What would happen if AoE3 stays Free-to-play?

What would happen?
And if the skins, HC customizations, DLC and other aesthetic elements are put up for sale, creating a system of microtransactions?

What would happen to the number of players? What would happen to the existing base? Would it be profitable?
Let’s discuss.

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Nothing, they’d (devs) probably lose money.
AOE3 doesn’t have a sustainable playerbase for microtransactions and a good chunk of players play single player only. Furthermore, some of the promotional skins are of highly questionable taste.

They’d have to keep pumping up with civilizations that would undoubtedly damage the quality/balance and alienate the loyal players/users.


I wish aoe3 had a bigger player base and some sort ranked seasons like aoe4. I miss it so so much.

Here’s how it happens:

  1. Devs activate free-to-play
  2. More players join
  3. Devs say, huh, that’s cool, too bad there isn’t a way to make money off of…wait a minute!
  4. Game remains free-to-play but riddled with microtransactions, FOMO, grindy events, and other freemium mobile nonsense

Like a monkey’s paw. Free-to-play is best left to short time-limited promotional events, for our own good.


I think you are right, if they made is free to play they would have to add micro transactions, to make money , which is a terrible idea, it killed AoEO. Leave it the way it is, maybe do free giveaway on a weekend like CoH2 did. Most people who are not willing to spend $20 to play the game honestly aren’t going to play it anyway


actually obtained a copy of COH2 via free giveaway last year

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Instead of saying what could happen let’s go to facts, SC2 went free to play and it saw a rise in its playerbase and they also switched to a microtransation base model and it worked great and still do. What they would have to do is to put more work on aesthetics and things to sell instead of fully focusing on dlcs


I did too, tried it didn’t like it at all

Starcraft II went free their MP and WoL campaign while being a famous e-sport at the moment before all the Dota/Lol scene. That could happen wih AoE II, not for AoE III.

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I still think they can do it to most AOE games, they can let the Multiplayer be totally free

For AOE3 and any other AOE they could then sell icons and skins for units, new campaigns, new challenges and if creative enough they can go on selling cool interface features. And this alone allows devs to receive $ without having to depend on DLCs only, As long as nothing that is sold affects Multiplayer gameplay.

I would also go as far as selling the civs, It goes like this, If the game goes free to play, They could use the model where people earn some sort of currency by simply playing games and they can use this to buy the civs or if they just want to have the civ right away, they might just purchase with $

Why I believe this model could work? because you would still get the civ permanently after you get it in which ever way you choose [ Game currency or $ ]

I support these ideas because for a game to continue having developer support it has to give them money, or later down the route we won’t have more support for the game as there won’t be an incentive for them to continue doing so

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while i do see where your points come from, you have to remember one thing, give them a hand, they’ll take the whole arm and then some. Its not like devs don’t get salaries if dlc doesn’t sell like 10k units, this isn’t 90s/early 2000s. also you seem dangerously unaware of 1 tiny little problem with your suggestion, once you make icons skins challenges and so on purchaseable, or even god forbid implement purchaseable ingame currency, you can say goodbye to being able to earn them the way we do now, anything earned ingame devolves into garbage, also selling interface settings counts as pay to win. All in all, this entire model gets only NO as an answer from my point of view. many of us happen to be sick of "modern gaming"s obsession with money laundering, even dlc can cross the line if its too regular, and your suggestion here pretty much sums up everything wrong with games these days.


and it also sums up everything wrong with gamers these days, after all, a fool and his money are easy to separate

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I don’t see anything wrong with this, Aesthetics do not affect MP gameplay, They are currently giving too many things for free sort of which if smart they could monetize and there is nothing wrong in monetizing aesthetics within a game.

One example that comes to mind, we get 1 free icon a week, this could be monetized, We get icons from time to times on events, These could be monetized and left forever so whoever wants to get an old icon from an event just pays for it and this is a benefit as some icons are not longer obtainable

The type of interface I talk about is like menus, User interface things that do not affect gameplay, But Mods and anyone that has knowledge in modifying files can simply add those, Unless MS locks these and monetize them

While you have a personal point of view of what you like, It doesn’t change the fact of what’s working today.

Our devs are probably getting paid a salary until this game no longer profits enough for the salary they are being paid, And there is no amount of optimism that would change the fact that when it no longer profits they will simply keep working as they have been the past year on this game.

The game still has many things that could be improved and could still receive more civs, Not only that it could also receive more campaings more challenges, more icons, even skins to units.

In today’s age, 2 of the most known working business models are

1 Subscription model

2 Free with Aesthetics / Cosmetics being paid for. And in the case of RTS any new content that is no MP is paid for

the only reason you can call it acceptable lies in the way this thinking slowly creeped in due to people with this exact mentality (mentality i consistently call out) just letting it creep in

aka something like the lunar new year and spring main menu if i understand your point correctly, still wouldn’t want it sold to me honestly

and this here is why i followed up with everything wrong with gamers today, what happened to your standards people, i cannot support this


and for better or worse both often enough scream scam, throwing money in, with things costing way more then they ever should’ve

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This is simple, Do you run or have ran a business project?

No, but did you?
and don’t try to lecture me how to exploit people who don’t know any better for cash, not the kind of person to fall for such thinking
above all, don’t try to convience me modern game monetization is necessary in current form, you’ll just be wasting time with that discussion

I don’t need to waste my time as you clearly answered you don’t have the same vibration to understand what I understand

Yes I run a food business

that pretty much explains the logic then, now honest question, why the bold text, got offended cuz i don’t back down to what i view as ■■■■■■■■? asking out of pure curiosity, also running a small to medium food business isn’t exactly comparable to games, at least not 1:1