How did BioWare mess up so bad with Anthem? It’s a question that, until now, has mostly been answered by fans on social media with limited variations of “EA sux lol”. But it’s more complicated than that.
Talking to Kotaku and VentureBeat, people who worked on it describe the game’s development as a series of mistakes, stop-starts, and constant redesigns, almost up to its March launch. And besides an over-extended pre-production phase in which creatives couldn’t even establish what Anthem was supposed to be, removing and replacing features on a weekly basis, technical problems and other restrictions with the game’s Frostbite engine also made implementation of those features an onerous, at times impossible chore.
It’s a bleak exposé of BioWare’s decline since Dragon Age: Inquisition, and a much more realistic account of Anthem’s failure than the standard-issue internet claims about its publisher.
“There is always room to improve,” a studio rep concedes, like it’s about free vending machines and not eight years of turbulence and stress, with employee morale at sub-zero levels.
“People in this industry put so much passion and energy into making something fun. We don’t see the value in tearing down one another, or one another’s work. We don’t believe articles that do that are making our industry and craft better.”
Because, you know, it’s those cheaptabloids making everything worse. Okay.