BioWare is putting the finishing touches on the launch build of Anthem, their first new IP since 2009's Dragon Age. While the game is officially due to be available on February 22nd, subscribers of Origin Access and EA Access will get the chance to play on February 15th.
Several high-profile developers at BioWare were interviewed for a studio profile appeared on Polygon yesterday. General Manager Casey Hudson, who supervised the game during its concept phase before leaving BioWare for a while, revealed that the 'critical path' (the main storyline) is a big one, though it won't have the finality of the critical path plots found in other games. That's because Anthem is designed to receive additional story arcs over time during its live service phase.
We didn’t want to kind of just leak things out from zero all the way up to a hundred percent. We actually want you to be able to jump in and get a big experience that really establishes what this world is, and what the experience is. We’ve got all four Javelins and a big critical-path story.
With Mass Effect 1, we had something on the order of 40 or 50 planets that you could discover and explore. But the story was written as a race against time, so people would finish in 13 or 15 hours because of the nature of the story.
The critical path serves a different purpose in Anthem. It’s meant to introduce you to this world that you get to continue living in, as opposed to telling a story that then is over. The critical path blends into the things that are meant to be dynamic and change from week to month, so it removes some of the pressure and finality of an ending.
Later in the article, Anthem Game Director Jonathan Warner, who previously worked as Senior Producer on Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer and DLCs, didn't rule out that the next games by BioWare may be multiplayer, too.
It’s not like we’ve decided, hey, all of our games are now gonna be Anthem. Our other games, as we go forward, are gonna take things out of the toolbox that they need to be true to themselves. Whether that’s another bout of multiplayer, we’ll see.
Of course, BioWare's latest three games before Anthem (Mass Effect 3, Dragon Age: Inquisition and Mass Effect: Andromeda) all had cooperative multiplayer, so that's not really the matter here. Instead, it seems like the next project (a Dragon Age game, according to what we know) may well be multiplayer-centric, though possibly in a different way than Anthem that stays true to the specific IP.