Last week, Microsoft released a long-awaited game for fans of the Age of Empires series, the Definitive Edition but the launch has been anything but great. The game went on sale on February 20th for $19.99 but many users are left stranded, unable to play the game as they wait for the developers to issue an update.
Since the launch of the game in the Microsoft Store, feedback has been mostly negative. With a current review score of a little over 2 stars, the issues are clear; for many users, the game crashes or will not launch at all. Digging around a bit, the official forums are filled with users experiencing the same issue with the game which is an embarrassing problem for Microsoft.
This is the second time in recent history where a remake and hyped launch has fallen short of expectations, not because of the content, but because the game is buggy or will not run at all. The other high-profile instance of this was with Halo, the Master Chief collection and that game resulted in a serious black eye from the gaming community as that release was a disaster for many months after the initial release.
The good news with the Age of Empires release is that the developers are aware of the issue and have created a page that can help some impacted users successfully launch the game. Oddly, one suggested fix is to download any other free app from the store or to try moving it to another drive; the list is quite lengthy in potential solutions which highlight the severity of the issues.
Worse, for Microsoft, this may be the first experience for some users buying a game from the store. There is quite a bit of speculation that if this game was on Steam, these problems would not have occurred. While we don’t know if that’s true, the bigger issue here is that this is not only a black eye for the game itself but also the Microsoft Store.
For those who have been looking forward to playing this game, the instability of the software is a major letdown and is causing serious frustration for those who bought the game. If you have been thinking about picking up this title, it’s likely best to wait until the bugs get ironed out.