Nearly 21 years after release, Age of Empires 2 could well be having its best year ever. Since its HD re-release in 2013 the game has had a steady growth in average player count, but with the release of Age of Empires 2: Definitive edition last year and COVID-19 lockdowns inflating player counts across the industry,  Age of Empires 2 is boasting totals that beat some very big-name games. It’s now by far Steam’s most popular RTS, with both the Definitive Edition and the 2013 HD Edition having higher player counts than closest competitor Company of Heroes 2. This year’s big tournament boasted the largest Age of Empires 1v1 prize pool since 2002.

Last month, in April, the games’ combined average player count was over 50,000 players. April 12 was the definitive edition’s all-time player peak, and the combined total of the games was 59,995 players. That’s well into the top 150 all-time peak player counts on Steam… for a 21 year old game.

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