The Next Major RTS Will Fail. This Is Why

Hello Age of Empires Community :slight_smile:

First of all I love RTS and Age of Empires. I wish the franchise will never die.

I saw a video where a famous youtuber said some interesting things why he thinks the next major RTS will fail (hopefully this will not happen).

I link the following video because I hope the devs will consider some of the points he mentioned. Besides I’m interested what you think about it.

What do you think about the video and his suggestions?

Kind regards


This is why age IV is losing players this is why COH3 will lose a lot of players as well.

Stop hiring pros to develop an RTS! Use them only for balance multiplayer at that’s it, pros are 1% of the player based pros can’t survive without casual, an RTS without a good campaign can’t survive and stop with the wider audience thing.

Age IV needs an entire overhaul, get rid of the Disney graphics, your players base are from 20 to 50 years old not fornite kids…Where is your wider audience in DOW3?

I remember that for sc2 I change my preferred race to Protos just cause of the cool mother ship that can use a black hole, it was cool and fun then the “pros” ruined by removing the black hole and now the mother ship sucks, instead of balance it, they listen to the pros and remove it… That’s how you start ruining an RTS…


If an RTS (like AoE) is always going to have to look for a target from 20 to 50 years, with the passage of not much time, the RTS genre will die.

I understand the strategy that Relic tried (with the approval of Microsoft), they wanted to reach a young audience so that the RTS of the AoE franchise would have an injection of players. We’ll see when the game is completely over to see how many players it can have.

An RTS that is competitive and doesn’t die should be balanced with a team of devs and professionals, also looking for fun.


I can’t agree with something like this, hearts of iron is a strategy game and now has been holding 40k people peak daily and it’s clearly not a kids game, Elder ring has been holding 500k people since the release, a game which is singleplayer, high spec and not children game ( everything not inclusive). What these games have in common then? They are masterpiece of it’s genres and if the game is good people will come and play no matter what. Multiplayer, low spec and children game in my opinion are indeed factors that can more easily attract people, but if the game turns to be a masterpiece for their public it will eventually thrive. If the game is failing it might be because, as you have said here multiple times,might be incomplete, or might be designed for the wrong public as the tsuda said above, but I can’t agree that a genre has the necessity to be redesigned for the kids otherwise it would die. Giving my opinion about the matter, I think both are right here. Multiplayer it’s good to keep the game long term and need it’s tools for having a good experience, tools which this game lacked at release, but at the same time what drives new people to the multiplayer is their singleplayer experience, a simple game like this, visually and gameplay wise is failing to keep people long enough to decide to play against others ( I am not saying that every singleplayer player will become a multiplayer player, what I am saying is that the growth of RTS multiplayer is more related to people coming from singleplayer, all subjectively speaking of course, since I don’t have data only my personal experience).


Okay so, made this account earlier than I wanted since I didn’t buy the game yet but I had to because of this bit specifically. Hearts of Iron 4 has a lot, and I mean a hell of a lot, of young kids playing it. It’s not an adult game by any stretch of the imagination, especially since it has been decried as the most simplified game Paradox has ever released up to that point and – bar Imperator Rome – still the most simplified game it had ever made. They fully aimed for a wider audience with that title and have only started adding some substantial depth with the past few DLC’s, the last one being the most major one because it brought back the Supply Lines system from the second game. It’s a fairly kid-friendly game due to Paradox’s internal policy to avoid making mentions of the horrors of war within their titles. I’d say the biggest userbase of Hearts of Iron is people between 15 and 25 years. Crusader King has about the same demographic, slightly aged up if anything. Stellaris comes next. Then you have Victoria and Cities Skylines as the most “adult” demographic games they own (at least until Victoria 3 comes around).

This isn’t me talking bad about HoI, I’m just fighting against the idea that HoI or Paradox games in general are aimed at a mature audience. It hasn’t been that way for over a decade now, as EU3 was the start of wider appeal trend that served its games good (And anybody that disagrees is free to play VIC1, EU2, or HOI1 to remember how janky those games were). HoI specifically is the most polarizing of the games because it – surprisingly enough – manages to hold the biggest LGBT community while also holding the biggest alt-right/unironically edgy/fascism sympathizing community of their games. And both of those are because of a younger audience, not because of an older one.

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I mean , having kids playing the game doesn’t make it designed for kids, look at hoi game interface, artstyle, historical appealing, variables necessary to understand and enjoy it , it isn’t by any mean designed to be childish, having a lot of children playing the game it’s probably consequence of it’s growth. Welcome to the forum my friend, seems like you have just created an account.

It’s not designed specifically for children, but children are one of its main target audiences and one of the main audiences the game has. To be clear I’m talking sub-18 here when I’m describing children, with 18-25 or so being young adults. Everything about HoI4 is sleek and minimalist and has been so from release, bar some really horrible design decisions they reverted in patches (the original air system, for once). The new supply map-mode is the most heavy thing they have as far as UI and it’s still fairly minimal. The game is bright, its easy to read, its easy to understand, and the biggest shift in color only comes from opening the National Focuses window because it has a black background. Both the political and geographical map are fairly bright and easy to read. It being a WW2 game doesn’t really mean it doesn’t have children and young adults as its main demographic because, again, they purposefully avoid any mentions of war atrocities and the like. Anything from deportations and fire bombing to the Holocaust itself is scrubbed from the game, the gulags themselves only get a small snippet in the new Soviet focus tree.

And AoE4 doesn’t feel designed for kids either, no less than AoE 2 did back in the day. AoE2 aimed for teenagers back in the day but we remember the game looking a bit more grungy due to smaller resolution monitors back in the day combined with the frontloaded artstyle and tree placement that made everything look more grunge than it actually was. At its core it was still a brightly-colored game that was easy to read. Not as minimalist as HoI but still fairly so, especially when compared to games like Starcraft or Warcraft 3. As far as I can tell AoE4 aimed for much better visibility and accessibility while maintaining the spirit of AoE2 (because lets be fair, late game AoE2 could get confusing as all hell, especially on team maps).

But that’s mostly how I see things since I’ve been binging Aussie_Drongo casting games on youtube the past few days so thats my exposure to the game itself. I can understand people not liking some changes in the style but I think it’s silly to call it kiddified or something of the like in terms of graphics.

Also late edit: I checked Common Sense media since apparently Hoi4 never got an official rating and the overwhelming rating on there is ages 12+

But we’re talking about a dead genre like RTS, not games like Elden Ring or Hearts of Iron, which have a different learning curve and are different genres.

You’re right about something, possibly a good part of those who play single player will be encouraged to play multiplayer in the future.

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I haven’t seen kids playing HOI, I also don’t see kids playing age IV… (Which is a game designed to attract kids and with a lot of accessibility) Microsoft/Relic incorrectly target the wrong audience…


It’s a little contradictory to design a game not for children but have them as the main target, but if you agree that the game is not designed for children my point still holds, which it’s what I am talking about (not having the game designed for children but still holding numbers), about aoe4 not being designed for children I wouldn’t say so, based on the artstyle , lack of blood, bodies, the cartoonish proportions and other things and I am only saying this because that’s the only way I see aoe4 being target to wider age audiences as the original poster mentioned . But this is just subjective so I can only agree to disagree with you in this part.

Unless there are data about players age this is what is going to happen , each one telling their own experiences, so nothing fundamentally correct will be achieved.

I wouldn’t say its contradictory but I see designing for children and having them as your main audience as two different things personally. COD in the past, for instance, was marketed towards children (Sub-18) and Young Adults but it was designed as a young adult/adult game. We all know the memes and the masses of kids that played COD religiously.

And I can be wrong since it’s been a few years since I played AoE2 but I genuinely don’t remember there being blood in that game. I remember corpses that disintegrated into skeletons over several seconds and then disappeared though but I don’t see either of those as inherently adult. Teenager at most.

But yeah, like you said, it’s subjective at the end of the day and it’s down to every individuals taste, definition, and opinions. I appreciate the style AoE4 went with and I’m close to my 30s

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RTS its a dead genre because of the games not because it lacks visibility, otherwise aoe4 wouldn’t get at it’s release 70k only on steam, while hoi4 for example got 40k in it’s release.

HOI went from low to high in average players. New content and replayability are key to keeping and attracting new players. We will see the future of AoE4 in that aspect.

Anything can happen of course, what I am talking about it’s the game I see in the present, a game going from high to low.

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so aoe 4 is doomed as its pathfinding is horrendous in large battle engage.

Excellent video. I have been thinking lately that the devs focus on balancing towards esports has been what’s holding it back and what might ultimately kill the game. Can mostly be seen around here as the higher elo players telling people to stop complaining and get good. Hoping a lot of this can be addressed via mods and tuning packs.


Did the council consist of only pro players?

This game definitely wasn’t designed by Pros, unless they’ve got horrible taste.

The game is dead for being released in an incomplete state.

If someone posts something in a public forum for any game in existence in which they ask for something to be redesigned to suit their fancy, and they just happen to not be particularly experienced with the aforementioned, then those with experience will inform them why it isn’t as they think, and proceed to offer solutions.


Not saying it’s designed by pros but that esports and competitive play seem to be the focus of the devs. What else explains ranked play coming before choosing your own color.

My whole point about the high elo comment is that we need tuning packs/mods so everyone can play and have fun.