Anthem Director: It’s the Most Emotional Shooter of the Decade; F2P Model Was Considered Early On

Feb 1, 2019
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BioWare’s Anthem is almost out. Later today, everyone will be able to participate in the game’s first public demo whether they’re playing on PC, PlayStation 4 or Xbox One.

As the February 22nd release date closes in, BioWare is slowly unveiling more details about the game’s development. In an interview appeared on the latest EDGE magazine (March 2019, issue 329), Game Director Jonathan Warner and Lead Producer Ben Irving revealed that the free-to-play business model was considered and subsequently dismissed early in the project.

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Jonathan Warner: We discussed a free-to-play model early on. It just wasn’t a direction that the company was moving in – BioWare or EA. Dave Brevik did it with Marvel Heroes , and I think it’s an interesting business model. It has its ups and downs.

Ben Irving: If you go free-to-play, you still have to have a profitable business or we can’t continue to do an amazing live service for all our players. So what would you really be trading if you gave the game away for free? There’s all that money you’d have to make to be profitable. And so then you get into the territory of being less player-generous. I think in the triple-A space, people are more comfortable paying the entry fee and then having a great player-generous model with no paid DLC, and optional vanity items that you can earn in-game currency to buy anyway.

Later in the same interview, Jonathan Warner also pointed out a critical factor for BioWare: delivering a game that provides strong emotions to players.

[We might have] the most emotional shooter of our decade! Games you don’t connect with emotionally are not games that you end up talking about years later. To me, that is the delight of making games, because I know that somewhere some young person is going to pick up Anthem and play it, and it is going to be that game for them. It’ll be their game. That’s such an amazing privilege. It can sound so pretentious to say, ‘We really want you to emotionally connect to this game’. I do, but I want it to connect to lots of different people emotionally in different ways – whether it’s a touching story, or a character that you particularly love, or an adventure that you tell your friends about, or whether it’s just that adrenaline rush. It’s all emotional.

We’ll have another preview of Nathan going through some Anthem endgame content up today.

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