Yesterday gaming blog Kotaku published an extensive feature piece about BioWare & EA’s game “Anthem” and how ‘it all went wrong’.
The report indicates the game’s years-long development cycle was filled with constant upheavals with many features not finalized or implemented until the final months before release. In addition, the game was subject to major narrative reboots, design overhauls, team shakeups, and intense ‘crunch’ periods.
Many of the developers claimed to be suffering from depression and anxiety, co-workers took doctor-ordered ‘stress leave’ that lasted weeks or months. Limitations with the Frostbite engine reportedly also caused numerous headaches and in many ways it sounds like the problems were not unlike many of the issues that plagued BioWare’s last title “Mass Effect Andromeda”.
Now, the company has released a statement in response and say: “We don’t see the value in tearing down one another, or one another’s work. We don’t believe articles that do that are making our industry and craft better. Our full focus is on our players and continuing to make Anthem everything it can be for our community.”
The article and response come as the gaming industry is pushing for more workers rights and unionization after years of often highly stressful working conditions with long work hours and inadequate pay.
The game launched on PC and consoles on February 22nd and received mixed/weak reviews. Sales have been fairly strong, but the game has been eclipsed by the massive success of “Apex Legends” dominating the scene along with the far more critically well-received “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice”.