Yes they did.No they didn't.
AoE4 is the composition where all the decisions who met the least resistance was allowed through the gates and into the final product. And the choice to make it 3d rather then 2d works as a great symbolic expression of this problem.
Therefore AoE4 is a completely average and largely uninteresting game. It seems to me there was no visionary capable of driving the sometimes bold and necessary decisions through in order to make an actually great game.
This is just a classic display of how large corporations play the game of trying to not fail (as the people involved don't want to be the one responsible for anything including risk), so the end result is just dull.
So the next step is more of these awkward and tiresome attempts at promoting where someone will sell their soul pretending it's actually all cool and exciting. Because you just have to get into this sweetspot frame of mind and ignore those intrusive thoughts of how you feel like a 5 year old kid moving your stuff around.
And of course, its the "you just have to get used to it" or whatever. This dance will probably contaminate the aoe2 scene for 6 months or even more, but it's all just a reminder of the failure aoe4 is.
And the biggest failure of aoe4 is not how bad it is. It's how good it could have been.
Because this was the opportunity to introduce the age franchise into the big stage as an esport; and the scale of the project would attract many more talents I'm sure.
And I'll say it again as I said before; the future of gaming is not the people playing, it's the people watching.
Wall of text explaining why my personal opinion about AOE IV is a financial failure.
@buddy__1 if you only liked the II and disliked other games of the franchise then AOE IV is not for you, luckily for us, AOE II has not never been in a better spot than today, let's queue some ladder.