BioWare Apologizes for Anthem VIP Demo Issues, Head of Live Service Offers Explanation

BioWare’s Head of Live Service, Chad Robertson, has penned a blog to issue an apology for Anthem‘s “rocky” VIP demo, and offer an explanation for what went wrong. Acknowledging that the weekend didn’t go according to plan, he reiterated what General Manager Casey Hudson said yesterday: the issues weren’t related to server capacity.

Robertson revealed that BioWare has been testing Anthem for a number of months. However, “real-world” play brought up some unforeseen issues. Dismissing reports that the studio didn’t have enough server capacity, he said that the team was prepared to handle the load, and even had “excess capacity.”

So, what exactly happened? In Robertson’s words:

  1. Platform connections – this was caused by the spike in players entering the game when we opened up. Unfortunately, these issues did not present themselves during our internal testing. Investigations are ongoing, and we will continue to apply fixes throughout the weekend.
  2. Entitlements – these are account flags that grant players things like their preoorder incentives and demo access. During the demo weekend, we identified a bug where VIP players with a specific combination of entitlements were being blocked from accessing the demo. We believe we’ve resolved most of these, but have additional cases we are addressing.
  3. “Infinite loads” – this is occurring for some players, particularly when they transition from Fort Tarsis to an expedition. We saw this only in isolated cases during internal testing and believed it was resolved. Unfortunately, the problem is exacerbated in the real-world where differences with player’s ISPs and home networks introduce new behavior.

According to Robertson, BioWare’s current priorities include fixing infinite loads, improving server performance, addressing reports of rubber-banding, fixing login issues, and resolving entitlement problems.

“We appreciate everyone’s patience and sincerely apologize for those who have had issues getting into the game,” he added. To make it up to players, BioWare will be handing out an additional new vinyl at launch to everyone who participated in the demo weekend.

Elsewhere in the blog, Robertson said that Anthem‘s Twitch stream garnered over 300,000 concurrent viewers on Friday, January 25, with over 100 million minutes watched. Terming them “Fortnite-type numbers,” he said that the experience was “incredibly humbling.”

Anthem‘s open demo will be held next weekend, February 1-3, 2019.

[Source: BioWare]