Andrew Wilson, the CEO of Electronic Arts, has said that the team is not done with Anthem (even though it has lost some of its key development staff), and that he believes the game can make a comeback, similar to the way that EA’s Star Wars Battlefront II did. In an interview with GameDaily.biz, Wilson spoke about some of Anthem‘s shortcomings, including one of the larger issues that divided the player base since the launch of the game. He said that the player base was divided into two portions, those who wanted the complex narrative driven experience akin to games like the Mass Effect series, and those who wanted more adventure-oriented gameplay. He said that this gap eventually grew larger as players progressed further into Anthem’s endgame, leaving players at an impasse.
We brought together these two groups of players who were making this emotional value calculation on two different vectors. One was traditional BioWare story driven content, and the other was this action-adventure type content. About the 30 or 40 hour mark they really had to come together and start working in on the elder game. At that point everyone kind of went, ‘Oh, hang a minute.’ Now the calculation is off. It’s off because I’ve got a friend who sits in this other category of player. They want to play the game a certain way. I want to play the game a certain way. The promise was we can play together, and that’s not working very well.
Wilson also said that BioWare is committed to improving Anthem over time, even if it didn’t have as successful of a launch as the company would have liked it to. He explained that due to the long lifespan of intellectual properties, he feels that Anthem has a chance to turn things around, and become something special over time, similar to the way that Star Wars Battlefront II improved over time. Wilson said:
IP lives for generations, and runs in these seven to ten year cycles. So, if I think about Anthem on a seven to ten year cycle, it may not have had the start that many of us wanted, including our players. I feel like that team is really going to get there with something special and something great, because they’ve demonstrated that they can.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the events prior to its launch, Star Wars Battlefront II released with a loot box progression system, meaning players could effectively pay to win matches if they were lucky enough to get the best Star Cards in the loot box they purchased. Someone on Reddit crunched some numbers on just how many hours it would take to earn all of the characters by playing the game, and players were not pleased. EA responded, resulting in the most down voted comment in all of Reddit history.
Sales of the game were directly affected, and EA decided to remove the loot box progression system in favor of a progression system similar to that of Battlefield‘s. Over time though, a ton of free content was released for the game, including new Heroes such as Obi-Wan Kenobi. In its current state, many fans feel that Star Wars Battlefront II is a much more enjoyable experience and as such, it has seen a resurgence in its player base. If Andrew Wilson sees this same path for Anthem, then it could mean great things for its future.
What do you think about EA’s commitment to improve Anthem over time? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!