It’s cross-play between stores (Steam or Microsoft Live), “basically it’s like a mini version of Battle.net,” as Isgreen told me, so “you have all the AoE games, all of your friends from both Steam and from Live; chat, everything across games all in one place, so we’re kind of bringing the whole community together with Age” - hence the “unified community” comment when I asked.
I’ve hinted this more than 1 year ago, nice to see the rumours of a Voobly built in the games were true. Hope it shows its face with the AOE2:DE release.
I wonder if this means server based multiplayer for AoE: DE. That could be one explanation why FE needs a couple months to release the game on Steam.
Maybe they need the time to lower the bar for the minimal system requirements. So it could be they need time to add those 3x zoom sprites to AOE DE which now relies more on CPU / GPU processing power and available memory. The networking part will probably be based and kept on Xbox Live network as all players are required except for a Steam account to have a MS account as well.
Hopefully it can be ESO alike, ESO is still the best and most beautiful MP platform I have ever seen.
That gives me a ton of hope!