BioWare Plans A ‘Substantial Reinvention’ Of Anthem

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BioWare Plans A ‘Substantial Reinvention’ Of Anthem
Image: BioWare, Anthem

BioWare will seek to “reinvent” Anthem’s gameplay in a “longer-term redesign” of the embattled online multiplayer action game, studio head Casey Hudson said today in a blog post. This confirms a Kotaku report from November.

“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,” Hudson wrote in the post. “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.”

Anthem had a messy launch last February. Nearly a year later, it still feels like an incomplete game. Major post-launch content updates ended up being delayed. Over the following summer and fall, major figures on the development team, like lead producer Ben Irving and head of live services Chad Robertson, departed BioWare.

While this led some prominent YouTubers and players in the community to believe that Anthem was being abandoned, sources within the studio told Kotaku in November that it was actually working on a more drastic overhaul of the game, internally referred to as “Anthem 2.0” or “Anthem Next.” It was still unclear at the time what the product of that process would ultimately be—a big No Man’s Sky: Next-style update, perhaps, or even re-launching the new version of Anthem as a separate game.

“We spent a few months just tearing it down and figuring out what needed to change fundamentally (a lot),” one person working on the redesign told Kotaku last year. “And we’ve been rebuilding for another few months since.”

Hudson added in today’s post that during this process Anthem will still be supported with refreshes to the in-game shop and new events, including something planned around the game’s one-year anniversary on February 22. He did not, however, offer any timetable for when the next phase of Anthem will be ready.

Comments

    • Its not impossible, happened so far with destiny (1 and 2) as well as division 1. The 2 (3) closest game comparisons i could think of.
      They all ended up fantastic after their respective major overhaul updates.

        • I havent even played this season i’ll admit. But thats because i was/am burnt out on it. Solid 1000+ hours on it over the first 2 years though.
          Have heard people dont mind the current content, but its release schedule and the fact it disappears each season is shitty.

      • I think it’s debatable that either of those games were released in the state that Anthem was, Anthem has A LOT of stink about it. I think a more apt comparison would be FFXIV, which turned its fortunes around massively.

        • Except FFXIV was practically rebuilt from the ground up. Bioware’s recent history proves they are not up to the task as shown with SWTOR and Andromeda. Bioware’s best days are long gone. This will be Bioware’s equivalent effort of pissing into the wind.

        • They both had a pretty darn big stink. You are right maybe not quite as big, but they were in pretty bad places and had very large overhauls before people really liked them.
          Lets just say, iIf either of them hadn’t done their big year 1 overhauls i doubt they’d still be franchises, so i think that equals a similar position to current anthem.

  • oh I forgot he was GM, poor guy

    here’s hoping Anthem pulls a Division 1 and rebounds. I mean the game is honestly fun for like 20minutes to an hour, then realise you’re just doing the same thing over and over again with zero differences

    • Casey Hudson was almost single-handedly responsible for the travesty that was the Mass Effect 3 ending. Any good will I had towards him has just about evaporated.

          • Oh?? So you mean to tell me that the Mass Effect universe wasn’t shelved for good after Andromeda? I never said Casey was single handly to blame for that. But what I did say was he played a part in it to be sure. The direction of Andromeda, the changes made, the devs chosen and many other issues tied to Andromeda and Anthem (of which Casey was involved with on both titles) which in turn affected Bioware as a whole and SWTOR. Overreaction?? Hardly.

  • Next time i see it for $4 at JB, I might pick it up and not install it until the 2.0 release. Then I can play it fresh.

    I did that with Destiny: The Taken King and had a great time.

  • It’s almost like being forced to release the game before it was ready so they can keep investors happy was not the best way to run a video game company.

    • The sad thing about Anthem is that Bioware pooled their best devs, teams and resources into working on Anthem at the expense of SWTOR (New content took longer and longer with each passing year Anthem was in development til the new content became a trickle at best) and they let a Z grade team make Andromeda of which the final results speak for itself – it killed the Mass Effect Franchise and all for what? Only for Anthem to be crap and bomb despite everything poured into it. Such a waste.

      • You don’t realise that all these decisions were EA? Andromeda didn’t kill shit, in fact it’s a great game, it’s just not like the previous trilogy. They need to be given a shot at a sequel to really bring out the potential, and make it possible to create an attractive character in the character creator.

        • And yet it was such a great game, it managed to kill the franchise and was on the whole given more negative reviews then positive? That Andromeda?? The one where it is rated the worst Mass Effect title in the franchise by the fan base?? Is this the great game you speak of?? EA is not to blame for everything. A quick example: When SWTOR went in the direction of the “Keeping up with the Valkorians” DLC “Knights of the Fallen Empire/Knights of the Eternal Throne”, that wasn’t EA who came up with that. That was the Bioware team that thought taking the story away from your character and focusing it around the Valkorian family drama and making it very un-Star Warsy is what everyone wanted and then didn’t understand why no one liked it and subs left. EA is to blame for much but on the same token, Bioware also needs to wear the blame on many decisions THEY made with Andromeda and ESPECIALLY with SWTOR.

  • I really do hope that they do something to fix the overall game.

    Despite the crap the game cops, the combat and movement felt really good, and it had really great cosmetic customisation. Its just that everything around that core was really “meh”.

    • ^^ This x Infinite. And then to prove Bioware wasn’t done kicking its sub base while they were down, after loot boxes and the Cartel Market came “Keeping up with the Valkorians” aka Knights of the Fallen Empire/Knights of the Eternal Throne which drove a massive chunk of the subs away and in most cases those subs never came back and now SWTOR is a pale, limp shadow of its former self dragging its near dead carcass because of Bioware.

  • The news on anthem having a reinvention was reported weeks before Kotaku made their article. Would be nice if the article would reflect the source, But i guess because he is a YouTuber they wont.

        • Fair enough. I’d not seen that before, so thanks.

          I wouldn’t be surprised if the US or Jason simply focused on reaching out to their own sources and verifying things through their own channels, rather than using someone else as a launching pad. It’s liable that – and hey, it could be the same people within Bioware too – rumblings started talking weeks before that tweet or the original story went out, and it might have been a case that something was already in the works.

          Again, not my story or sources so can’t say for sure, but I wouldn’t automatically assume malice in this situation (having been in similar scenarios myself for different stories).

          • Yeah i understand. My comment wasn’t an attack on you. You and the rest of the Aussie team do a great job.

  • Here’s how you do it:
    1) Look at Warframe.
    2) Go play Warframe.

    Although it’s not like Warframe doesn’t have its own fair share (and maybe then some) of bugs and design issues, which is why I’m disappointed that Anthem wasn’t the AAA Warframe game I wanted it to be.

    • The trouble is Anthem can be played as a 50 hour game that you can walk away from and be satisfied you’ve finished. Warframe you can’t, not for hundreds of hours, which is why I can’t play it, I put in my 50 hours and had to abandon it. I’m seriously looking forward to playing Anthem when it’s all fixed.

      • And thats a problem with Warframe how?

        Given warframes huge popularity, Id say warframes method is quite a success.

        If you want a game that finishes, Go play an offline SP game.

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