WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT that it comes to this, when Zak Robinson brought his "Hello everybody, ZeroEmpires here" line to the audience for the first time? That was back in 2011, while recently his YouTube channel hit 100k subs and his contribution to the TyRanT/Team Secret deal was celebrated without lacking some controversy. It's time to have a talk with this AoE2 icon. Who is the person behind the image? How does he think about his becoming? Will he tackle delicate questions about Escape Gaming? And how does he see the future of AoE2? Let's find out!
Hi Zak, what's in your mind today?Hey pumukel, thanks for doing this! I've always valued the work you do in the AoE community and look forward to sharing this interview with the world.
Where can we find you?I'm living in the UK in a town called Sheffield. I came here for university but ended up staying because it's such a great place to be - it's close to the Peak District which is perfect for walking and exploring the British countryside.
Did you have any childhood dreams?My dream for as long as I could remember was to become a pilot in the Royal Air Force, but it was never something I could pursue because of health issues. I still have a passion for flying though and was fortunate enough to have the experience of flying in the cockpit of a few different aircraft.
What brings you enjoyment in life?I love to cook! Quite a few people in the AoE community have eaten my food and it brings me a lot of enjoyment to make something nice for them. It's even better to use fresh ingredients which is why I started a vegetable garden where I can go outside and unwind while also making something productive of the outside space. Aside from this I enjoy collecting vinyl, not because I think it sounds better - I'm half deaf so I couldn't tell the difference anyway, but because I enjoy the artwork and the physical disc over a digial library. I also enjoy playing board games with friends, to me it's always better to have everyone around the table than sitting in front of a PC screen; the social side of gaming really comes to life when you're together in person. So now you have my Tinder bio, any takers?
Do you follow any other games than AoE2?Starcraft 2 was a huge influence for me, I never played the game and only experienced it from a spectator standpoint - but it started to grow the ambition to see AoE2 as an eSport in the same way that SC2 was. I used to play CS:GO quite seriously and watch every major event that I could, the same for DotA2 as well!
It started to grow the ambition
to see AoE2 as an eSport.
A big part of the reason for watching was because I was also playing, although CS:GO can be watched and understood by anyone it's definitely more enjoyable when you can relate to the game and appreciate just how insanely good the best players in the world are. It was also quite inspiring and motivating to see the development of eSports in different games, there's always something to be learned and that knowledge can be applied to Age of Empires too. Nowadays I don't have time to follow any other games seriously.
You invest a lot of time and energy into the world of gaming which can be understood as entertainment in the sense of a distraction from important issues. I myself wonder sometimes how justified it is to invest so much into a gaming forum and organizing tournaments. How do you think about this?I think that important issues can not be in focus all of the time, it's important for human wellbeing and health to be able to play. It's important for people to be able to take a break and unwind so that they can approach these other issues with a fresh perspective and with energy; we don't have the physical and mental capacity to focus on the serious all of the time. In the end, people want and need entertainment, I'm glad we're getting our entertainment these days from watching people play video games instead of killing eachother in an arena in Rome.
AoE2 family picture from a meeting in January 2018. Legend on ZeroEmpires' Instagram.
You met a lot of AoE2 people throughout the years. Please share some experiences.I definitely feel a close connection with a lot of people in the AoE2 community and have had the pleasure of meeting some people many times already. You spend so much time talking through voice chat and it usually revolves around your common interests that when you finally meet in person it's as though it's been that way all along. The only thing I wish is that we lived closer together so that we could meet up more often, like I would with my "IRL" friends. Nowadays theres a lot more opportunity to meet with and see people though, with community meet-ups and the various events that are happening. Nothing makes me happier than spending time with those people who I'm closest to in the AoE2 community.
I wish we lived closer together.
Some of the best memories in my life have been with people I've met through this game - Cologne for the AoE anniversary with KillerB, Gamescom working until 3am getting everything ready with Robo then hosting him at my apartment in England. Drinking with Viper, KillerB, Robo and the guy from Ubisoft who kept buying shots for everyone. Getting dressed up to go to a top London nightclub with Carlini and the crew was a once in a life time experience. Hot tub with JorDan_23, Smarthy, Bulletchen, Nili and Tarsiz. Exploring around London with Lavie and playing board games. Spending time in Serbia with DauT and meeting his son Vanja, then ending up in a gypsy turbofolk bar at 5am with Hico after DauT went home. The list goes on, but it's been amazing and I never want it to end.
What is success?I don't believe that success is about reaching an arbritrary milestone, if you're not enough without a gold medal then you're never going to be enough with one. I believe that success is happiness, if you are content and happy then everything else is a bonus. I would consider myself successful, not because I live in a big house or have a nice car, but because I am happy in life.
How does your AoE story begin?AoE2 was my first ever video game, my dad bought it for me so that I had something to do when I visited him at the weekends. That was where it all started and what a journey it would be! Everything about the game fascinated me and definitely got me interested in history, I spent hours playing the campaigns and reading the history pages, making custom scenarios and playing vs the AI. One weekend I was visiting and my Dad had just got the internet, it was the old 56k modem where you couldn't use the telephone and the internet at the same time. But there was something about going online that captivated me. So we made an online account on the zone and my Dad helped me to come up with a username, my first ever online alias: Mighty_Muscle. The irony being that I've always been skinny, only recently have I been able to start gaining weight after working out seriously. Anyway, I have some very early memories of the Zone; I used to play deathmatch with a guy called Mitchel from Australia; we were in a clan together: UTB (Untouchables). I was pretty young so I don't remember too many details, but I remember all of those first time internet experiences and it really shaped my life and my understanding of the world from a young age. Back then, Whitehouse.com wasn't a place for US politics, it had pornography on it! What a shock.
Back then, Whitehouse.com
had pornography on it!
I was so engrossed in Age of Empires 2 that during the week when I lived with my Mum I would slowly get more and more excited about the weekend and being able to play it again. On the drive over to my Dad's place my stomach would get knotted with excitement and giddiness; I only ever feel that these days when something big is happening, like Gamescom or NAC. The excitement was unbearable! Sometimes I'd even bring the PC game disc back to my Mum's with me, even though we didn't have a PC. I'd put the disc in the Playstation and pray that it would somehow work... it didn't. But it did allow me to play the music files on the disc, so I could at least listen to the soundtrack while I played with lego. The disc has long been lost to time; but I guess you could call it obsession back then.
So how did that YouTube thing happen?It had been a while since I played AoE2, I didn't know Voobly existed and didn't know that AoE2 could even be played online any more. One day I had the urge to play again and decided to do some Googling to see what I could find. This is where I discovered Voobly and began to play again, at that point I had no intention to make content. However, as I mentioned earlier I was watching a lot of Starcraft 2, and mostly TotalBiscuit. He was the man who inspired me to cast AoE2, after listening to his Starcraft 2 commentary and seeing what was happening there I wanted to do something like that for AoE2. It broke my heart when I learned of his death earlier this year, he was really a role model to me in the early days.
TotalBiscuit mentions AoE on the H3 Podcast.
I also searched on YouTube to see what already existed, of course I found MrDanish and Ilumiknight (Res22); I watched some of their videos and decided to try it myself. My goal in the beginning was clear: Help more people to find out about AoE2 as I had done earlier that year, and see AoE2 become an eSport like Starcraft 2.
What were the early challenges you met?In the early days I was using a pretty ghetto setup, I didn't have any money for a pc or microphone or anything really. I was using a laptop which I got for my birthday one year to record and render the videos. I was using the built in laptop microphone to record audio too. Of course there was no YouTube ad revenue, that wouldnt come or even become substantial until 4-5 years later. It took me a long time to render videos... many hours for a 20 minute video, and hours more to upload it on the crappy internet we had. Over time I was able to get the money to upgrade the equipment and pay for a faster internet speed; I'd say my gear is in a pretty good spot now, but for a long time it was a daily struggle just to get a video online!
Do you remember some crucial moments where you realized how far you have come or it can still go?I think some time in 2015 I realized that if I dedicated my life to YouTube and Twitch I could make a living from it comfortably - but for the same reason that I dropped out of university I didn't commit and dedicate my life to streaming or YouTube due to the fear of losing freedom and becoming a slave to something. Of course, it has to be said that the "I have no words for this game" game which was uploaded in 2015 likely played a part in the growth of the channel.
T90 and I would be making videos
that knock it out of the park every time.
It seems random because everyone has some kind of "breakthrough" video - it was the same for T90 with his Forest Nothing video for example. Some videos just seem to have the mass appeal, and if either T90 or I knew the formula we'd be making videos that knock it out of the park every time. It's a bit of a mystery though, some videos just seem to get lucky and push all the right buttons for the YouTube algorithm.
Please comment the following pictures (four of them were YT avatars):
(1) Not a lot to say about this. It was my first "Intro" clip, made in Sony Vegas from a template I found somewhere. (2) This one is from University, I'm not afraid to get dressed up and make a fool of myself (Companion pic to this: Here or Here) - we had some pretty wild parties and this was one of many costumes haha. (3) I felt like I needed a logo and asked my ex-girlfriend to draw something for me since she was in to art. I showed her a picture of a Paladin and this is what she produced. (4) I don't like this pic too much, but I had to take something that looked more "serious" for use in official presentations etc. (5) This one has no story/meaning. (6) The re-brand, something that stands out a bit more. The idea of this logo is to look like my real life helmet which I bought, because I'm a nerd and decided to eventually get all the pieces for my own suit of armour.
Did you ever imagine 100k subs? Is 1M possible? What does 100k Subs mean to you?It means a whole lot to me that so many people have found my content enjoyable enough to press the subscribe button - it means that I am achieving my goal which I set out to reach! However, my goal was never to get to 100k or 1M subscribers, these milestones are nice but there's no expectation to reach a certain amount, each subscriber is as valued as the last because that's potentially one more person who has been introduced to AoE2.
Why did you become one of the biggest, most relevant AoE2 channels?I've been around for a long time and at a time when there were very few other casters or content creators. I don't think that I am the best caster, and I'm certainly not the best player; but I have my style and some people like that.
When you made your farewell video, saying that you will never return to AoE2, how sincere was this statement?At the time I had just started a new job, I knew that I would have and indeed didn't have any time to make AoE2 content. If things had gone well and my career continued in that direction then I may well have never returned to AoE2 content production. I would certainly have been around to play the DE's and AoE4, I have good friends in the community that I will always remain friends with even if I were to stop my involvement with streaming, youtube and event organization. It's more a matter of time than inclination; I spent very little time in the UK during my year away, if that had continued then my work in AoE2 would have been impossible.
You often start things that are announced as series but then they stop soon. One could think you have an urge for announcing things, for hype over consistency, which is also reflected in your frequent communication of what cannot be communicated yet. How appropriate is this assessment?I always have good intentions, for example with the new tutorial series; I absolutely 100% want to continue and finish it. Perhaps that one is different, but what usually happens is this: Inspiration hits, the motivation is there and I start a new personal project and then the very next week something comes up that takes my time and attention away (Escape Gaming). By the time I come back to continuing, the inspiration and motivation have passed. As for hyping stuff, I like to get people excited, I wouldn't do it if we didn't have something worth announcing though
Nili's Apartment Cup @ Rocket Beans TV.
If I remember correctly, you quit University. Was it only AoE2 from there?I dropped out of university because I wasn't enjoying my degree and the trajectory that it was sending me. Part of what brings me happiness is freedom, and I would never sacrifice freedom whenever possible. I worked as a night shift manager for a while as well as a couple other roles, but I've always been fortunate enough to have money to support myself and pursue my dreams. It definitely wasn't possible to earn anything close to a living from AoE2 until late 2015. I have no formal education outside of the mandatory school education that you get in the UK, but I never stop learning.
Are all your videos edited by yourself? How do improve?All of my videos are edited by me, I used to use Sony Vegas but these days I use Premiere Pro for editing. At the very start I used to use Windows Movie Maker! But as you try to improve your video quality you spend more time improving your tools and equipment including the video editing software. It's through a combination of trial and error and video tutorials that I've learned to edit videos to an okay standard, but there's nothing too crazy or special happening in any of the videos I make.
What are the most pleasant things for a youtuber/streamer?The best feeling about all of this is when I see comments saying something along the lines of: "Hey I didn't realize AoE2 was still a thing, I just found out about it because of your videos/stream". It's really satisfying to know that this person could be a member of the community and re-discover the game for themselves.
How do you look at the other big channels? Are they rivals?I don't consider anyone a rival; I didn't start casting Age of Empires and making videos because I wanted to be "the best" or "the biggest".
If you spend too long comparing yourself to others
you start to change into something that you are not.
I think if you spend too long comparing yourself to others then you start to change into something that you are not. I make videos because I enjoy it, so when the enjoyment stops I stop and when I feel inspired or motivated then I'll make something.
Are you still motivated to work on your YT channel or has it become a side project?Motivation definitely comes in waves, I'd like to make more content more often but the channel has definitely been pushed to the side since my focus has been on Escape Gaming for the last two and a half years. Sometimes after working 70 hours in a week on ECL related stuff you don't want to sit and spend another five or ten making a video, you just need to break and do something else.
How did you get involved with Cysion? What's his impact on the game nowadays?We definitely should catch up more often, it's been a very long time since I first spoke to Bert; so long in fact that I can't remember what drove us together in the first place, hopefully he can tell you because my memory is too poor! We don't work so closely any more since I am not a part of FE and what happens at FE is totally different now to when it was just Bert and a few volunteers and FE didn't even exist as a company. We've met a few times though and it's always a pleasure, we get on well and have similar views and opinions about the game I would say. He's still running the show at FE, it's a difficult balancing act and I certainly don't envy his position with that.
ZeroEmpires standing behind Cysion at the 20th Anniversary of the franchise.
Why are you often involved in drama? How do you cope with hate?I'm an open minded person, although I hold my views strongly I'm more than willing to see different viewpoints and perhaps change my own if I am convinced. This is why I'm happy to debate and explain my ideas with others, not everyone sees things the same way and maybe you missed something important.
I feel nothing but pity for those people.
I think a lot of the reason for these dramas is because the decisions we make as Escape Gaming may have a big impact on the community, and this is a community of passionate people who genuinely want what is best for the game. People will argue for what they believe is best and it's simply not possible that everyone will agree on what the best thing is. I think there's a big difference between arguing for what you believe in and outright hate. There are very few people who are genuinely "haters", and I feel nothing but pity for those people.
How do you think about past incidents like the TyRant War petition or the Bobomb account today?I started making AoE2 content when I was 17, today I am 25. As you grow up you become more mature, you learn more about the world and your ideas and perspectives on things change. Today I have a very different outlook on life, on the way I handle myself and the things that happen around me. My values are different and all I can say is that everything up to this point has been a learning experience. I am sure that by the time I am 30 I will think and feel differently about the actions I am taking today as well.
What's the mission?Escape Gaming is about professionalizing AoE2 with respect to the competitive environment. We want to move AoE2 forward by acting as a reliable and trustworthy event organizer that can provide the whole package, from administration to broadcasting. To make this happen we need people, it's not a one man job. We need a company structure so that payments can be handled properly and securely. We need a platform that works for the players, for the casters AND for the brands/corporate partners that want to work with us. The objective is to see AoE2 transition from being supported by individual super-fans and volunteers to having some permanent and solid structure that can support the growth of AoE2 on a larger scale. Our intention is to see AoE2 grow further but also continue to branch into other areas of the Age franchise with AoE2:DE and AoE4 in the future.
And what's your personal motivation to contribute to this?My motivations are the same as when I started making YouTube content in the first place, but now it's graduated from working at an individual level to running a team of people to reach these goals. That is of course to see AoE2 grow, specifically the competitive side of the game.
Escape's Euro Cup Finals at the Gamescom 2017. Souce: http://escape.gg/
Is Escape your main occupation?Yes.
How does the ordinary workday look?Wake up, sit in front of the PC for 14 hours, go to bed.
Escape Gaming has a pre-AoE history. How did Escape come into being in the first place, what were its achievements?Escape Gaming started as an eSports organization, much like Team Secret. Our initial foray into eSports started when we picked up a CS:GO team who were looking for a partner. They would represent us in competition and we would support them financially and administratively. While we continued to support our CS:GO team who had moderate success in competiton, we started negotiations with a DotA2 team to join us. Soon after we had SyndereN, Yapz0r (Now playing for Secret), Khezu, Era and Qojqva representing Escape Gaming. Later that year they qualified for the International 6 which back then was the largest eSports tournament, in terms of prize pool, to ever exist - only beaten since by TI7 and TI8. It was one hell of an experience and would see us traveling all over, from Seattle to LA to London to Frankfurt to Jonkoping and beyond. We also worked with Cydonia, a top Hearthstone player; who represented us in various tournaments as well.
Zak and Till Hoffmann (Escape Gaming CEO) in Seattle 2016.
How did that stop? Why the shift to AoE?After a good 16 months working with teams in these larger eSports titles we decided to end our activities with team ownership. We have many reasons for this; primarily the lack of regulation in the space, the difficulty in finding sponsors and the lack of funding to compete with larger teams who were attempting to buy our players from us. I learned a huge amount about eSports and what the bigger picture looked like, had the pleasure of meeting many key people within the industry and seeing first hand the direction that eSports is heading. It made a huge amount of sense to put these learnings, contacts and this vision into practise in Age of Empires 2; it fed back directly to my initial goals when setting out to create my YouTube channel. Fortunately, the Hoffmanns (see infobox) are big fans of AoE2 and were happy with this change of direction - we learned that the biggest downfall of eSports at the moment is stability. Once you have a foundation that is stable you can build upon it safely; we decided to work toward building that platform rather than being suspended in limbo above it like we were with team ownership.
Dr. Till Hoffmann is the CEO of Escape Gaming. He is part of the management of the TMM Holding (Technology Marketing Management GmbH, situated in Dortmund, Germany) together with other members of the family. According to Dortmund's company register, the Escape Gaming GmbH was founded on 05.04.2016 with an authorised capital of 25'000 EUR (minimal requirement for german GmbHs). On 14.05.2018, it's objective was changed to: "The implementation of online gaming operations in the internet, the organization of videogaming events and tournaments as well as the purchasing and selling, licensing, leasing, and renting of hard- and software and of licenses, the licensing of rights of the company as well as the marketing of esports competitions and contents." (translation by pumukel). You can find interviews with Till Hoffmann on the internet, all from 2016 e.g. "Wie ein Dortmunder mit E-Sport Geld verdienen will", "Escape Gaming-CEO: "Wir stehen noch am Anfang"", "Escape Gaming CEO, Till Hoffmann and syndereN in one eloquent interview ahead of TI6", "Chef von Escape Gaming: “2030 ist Dota-2 olympisch“". There is also an outdated slideshow about Escape Gaming by Zak.
Why is the GmbH registered in Germany? How did you get involved with the Hoffmann family, what's their motivation? The Hoffmanns own many companies, we used their lawyer to notarize the foundation of the company and since they are based in Germany and they handle accounting and legal it makes sense for it to be registered there as a GmbH. We are good friends and business partners, and they are fans of AoE2.
How many employees does Escape Gaming have?It's only Robo who is an employee. Anyone else who does work for us is a freelander and is treated accordingly. We also have a social media manager who works part time, his name is Jesse and he is awesome.
Is the relation between ZeroEmpires YT and Escape Gaming regulated? Is ZeroEmpires YT an entity independent of Escape? To give a specific case: Assuming the ECL introduction video was produced with Escape funds and it's put on the ZE channel, who does the ad revenue belong to? Similarly, when you travel to an AoE2 event, how clear is the distinction between private person and business person?As the half owner, and Head of Operations of Escape, and as the owner of ZeroEmpires the lines are definitely blurred a little. I act on behalf of Escape in the interests of Escape, if a video is paid for using Escape funds but the video is made with the intent to be seen by as many people as possible then of course it's logical to post it on the ZeroEmpires channel as well.
would very quickly be discovered.
The ad-revenue for that video was $7. It's not enough money to really justify some kind of action. If larger sums were involved then of course a proper distinction would be made; but I work closely with the Hoffmanns and any kind of self-enrichment would very quickly be discovered and I wouldn't want to jeopardize our relationship over that.
Escape's AoE2 frontstage engagement started at the end of 2016 with Battle for Angkor. How did it influence the AoE2 scene since then? What has significantly changed?I think we showed the potential that AoE2 events had, with a crazy 6500+ live viewers for that first event it was clear that the audience was out there. Since then we continued to host DLC tournaments and give expert players a taste for the new civs which they enjoyed. It's hard to say what would have happened if none of the experts had played the DLC by the time WololoKingdoms came around. Maybe players would have tried WololoKingdoms anyway; but I like to think that by incentivising them to try the new civs we certainly had a hand in the rapid growth of WololoKingdoms players - especially at a high level. Now with the ECL we are aiming higher still, we want to show that a regular competitive scene in AoE2 can not only exist, but thrive; hopefully paving the way for more investment into the game and opportunities for everyone involved.
Changes in the direction of professional esport are with respect to playing competitively especially consequential for top players: it seems like they are confronted with a choice between fully investing or losing their previous status in the community. When money becomes more important, it can also devaluate or demotivate volunteer work. How do you think about such constellations?I don't think that tournament prize-pools are large enough for players to justify going full-time because of that alone. Look at other professional sports; sportsmen and women are not relying on prize winnings to get by. They are employed, have sponsorship deals and other means of earning a living. We have someone like TheViper that can earn a living from streaming, if there were no prized tournaments ever again he would still be able to be a full-time AoE player. Very few people can do this, but it's not a result of the tournaments, rather because Viper is a clever guy who has an entertaining stream and good business sense.
Fans of TheViper wearing his merch. Source: https://twitter.com/Secret_TheViper
I would consider us to be in a free market, there's absolutely nothing stopping someone from setting up a "rival" to Escape Gaming and attempting to make their own way. However, nobody wants to do this task because they recognize just how difficult it is and with no guarantee to earn anything from it while sacrificing their whole life to give it a go. Clearly it isn't so easy!
You need to start with the heart.
The same can be said for streaming and starting from nothing - the problem is that people who set out with the intention to make money from this line of work will fail. They will quickly lose motivation when they realize that the road is too long and the investment too great. You need to start with the heart, that's what keeps you motivated long enough to break through and possibly earn some money for your time and effort. This is why I don't think that volunteer work would ever be undermined or de-valued; because volunteer work comes from the heart and not the desire to earn money.
Is Escape Gaming profitable?No, not at all.
What's the magic of AoE2?AoE2 is one of those rare games that has stood the test of time, it has all of the qualities that a game needs to be 20 years old and still have a large and active community. First, the gameplay itself is easy to learn but hard to master, we've had 20 years of competition and the meta-game is still evolving - there's always more room to push the limits. Like chess, there is no such thing as perfection and alsoways space to improve. The multi-player makes all of this possible, without a multi-player experience I find it impossible to see the game keeping its popularity. This is where the game shines again: even with the old netcode AoE2 is still playable and runs smoothly in multiplayer today. The graphics have stood the test of time so well, they are iconic - but they also are incredibly pretty; I would call the graphics timeless.
What's your civ of choice?I'm and old school player so it has to be an AoK civ - and for me it's the Chinese. Versatile, great on nomad maps, water maps, land maps, and overall just enjoyable to play. Bombard tower rush, new favourite strategy; thanks MbL.
Meeting the lord and saviour.
Do you have a favorite player?For me it has to be DauT; and I've said this for a long time. He's the most consistent and longest running top player in the game with an impressive tournament record since the early 2000's. He's got a great personality and is enjoyable to be around, always makes me laugh and was an amazing host in Belgrade.
What effects will AoE2:DE and AoE4 have on AoE2?I think fundamentally AoE2:DE will be the same as AoE2, similar to with Age1:DE where there were improved quality of life features and new graphics etc. It's what HD should have been. However, unlike Age1:DE I think that Age2:DE will recieve a lot more attention which is logical since Age2 is by far the largest title in the Age franchise. It's where the most active players are and it's the community that has been invested into the most with prized tournaments etc.
I hope that AoE2:DE will be a no-brainer
for AoE2 fans, a straight upgrade.
I hope that AoE2:DE will be a no-brainer for AoE2 fans and a straight upgrade, we'll see if this dream comes true soon enough I am sure. With AoE4 it could be a different story though, but who really knows? AoE3 didn't kill AoE2 and AoE4 probably wouldn't do that either. But I do expect AoE4 to have more players than AoE2, that's just logical as the game will attract many many new players due to being a new title. The question is whether or not the AoE2 playerbase will suffer as a result, and for that I really have no answer.
Is the success of AoE2 in the last years responsible for the development of AoE2:DE/AoE4 and will this ironically lead to its decline?I don't know. AoE2 may very well have surprised the people at Microsoft when the HD edition sold over 5 million copies; but I don't know how many of their decisions were based on that or at what point the plan to make AoE4 came about. As I said before, I don't think AoE4 would kill AoE2, but if it does then it's because it is objectively a better game - I can't possibly see that happening though. AoE2 will always be loved by many, no new game is going to provide the nostalgia factor for example.
I think that's a nice closing statement! Thanks for your time! Any last words?A few years ago we thought the Age of Empires community was dying, the forums were less active, the number of players in Medieval Siege seemed to be declining. Threads and discussions about the death of the game were becoming more frequent. The way things have changed in the last years has been incredible, we're at a point now where the game is actually growing again and has already seen massive growth in the last year alone. So many people have been touched by Age of Empires 2 and I'm incredibly thankful and honoured to be a member of this community and one of the many people pushing to keep AoE2 alive and make it thrive.
Bonus Question: Is it okay if I use an outrageous clickbait title for the topic this interview will be publicized in? Like "ZeroEmpires is a greedy hypocrite (the real 100k sub story)"?Clickbait title is fine :D
DISCLOSURE: This interview is based on a private initiative by pumukel and evolved in an AoEZone PM conversation 26th-31st July 2018.