Bioware feels the pressure
Reports reveal that Anthem has been pushed back, while fresh Dragon Age details and a new Battlefield title also emerge
After a terrible end to 2017 for EA’s public image thanks to lootbox woes in Star Wars: Battlefront II, it seems the publisher has been having a long, hard think about how to handle its upcoming games. Bioware, the studio behind Mass Effect and Dragon Age who are now working on Anthem, have a lot of focus and pressure being thrust upon them.
Being an open multiplayer shooter similar in style to the likes of Destiny and Battlefront II, Anthem will have a lot to prove if it wants to succeed. It’ll need to demonstrate that it’s learned from EA’s and Activision’s mistakes, as well as compete with the popularity of the rising Battle Royale genre; if it doesn’t the ramifications could be catastrophic for Bioware.
After the lacklustre reception of their last game, Mass Effect: Andromeda, Anthem is looking like a ‘make or break game’ for the studio, with recent reports suggesting that resources are being pulled away from other projects to focus on getting it right. The game has also been pushed back from an autumn release this year to early 2019 to give Bioware more time to do so.
Despite the delay, the updates on Anthem’s progress have led to other revelations such as the fact that a new Battlefield is on the way this autumn. EA wants to give the shooter more ‘breathing room’ before Bioware’s game is released, but no further details on it were given—we’ll most likely have to wait until E3 to see what shape it will take. So with Bioware putting its all into
Anthem, where does that leave their other project— Dragon Age 4? We know it’s happening, even though it hasn’t formally been announced. Comments by studio head Casey Hudson suggest it’s very much underway, and he’s also been teasing the potential of ‘live’ elements. Could we be seeing a more persistent world with elements of Destiny or Monster
Hunter: World’s hubs? “Reading lots of feedback regarding Dragon Age, and I think you’ll be relieved to see what the team is working on,” Casey Hudson said on Twitter recently. “Story and character focused. Too early to talk details, but when we talk about ‘live’, it just means designing a game for continued storytelling after the main story.”
Not quite, then, but it also doesn’t sound quite like traditional DLC either. Though if Anthem doesn’t come together as well as it needs to perhaps we won’t get the chance to find out. It’s going to be a tough year ahead for Bioware, but given how great its previous games have been, and having some breathing space to learn from other’s mistakes, we’re confident it can pull it off.