“Mass Effect” Developers Bet It All On “Anthem”

Like with the film industry, the gaming industry has seen the erosion of mid-budget fare. We’re now at the point where games are either independent titles made on tight budgets, or massively-budgeted tentpole efforts that require vast sales or could otherwise bankrupt studios.

BioWare Studios is now reportedly facing such a trial by fire with “Anthem,” their ambitious sci-fi multiplayer game title which is taking so many resources that, beyond skeleton teams maintaining “Star Wars: The Old Republic” and doing early work on the next “Dragon Age” game (which has been rebooted), their staff are focused on this one title which is now scheduled for release before March 2019.

Kotaku has done an extensive write-up on the pressure that BioWare is facing for this, their first new franchise in eight years, with much of it coming from their bosses at the much-maligned Electronic Arts (EA) with this marking EA’s first major go at a “Destiny”-style persistent online world title.

BioWare suffered major blowback last year after “Mass Effect: Andromeda” launched to weak reviews slamming the ambitious but effectively unfinished game with the harm revealed to have been somewhat self-inflicted during development thanks to the production being under-resourced, struggling to use the Frostbite engine, and overhauled at least once. It was bad enough the entire franchise is now on ice.

Then came multiple and very public controversies for EA with the “Star Wars: Battlefront II” loot boxes and microtransactions debacle, its much criticised abandoning of the “Uncharted” franchise creator’s “Star Wars” single-player title in favour of a ‘games as a service’ above all else approach, and the underwhelming reaction to “Destiny 2”.

Each of these has shaken up the industry to some extent, and only puts more pressure on “Anthem” to deliver. Developers are reportedly still having issues developing for Frostbite, and the employment of microtransactions within the game is still undecided, but the company is definitely focused on getting the game made at least.

For the full article, head to Kotaku .