I like looking at that kind of stuff, despite never doing it myself).

My point was only ever about how Age IV’s campaigns were approved. Their justification.

And, let’s be honest. If my theses are boring, or unnecessary, just imagine how others come across at times :wink:

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You speak as if all game design, filming or creative literature institutes should be disbanded.
Of course they don’t know beforehand. Now why there are bad and poorly received games in this universe at all?

There are rules of what works and what does not. If you are not some Claude Monet of game design that sees far beyond his time and revolutionizes the whole field (do you think AOE4 is such a game?) these are safe rules to follow.

(Yet when someone complains about UI design you immediately put up your “Imma professional programmer” banner and talks incessantly of how there are rules in UI design and how AOE4 does it perfectly.)

For example many people criticize COH3’s Italian campaign because it has a grand strategic map but filled with repetitive standard small skirmishes that you cannot skip if you want to experience the few truly interesting ones.
Now imagine the MorbGort of COH3 jumps out with “no it’s just that you hate grand strategic map style”.
NO. A million games have proved how to make good strategic map campaigns.
Similarly, I have no doubt there are some places in the domain of gaming that translate to “good documentary style campaigns”. But AOE4 is not one of them.
Otherwise where are the strategic instructions? The speedrun videos? The non-canonical ways to beat them? The people mining interesting details, easter eggs or interactions from those brilliant scenario designs? (Well because there aren’t many)

With a different techtree from MP?

With this you’re admitting that the SP contents are not that well designed for SP enjoyers.
Now if I write in another post saying “the game is too MP oriented with little to offer for SP players”, I can foresee your response;
“No the game had SP contents so it’s unfair.”

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Not at all. Now this is twisting :slight_smile:

You’re right, there are safe rules (well, I’d say guidelines but w/e). And the way Age IV has done it is, imo, very safe. In general, across the board. To the extent people dislike it at times.

Are you now saying that Age IV is somehow being radical? We’ve already established that II and III do campaigns differently. You’ve already said not everyone (who plays III) likes all of AoE III"s campaigns. How is IV uniquely bad, then? What consistent approach is there to follow? What rules should the devs be observing for their campaign content?

More twisting :slight_smile:

I often say there are many, many ways to do UI. Only accessibility has strict guidelines, and there are literally organisations devoted to defining these guidelines.

What games, in your opinion, have done this?

Like I said, agree to disagree. We’re no longer discussing “who made the decision to make these campaigns because they’re nothing any fan asked for” (which was Achronic’s point, that I responded to).

You’re trying to argue that the campaigns in IV were poor. I really don’t care. I think the devs should invest in more PvE content, and more (and varied) campaigns.

This is actually another interesting discussion for its own thread. The short version is that I agree the evolving MP balance increases the gap between the SP and MP in Age IV.

But at the same time all the encounters are balanced for that, well, balance. Keeping SP up with MP would require a lot more rebalancing of SP missions over time.

Didn’t I say AOE3 campaigns are not good?

How is AOE4 uniquely bad, you’re asking me?

Do you know there is a thing in the universe called “bad decision”?
Guess why I avoided using that word.

Three huge posts picking on every statement already.
Really don’t care.

How do you read “there are ways to follow” as “there are ONLY A FEW ways to follow”?
Twisting huh?

What if someone chooses to follow none of the many ways?

That’s not about UI solely. It’s about literally anything.
There are ways to do them well and ways that not. Some people are genius and could open up new possibilities. Most others thought they are smart and fail.

Here’s a very recent example:

Those who work on it must have clear and strong resolutions to make sure people hate it right?

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Yes, because that’s what you jumped in to have a go at me for. When I was replying to Achronic.

About your opinion of the campaigns themselves? No. As I’ve already said, I respect your critical opinions of them.

Which as usual, is more than I can say for the other way around. But at least you’ve wasted less of my time than usual this time.

You said there were rules to follow. I agreed.

Then that would be doing something completely new. For good or bad. I’m not sure how this relates to AoE IV at this point, because you’ve fallen into the usual, predictable style of “I must try and gotcha everything Gorbles says”. So do what you want, it’s your life :sweat_smile:

Sure. Again, not what I was arguing.

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1st it is not an assumption.
It is the truth.
And I didn’t say AOE2 was supposed to be replaced completely like 100%!
People, play what they enjoy and want.

Both games can exist together but at what cost?
AOE4 lost a +90% player base.
Why do you think so many people bought it???
Use your brain to understand the reason.
Moreover, why do you think so many people abandoned AOE4?
If it was so successful, why so many streamers are actually left/planning to leave AOE4 due to new games etc?

Because it has failed way too many expectations from its players!!!
It is underperforming!
The fact that you compare +10-year old AOE titles with the newest one is just a tragedy!
AOE4 must have been the best due to the technological advancements etc.
But no!
It actually released a lackluster one!
Worst modding tool…
Worst UI…
Less Gaia…
Missing Hotkey or limited functionality…
Fever civs…
etc (I can type a lot!)

Losing a +90% player base is not a failure!

You are in -10%, and you think it is a successful game…

Losing the AOE franchise’s reputation is not a failure!

Just watch the upcoming AOE Retold sales go plummet and receive a negative review! (if they keep Methodology gameplay soul and improve on previous mistakes it won’t happen!)
Why? Because, if people hear that Relic is developing the AOE Retold, they will immediately refuse to pre-order/purchase the game. +90% will not be confident in their decision to buy it as they know how they treated their previous games!
This is why reputation is crucial!
Consumers always teach a lesson to such companies!

And I am sure the exact same thing happened to COH3!

I would have purchased it, if Relic did an astonishing job with the AOE4. But nope, so I waited for the reviews and it did illustrate the same mistakes, the same unfinished product that has the promise to improve and add things later in the upcoming patches and updates.
That just makes consumers not trust the company!
Trust is the main tool of the business!
So I simply didn’t buy it!
I don’t trust Relic!

“In the light of the unfortunate news from Relic, we wanted to confirm that the development of Age of Empires IV will continue as planned. We’ll be delivering everything we’ve announced. The next major update will be a new Season, coming soon.”

Notice the words “Continue as planned” and “We’ll be delivering everything we’ve announced.”
It means it will only deliver currently planned projects etc. And we don’t know that plan’s span of time.
The plan could be only covering this year and that is it!
I am sure they selected their words pretty carefully!
Because they don’t just put things they just thought.
They made one thing clear in this development update!
-AOE4’s development/support is nearing its end.
AOE 1,2,3 Methodology etc never seen such an update on development!!!