Player count in decline

This is a response I wanted to add to the closed “game is dying” thread from last week. You don’t have to re-install or get into specifics to see this is true. If you look at the steam player count, even the recent bump from the “expansion” is following the same trend as last year’s double civ release. If a game is crap, how long can 2 new civs really cover that up? Apparently about 2 months. Yall are getting duped into thinking “oh it’ll be different this time, now it’ll be better” but the numbers aren’t supporting that. By March we’ll be resting under 10k again no doubt. Hopefully xbox is helping but there’s no data on that.

If you love the game then don’t let my forecast stop you from loving it. But I see a critical problem with this game having a low player count. To me, they could add a ton more content and still have a bad game if there’s not enough players online to matchmake properly. I don’t think people leave the game because of not enough civs, they leave way way before fully exploring the different civs because the game just sucks and has shitty pathing, cartoon graphics, awful replay system, no in-game bug reporting system, hackers, etc.

plz don’t close so I can say I told you so in March.

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I mean it’s an RTS, what do you expect?

The game had 15K average player during the peak hype phase. RTS games just don’t have a high demand/playercount (also it has always been higher than 10K if you count gamepass players. The only reason AOE2 has more is because of the singleplayer and custom game content. They have always had a similar level of multiplayer players, and they are the most popular RTS games followed by Starcraft.

Hovering around 8-9K steam and 3K or so gamepass is actually a very healthy population for an RTS in 2020s


Why is it important for you to say “I told you so”? This thread just feels strange as a concept.


RTS are extremely niche and that’s why even the most popular ones have low player count.
There will always be more players right after a release, and then go down gradually when no more release.


I swear we see the same doom prediction based on player counts every other week for two years straight. The game is doing just fine and will continue to do so.


What do You expect?
Which RTS has better steam numbers?

If You are interested in steam player numbers, and how does it work - the majority of games work like that. There is initial release hype and “bumps” from an expansions


Hello :smiley: I hope you are doing very well and regarding your post: RTS games are niche so it is normal that they do not have such a high number of players. We only know the number of online players on Steam, it would be necessary to count those who play from the Microsoft store and Xbox consoles.

If we look at the graphics the game currently has a good number of players: Search - Steam Charts

What other RTS have those numbers of players on Steam? Total war? Because neither Men of War nor Stronghold, to name a few examples, have many players and to this day they continue to be played and their developers continue to release new installments of those games and add new content to them.

In my opinion the game has improved a lot in these 2 years after having such a disastrous launch. It is true that many things in the game still need to be improved and fixed. But I don’t see that it is a game that is condemned to die or be abandoned, greetings.


My favorite RTS was warcraft 3. Maybe it wasn’t any more popular than AoE4 is now, but it sure felt like it because of the in-game community they structured. Public chat lobbies, clans, clan lobbies, a massive custom game community and powerful game editor, a massive ladder community with regular tournaments. This game is missing all of that. And I somehow match against the same people over and over. It feels like the most empty game I’ve ever played.

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It seems that the lack of in game community building features is causing alienation in the player base. I think the game needs in game chat lobbies, clans, a weekend tournament mode (similar to Clash from LoL). Allowing clans to create their own custom banner variation options. Higher clan levels unlock more custom variation slots. Clan members would be able to use the clans custom banner options in their personal banner. Clan member participation in weekend tournaments could give the clan more XP. Weekend tournament participation could unlock portraits, TC statues, and banners.
Other ways a clan could earn XP could be with hosting custom games. Players subscribing to mods released by a clan.

Look at the steam chart numbers. November 2022 12% increase in average player count from 6,950 average players in October 2022. November 2023 56% increase in average player count from 8,450. In 2022 the lowest average player count went below 6,000 in 2023 the average player count has not yet gone below 6,000.
Today right now 5/12/23 6:30 PDT 20,000 players on steam.
Forgoing drastic unpredictable events this game won’t be dying anytime soon. The game is in the exact opposite of a state of decline


RTS was way more popular when WarCraft 3 was out and I loved it as well. I also wish it was like that now but that was so many years go. DOTA was born out of a WC3 mod and then MOBA in general with League of Legends etc. That is now a huge genre in the gaming landscape that takes a lot of players. RTS has unfortunately declined in popularity over the last 21+ years since WC3 released. That being said, AoE 4 is a great RTS for many, myself included. The community is plenty large enough to play and enjoy the game. There is also AoE 2 with a good size community. StarCraft 2 and WC 3 are also still going with dedicated communities. You also have Stormgate coming up soon enough from the devs of SC2 and WC3 that went out on their own to form Frost Giant studios.

Hopefully you can find what you’re looking for in an RTS game and community. However if AoE 4 isn’t for you, hanging out here is really a waste of your time and everyone else’s.


I have some friends who prefer to stay on Age 2 due to the lack of crossplay. Some don’t have a gaming PC. But as soon as crossplay is launched, they will migrate because Age 4, In our opinion, is much more superior than Age 2.

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It’s on xbox now if that’s what you mean? Oh, is the xbox and steam playerbase are separate? That is lame.

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PC has a huge advantage and are seperated on both games. AOE2 custom lobbies though you can turn on crossplay (for some reason AOE4 doesn’t have this yet).

Does Xbox version of AOE2 have stuff like the auto-villagers? Maybe that interferes with being crossplay.

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Correct. Xbox has auto production of villagers as an option at TC’s.

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Yes and no. Xbox console players are in a separate queue because of auto villagers as a standard play mechanic. However the Xbox app on PC has AoE4 available through purchase and Game Pass. I personally play through PC Game Pass. Those players all play in the same queue as Steam players. However none of those players are counted in Steam numbers.


The game is on an upward trend, despite losing DLC players (as expected really).

Agreed on huge lack of QoL features.

Regarding the number of players, I always remember a phrase for these times:
“Don’t expect people to play a game forever. If your campaign mode is limited and you’ve already played more than 500 hours, ir normal to taking breaks to try other things to do. If the players still like the game they will return to play it in a future.”

The DLC news brought back many players who wanted to try out the new civs and mechanics, as well as people who want to try to climb ranked in the new season: That’s good, maintaining a dedicated fandom that replays the game every few years. updates.

On the other hand, let’s consider the dates: We are close to the end of the Gregorian Year and Christmas is also approaching:

  • Young people are trying to study for their final school or university exams
  • Those of us who work are considering things like end-of-year shopping, discounts in stores, how to decorate the house for the holidays, etc.

Maybe at the end of December when people are given some free time or rest, maybe the playability rate improves a little. In fact, the same thing happens in other games around this time of the year.

If you don’t believe, the gameplay on Steam doesn’t seem bad, in fact in both sales and playability the game remains in the top 100:

99th place in sales today, 38th place in sales the previous week.

Ranked 60th in players today, just 4 spots below AoE II:DE.