Anthem BioWare’s Sole Focus, Destiny 2 and Battlefront II Backlash Being Watched Closely
2017 wasn’t a great year for BioWare – Mass Effect: Andromeda was a mess, they had to shutter their Montreal studio, and several high-profile names left the company. But all is not lost! BioWare hopes their next game, the online action-RPG Anthem, will bring them renewed success, and the company is devoting all its resources to making sure that happens.
According to a new insider report from Kotaku’s Jason Schreier, BioWare is now a “single-game studio,” with most of the company’s staff in both Edmonton and Austin focused on Anthem. The mood is said to be fairly upbeat, but BioWare employees realize a lot is riding on Anthem, and that the studio could “look very different in the future” if we have a repeat of the Mass Effect: Andromeda debacle. Some at BioWare are also feeling a bit demoralized after the public beating EA took over Star Wars: Battlefront II.
Speaking of which, the Anthem team have been closely following the backlash against Star Wars: Battlefront II and Destiny 2. Anthem’s microtransaction plans haven’t been nailed down, and are likely being reexamined. BioWare is also hoping to avoid the mistakes made by Destiny 2, which has been in hot water for a lack of content, manipulative mechanics, exploitative loot boxes, and Bungie’s flimsy PR.
Anthem is reportedly slated for an early 2019 release (a fall 2018 launch was “never realistic.”) The game could probably use even more time, but EA is unlikely to allow BioWare to delay Anthem beyond March 2019.
In other BioWare news, there is still a small team working on preproduction for a new Dragon Age, although the project has been completely rebooted. Reportedly, the game will now put a greater emphasis on EA’s beloved “live services,” although characters and story will still be important. Meanwhile, Star Wars: The Old Republic may not be long for this world, as BioWare is considering ending development.
It will certainly be interesting to see what the future holds for BioWare. Things went off the rails in 2017, but clearly the studio realizes they’ve made mistakes, and are working hard to correct them. That’s an important first step, but I can’t help but feel BioWare might have to be dealt another blow before they truly change their ways.
What are your thoughts? Will Anthem live up to the hype? Or has BioWare worn out its welcome?