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- Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition
While still in its infancy, crossplay seems to be the way of the future. Players from across consoles and PC are meeting in multiplayer matchups, a feat deemed impossible just a few years ago. However, as with any new technology, there are going to be a few kinks to work out. Microsoft’s newest Age of Empires is now different, available for purchase on both Steam and the Microsoft Store. In theory, Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition crossplay supports matchups between the two PC storefronts. In practice, there could be some serious problems with that plan.
As stated in the latest Age of Empires 2 patch notes, the Steam version has received a patch that is still pending on Windows 10. This means that the two versions become walled gardens until Microsoft can get the patch working on their own store. While the developers note that they’ll have updates on social media, there has been nothing past when the build went out on Steam. Fans across social media have taken to the platform in the days since the update wondering why the promised crossplay feature is suddenly sidelined.
Microsoft has only just recently returned to publishing its games on Steam, most likely due to the rise of the Epic Games Store cutting out the already thin margins of Microsoft’s own PC gaming hub. Therefore, it’s curious to see Steam get a new update right away while Windows 10 players sit out in the cold. Will this be the norm throughout Age of Empires 2‘s life? Extrapolating out further, will this patch disparity become the norm between the two storefronts, or will Microsoft delay patches on the open Steam platform until they can run through approvals on Windows 10? Considering that games like Halo Infinite will likely use a similar crossplay system, it’d be wise of Microsoft to figure out this issue sooner rather than later.