Microsoft wants to prevent the group of online players of Age of Empires: Definitive Edition from being fragmented and therefore runs the game on Xbox Live. According to Microsoft, the fact that this platform does not work in combination with Steam is ‘because of others’.
Microsoft calls it a misunderstanding to the German site GameStar that it wants to sell Age of Empires: Definitive Edition exclusively through the Microsoft Store. The 4k remaster of the first part in the strategy series will be released on February 20, but only through the Microsoft Store. Many players were disappointed that the game will not be released on Steam, for example.
In response, Microsoft states that there is a difference between the platform and the store: “The platform is where people play it.” Microsoft wants players to play in the ‘social system’ of Xbox Live and says it wants to offer the game everywhere it is available. “Unfortunately, we don’t have a solution yet to make that possible on Steam. However, that depends less on us than on others,” said Jörg Neumann, CEO of Microsoft Studios.
The company wants to stick with Xbox Live to ensure gamers can play together in multiplayer games. “It’s not okay if one buys the game in one store and the other in another, and two friends can’t play with each other for some inexplicable reason.”
However, there are already multiplayer games with crossplay support between Steam and other platforms, including the Xbox One. For example, Rocket League players have been able to play together on Steam and Xbox One since 2016. There is no crossplay between PC games in the Microsoft Store and Steam yet.