The Definitive Edition of Age of Empires launches very soon on PC. In fact, it comes out just a couple of weeks from now on October 19th. With such an imminent release, it is only natural that fans are craving more information on this remaster of the original 1997 real-time strategy game.
Fans have recently took to the official Age of Empires forums to ask various questions about its release, most notably what online stores it will be sold on. In one such forum thread, an official Admin commented saying:
We’ve chosen to release “Age of Empires: Definitive Edition” exclusively in the Windows Store and we’re excited about what that entails, including tons of Xbox Live goodness (achievements, cloud saves, multiplayer on the fastest, more reliable gaming network and more).
This has caused an uproar within the Age of Empires community, as this means that the highly anticipated remaster that brings 4K visuals and more for the first time to the franchise will not be sold on Steam, Green Man Gaming, Humble Bundle, GOG, or any other online PC store.
Instead, anyone that wants to relive this classic or hasn't had a chance to check it out previously will have to purchase it through the Windows Store, eliminating the usual Steam features like Steam cloud, trading cards, massive community, and the like. It doesn't help that the Windows Store hasn't been in the best of light lately, such as the Forza 7 download debacle.
Though this isn't the only case of Microsoft choosing to publish its PC titles - see Gears of War 4 - exclusively through its own Windows Store, it is disappointing for fans when other Microsoft-published entries in the series like Age of Empires II HD and III are already available on Steam.
Unlike Age of Empires: Definitive Edition, the fan outrage isn't exclusive to one specific platform. While the official forums are filled with the same Steam question over and over, fans have also taken to NeoGAF and Reddit to express their concern and disappointment on the matter.