BioWare is hitting the reset button on Anthem

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rorie

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#1 rorie  Staff

Sounds like they're going to try and salvage this thing FFXIV- or Destiny- style. But will people care?

One year ago, we were preparing to launch Anthem – a game that represented a big leap into new territory for us as a studio. It was an exhilarating and terrifying experience to go out to the world with something new and different, and we are grateful to all the players who have come along with us on the journey. It has been a thrill for us to see the creativity of our players in designing customized Javelins, and watching them master Anthem’s flying and fighting gameplay. I am so proud of the work the team has put into this game, and at the same time there’s so much more that we – and you – would have wanted from it.

Over the last year, the team has worked hard to improve stability, performance and general quality of life while delivering three seasons of new content and features. We have also heard your feedback that Anthem needs a more satisfying loot experience, better long-term progression and a more fulfilling end game. So we recognize that there’s still more fundamental work to be done to bring out the full potential of the experience, and it will require a more substantial reinvention than an update or expansion. Over the coming months we will be focusing on a longer-term redesign of the experience, specifically working to reinvent the core gameplay loop with clear goals, motivating challenges and progression with meaningful rewards – while preserving the fun of flying and fighting in a vast science-fantasy setting. And to do that properly we’ll be doing something we’d like to have done more of the first time around – giving a focused team the time to test and iterate, focusing on gameplay first.

In the meantime, we will continue to run the current version of Anthem, but move away from full seasons as the team works towards the future of Anthem. We’ll keep the game going with events, store refreshes, and revisiting past seasonal and cataclysm content – starting with our anniversary towards the end of the month.

Creating new worlds is central to our studio mission, but it’s not easy. Sometimes we get it right, sometimes we miss. What keeps us going is the support from players like you. Your feedback gives us guidance on how we can improve, and your passion inspires us with the courage to create. I look forward to working together with your involvement and feedback towards the best possible future for Anthem.

Casey

I think I got through the tutorial of Anthem and never returned to it, which was annoying because I paid for a year of Origin All Access assuming it would be competent. At least they're trying to save it but I can't imagine it ever being on the level of Destiny 2, but I hope I'm wrong!

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Zeik

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#2  Edited By Zeik  Online

I guess if you look at FFXIV as a comparison it's not impossible they could turn this around, but I really wonder if they have enough people passionate enough about the game to do that, and someone with a strong vision on how to change things for the better. If they don't have their own Yoshi P I can't see this being successful. And that's with the assumption that EA would even give them the necessary resources, which seems even less likely.

Best of luck to them, but I just feel bad for the people stuck on that team right now. I hope they don't find themselves worked to death for yet another failure.

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berfunkle

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#3  Edited By berfunkle  Online

Apex/Anthem. For some reason I get confused about which is which. Different developers but same publisher trips me up. In fact, sometimes I have to remind myself which was well-received and which was garbage.

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TheRealTurk

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@rorie: Maybe they should just make a completely new IP and borrow some of the gameplay ideas instead? The issue with Anthem isn't just the loot that sucked. Or the progression. Or the endgame. Or the gunplay. Or the bugs. Or the performance on consoles.

On top of all of that, the story was terminally uninteresting. I can't imagine I'm alone in expressing absolutely zero interest in returning to that world or those characters. It was pretty much the most reductive form of "BioWare Bingo" imaginable.

Faceless, quasi-fascist main villain? Check. Mysterious alien-artifact macguffin? Check. Reawakened ancient evil? Check. People who can use magic except-it's-definitely-not-magic-because-it's-just-technology-we don't-really-understand? Check.

Really, I don't even think either "redesign" or "reinvention" can accurately describe what BioWare is proposing to do here. They're basically going to have to make an entirely new game from the ground up, which I just don't see them being given the time, budget, or leeway to do by EA, given that they have a new Dragon Age game and a rumored new Mass Effect also in the hopper. And even if they can do all of that, they would still need to get over the hurdle of a brand whose name is mud and whose audience is currently . . .*checks notes* . . . a whopping 31 current views on Twitch.

I just don't see it happening. Just make a new game. Keep the flying and dump everything else.

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sparky_buzzsaw

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I can't imagine letting all the development and assets go to waste, but I have to wonder how much they can feasibly fix without just creating an entirely new game. I'd love to see them turn this around, but I also don't know that I'd trust EA not to turn this into a quick grab for whatever last bit of cash they can get out of Anthem before burying it.

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csl316

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#6  Edited By csl316

That's good, I wanna like a Bioware game again. I was pretty excited for Anthem until the gameplay came out looking sort of bland.

But at this point they just need to remaster the Mass Effect trilogy for goodwill. And maybe doing so would help them rediscover why those games were classics.

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Casepb

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I will give it a try simply because I bought the game and enjoyed it at first, put 80 hours into it with a friend actually. I just got bored of doing the same crap over and over, and getting such lackluster loot.

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Onemanarmyy

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#8  Edited By Onemanarmyy

flying around in a mech and shooting some stuff sounds like a good time. But when they talk about just plopping some better challenges in the game , giving clearer goals & more meaningful rewards, it doesn't sound like they're truly rebuilding the game. They're adjusting the progression sauce on top of the foundation. I doubt that's going to be enough for people to come back. It doesn't help that a lot of people are very hostile towards EA too.

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mellotronrules

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real talk- this is some sunk-cost fallacy in action.

i'd much rather they take their licks and the hard lessons learned and incorporate them into something new. cuz when the eventual kotaku article comes out with the headline, "anthem 2.0 launches to right the wrongs of the past," it will be extremely difficult to convince me to give that team another shot.

there's too much good stuff out there to play- and they took their run at it and missed. come back when you have something more compelling than 'anthem but good now.' it needs a better reason to exist than just fixing it.

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briarpack

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#10  Edited By briarpack

@mellotronrules said:

real talk- this is some sunk-cost fallacy in action.

i'd much rather they take their licks and the hard lessons learned and incorporate them into something new. cuz when the eventual kotaku article comes out with the headline, "anthem 2.0 launches to right the wrongs of the past," it will be extremely difficult to convince me to give that team another shot.

"Another game from developers of Anthem" would though? EA wants their GaaS competitor to Destiny, so they have to save face with Anthem, no one will give BioWare or EA another chance if they just sweep Anthem under the rug and move on. Andromeda and Anthem kinda made sure of that.

Whatever they come up with, whether it's an update or an entirely new game, needs to be called "Anthem" and it needs to be free for anyone who bought the previous game. They need to Realm Reborn this shit, or at least give it an honest shot.

@csl316 said:

That's good, I wanna like a Bioware game again. I was pretty excited for Anthem until the gameplay came out looking sort of bland.

The core gameplay in Anthem was actually fantastic, just most everything else wasn't.

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dudeglove

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What they put out wasn’t a game. “Development” took about five years but if reporting is to be believed, they had about six months to cobble together a thing that ddos’d origin on release.

If they rerelease anthem, i would hope they spend more than six months trying to make a warframe clone.

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ThePanzini

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Bungie went throught two major overhauls with Destiny theres no reason why Anthem can't do the same. Bioware could even easily ape Destiny 2 and launch Anthem Next free and charge for future expansions, a next gen version would make a massive difference alone.

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cikame

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I mean they'd have to change the genre of the game, it's a looter shooter and that only gets you so far, is it possible to add meaningful story/missions/activities in the world they've created?
If they try and copy Destiny that would be a fail, i know it's popular but Destiny 1 and 2 are both as soulless as Anthem for me.

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MrGreenMan

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It took them this long to realize it was a failure. I'm not even sure what to even say to all of this.

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doombot13

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I just don't have any faith in Bioware/EA to make something worthwhile of this.

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Shindig

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Maybe they were biding their time until they actually had a direction in mind.

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Nikana

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I tried the beta/demo and I have the same feelings I did with the Destiny beta back in the day. I was like oh shit...this is most of the game isn't it. I went against my better judgement with Destiny and I was fooled.

So I guess my opinion doesnn't mean much since I did not platy the full version but man that game just felt like it was so lost.

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NTM

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It's a game I often ask myself whether I want to get it to see if I enjoy it, but I never do, especially because it's full price. When it has gone on sale, however, I still hesitated. If they can turn it around, then I'll certainly be interested.

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GuardianBob87

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Can they un-kill Mass Effect?
RIP Real BioWare

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FacelessVixen

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I'd rather they finish Mass Effect Andromeda.

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OurSin_360

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I hope they hit the reset button on the company culture first , that would most likely trickle down into better games when people actually care about what they are making instead of just trying to hit deadlines.

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Alias

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No Caption Provided

Today's Penny Arcade

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Stephen_Von_Cloud

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It made sense to try to reinvent a FINAL FANTASY game with a built in die hard audience. This doesn't have that.

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Bane

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Surely they wouldn't announce this without having the people, the resources, and the plan in place to make it happen. I don't think they'd play fast and loose with whatever shreds of their reputation they have left. Right? If they release Anthem Next and it's hot garbage that's their third strike. They'll be finished.

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selbie

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Can they salvage what's left of Mass Effect while they're at it?

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MrGreenMan

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They released Anthem without any plan in sight. I have little faith they have a solid plan here, other than some vague idea of how to resell this game so it wasn't a complete waste of everyone's time.

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mellotronrules

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i've thought about it, and i realized that the main reason why i think they should ditch the IP and work the concepts/lessons into a new product is because BioWare's failure to deliver a worthwhile experience is literally the most interesting aspect of the property.

ho-hum gameplay combined with that anodyne name and 'humanoid mechs in the jungle' just isn't that compelling. especially in a world where destiny and titanfall already exist and delivered on the concepts relatively successfully.

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OurSin_360

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Man, just looked and they are still selling this game full price on pc?? wow lol. I was going to keep it in mind and maybe pick it up on sell at 50% (when I figured it was going for like 20 bux lol)

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BladeOfCreation

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When I saw that BioWare was trending the other day, I got excited because I thought maybe it meant some Dragon Age news. Then I saw this. Needless to say, I was disappointed.

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tds418

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@oursin_360 said:

Man, just looked and they are still selling this game full price on pc?? wow lol. I was going to keep it in mind and maybe pick it up on sell at 50% (when I figured it was going for like 20 bux lol)

To be fair, there have been numerous bargain-bin sales for Anthem. Particularly with physical retailers, who just seem to want to get rid of the game.

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TheHT

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In the past 3 months I've thought twice about checking Steam to see if Anthem was there and for cheap 'cause I felt like flying around and doing that whole thing.

So yes? I'd care? Kinda?

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NTM

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I just finished the game about an hour ago (as in, got to the credits). I, to my surprise, enjoyed it quite a bit. It plays extremely well. I can see why fans of the looter-shooter genre don't like it though: there's just not enough variety in it. I was disappointed to find out that there is little to no cosmetic changes aside from javelin material and color. You can use the same weapons, albeit continuously upgraded, throughout the entirety of the game and you'll have no issue. The story was super basic, but I liked the characters well enough. That said, it was typical Bioware fare, but this time they outdid themselves with the quirky/sociably awkward characters. For what I was looking for, I enjoyed my time with it. There is potential for it to be more so I'm interested to see what's next.

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