Lots of concerns have been raised about BioWare’s next game, Anthem. It may not offer the single-player experience the studio is known for delivering. The live-service qualities may get in the way of a true BioWare experience. The list goes on, but the development team seems certain of one thing—Anthem won’t be like others of its kind. For starters, it’ll launch as a complete package.
During an interview with USgamer, Anthem’s Executive Producer, Mike Darrah, was asked what the team had learned from other live-service titles. Interestingly, Darrah’s response focused solely on the trend of live-service games often feeling incomplete at launch. Darrah told the publication,
Yeah and you know one of the things that I think has been a relatively recent lesson in the live-service space is that before last year I think you saw games coming out that were relatively incomplete. [Games] that then sort of built up and built their fan base over time and grew and got bigger. And I think in the last year you’ve seen a couple of games launch that were in that same kind of space that you would’ve thought, ‘Okay this should be fine’ that then didn’t work out.
People came in and they went, ‘there’s not enough here’ and they left. So, I think it’s partially because the competition in the space has gotten harder people are less willing to just kind of hang out and hope that stuff is going to come along. There are other things for them to do. So, I think for me a big lesson has been that… it’s that you need to have enough on the first day so that there’s a reason to stay. And when more is coming then that’s great. That’s amazing. But I’m not just going to hang out and wait for the game to become complete. It has to be complete from day one.
Darrah doesn’t specifically call out any games. but it’s difficult not to think of Destiny and The Division. Both launched with minimal content, lost player interest for a time, then saw their playerbase grow after several updates. To some players, this may feel like a gamble of sorts. Spending full price for a game that doesn’t deliver full price content isn’t appealing. However, if anyone can flip the script on this front, it’s arguably BioWare.
With BioWare promising that single-player and multiplayer content will get their due, Anthem could change the tune for live-service games in more ways than one. One way the studio is accomplishing this ahead of launch is by revealing that story DLC will be free for everyone.
Ahead of Anthem’s February 22, 2019 release, BioWare is planning to launch a public demo on February 1, 2019.