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Fall from Grace?: Bioware Updates On Massive OverHaul For Anthem 2019

by Lisa Hayden
anthem bioware updates

Anthem, one of BioWare’s game titles has failed miserably at becoming the company’s supposed flagship and many gaming enthusiasts considered it a dead game after video game critics released their verdict, resulting to the lowest ratings BioWare has ever received.

News regarding the game’s current state is almost non-existent as their fans are now more invested on Anthem’s alternatives aka Destiny 2 and Warframe with only 10% expectations and 90% doubt that Anthem still has a chance to get revived.

Abandoned by their publisher Electronic Arts, BioWare has been really quiet about Anthem as their forums keep getting filled with bug reports by the players.

Anthem release

Backtrack On How Anthem Came To Life:

BioWare’s Anthem has been in the works for 4 years prior to the announcement that was made by the end of 2016.

Anthem’s years in the making had gone through two name changes and various concepts before the finalized game title became Anthem.

A  team member revealed that the game started out with the name “Dylan” and as it underwent several changes with the game’s concept becoming clearer, the game title was changed to “Beyond”.

Beyond was teased to be a shooter game with the design concept of the player venturing out into the wilds and facing enemies head on to find out what lies beyond in a futuristic dimension.

After the staff already had their Beyond t-shirts printed, major changes were suddenly made a week prior to EA’s E3 press conference in Los Angeles.

Electronic Arts instructed the team to make changes on the game’s title as claiming the rights to “Beyond” would be difficult.

The leadership team opted to use Anthem instead and trailers were released on the day of the conference.

One employee who worked on the game came out to show his disapproval at the new game title, believing that it doesn’t fit the game’s concept and stated that Anthem is just complete nonsense.

Reviews On ANTHEM After Release

If you were one of the first few enthusiasts who jumped on the hype bandwagon, you probably have seen scores of messages like:

  1. Will anthem ever be fixed?
  2. Is there anything new in Anthem?
  3. Is anthem a dead game?
  4. What time is Anthem released?
anthem updates

The people who worked on Anthem confessed that the game was not tested thoroughly before it was pushed to port and could only expect the worst to happen after the game was released.

Last February 22, 2019 Anthem was released as a free to play game on several gaming platforms and was criticized heavily by fans and well-known video game critics. 

Most of the reviews stated that the game felt like it was trying too hard to copy Bungie’s Destiny, which is also a cooperative shooter game except for the fact that Anthem was the worse version.

While Anthem received the lowest ratings that BioWare has ever had in their many years of game production, it left their fans speculating on what could have gone wrong during the game’s production phrase.

The first few weeks of Anthem post-release started rough. Players on the PC version experienced crash bugs whenever they attempted to join a battle and had some players lost their patience, uninstalled, and cancelled their Origin Premiere accounts.

A lot of players also experienced serious lagging issues even with their computers and laptops having decent specs that meet the game’s requirements.

There were bug reports stating that enemies aren’t spawning on the correct areas during joint battles and that the location marker is missing. 

Normally progressing through the game and unlocking some missions also leads to a lot of crashing issues on all platforms which aggravated the players and led them to uninstalling the game.

Negative game reviews were uploaded on YouTube, streamers released videos regarding their view on Anthem and articles containing proof of the bug reports started spawning by the minute.

After receiving criticism from the public, BioWare provided hotfixes and several patch updates that made improvements on the players’ gaming experience and took note of all of the inconveniences that they have caused during the first few months of the game’s release.

BIOWARE Magic

anthem review

“BioWare Magic” is a popular term for the employees of BioWare. It is a that is used to refer to games that start out rough game later turn out to be something great especially when it’s nearing the final months of production. It’s what BioWare has been known for.

The team has always believed that they are able to withstand the shortcomings of Anthem as they had done with BioWare’s other game titles.

They love using the term as well in referencing the work progress of both front-end and back-end game developers as they confirmed that the progress remains steady for a while and then skyrockets when it was least expected.

The developers felt and believed that Anthem will be another game that will have drastic changes and huge improvements in the future.

But that was not the case for Anthem.

The team that handled Anthem was filled with high-spirited and incredibly talented people who are excited with their visions for the game but as time flew by, the criticisms still weighed more on the negative side than the positives.

The term “BioWare Magic” has started to lose its meaning and left several BioWare employees with the conclusion that the mindset they originally had when handling their previous games is not effective anymore.

Just as when things were starting to fall apart with Anthem, BioWare failed to commit to their 2018 fall shipment of the game and that alone dealt a huge blow to BioWare’s reputation.

They weren’t pardoned by their publisher Electronic Arts, to delay the game and set a deadline last March 2019. It was worrisome and stressful for everyone working on Anthem as shipping anything by early 2019 was deemed impossible.

It got to the point where the executive producer of Dragon Age: Inquisition had to help out and successfully managed to push Anthem into port.

The people who have worked on Anthem have experience such tremendously stressful moments that the company started implanting stress leaves as a result of numerous employees having a mental breakdown as Anthem progressed into development.

One employee stated that most of the people who left are veterans and the main cause was always regarding BioWare’s approach to game development itself.

Some who have worked on Dragon Age: Inquisition were transferred to Anthem with hopes of making the game successful and pull off a “Bob Dylan” and remain as a remarkable game in people’s minds as time flies.

The term “BioWare Magic” had completely lost its purpose as the company’s employees had been burned out due to the limitations of the “Frostbite” engine.

Many brilliant ideas for the game were thrown out the window and the veterans who have left the company knew that the only way for BioWare to notice that they needed to change the way they operate in the studio is through letting the public know of their real situation.

In-Game Updates This November 2019

Just in time for N7 day which is the annual celebration of BioWare’s Mass Effect series, Anthem also released an update last November 7, 2019 and new skins are now present in the game’s store.

The players are now able to customize their Javelins with Mass Effect related skins as they play through the game with a fee of 61,000 coins or 850 shards.

There are four Mass Effect skins available for each of the Javelin’s classes and there is also a new dance emote available called the “Shephard Shuffle” that was inspired by the commander’s iconic moves.

Rumours About A Complete Overhaul

A few days ago, articles containing rumors about Anthem getting a complete overhaul have been released and managed to grab the attention of some players.

While there are still no official announcements from the BioWare teams regarding Anthem 2.0, there have been rumors that have stirred mixed reactions from the crowd.

Talks of EA and BioWare abandoning Anthem have already spread during their months of silence, but the rumored overhaul managed to get players thinking of giving Anthem another chance despite having a very rough start.

However, those who have bought the game on day 1 release started rolling their eyes and shaking their heads in utter disappointment and then points out that Electronic Arts is not and never was a fan of giving away game content for free.

Some also pointed out that BioWare had really given up on the idea of Anthem since the rumor about Anthem 2.0 implies that everything about Anthem will be changed.

Fans shared various thoughts on the rumor and some believed that Anthem can pull-off a complete overhaul just like how other similar games managed to do it and bring BioWare’s reputation back from the dust.

Players stated their opinions and already placed their expectations.

They believe that the only way BioWare is going to lift Anthem from its current state is if this rumored overhaul is free and long-time players expect to receive something worthy for buying and supporting an unfinished game.

Unofficial words may have been able to get Anthem as the next game in line for a glorious renovation or a doomed fate situation, but all eyes are still focused on BioWare’s current situation, decisions and plans regarding their other game titles.  

While these rumors only had people talking about Anthem, the situation of the game still remains unchanged up to this day.

anthem-update-110-adds-sunken-cell-stronghold

Conclusion

While players of the game consider giving Anthem a chance like how most games faired from their rocky release dates up to an update that completely turned around the game, the rumors about an overhaul were released at a bad time since another veteran at the gaming development industry has recently left BioWare which is seen as a declaration of abandonment on the project from the public’s point of view.

People are already outraged by the fact that they bought a game for $60 with content that is not even worth the price and with Anthem 2.0 being rumored as an entirely new game; things are looking really bad for both EA and BioWare at the moment.

Solely based on the rumors, the teams that are currently working on the game are still undecided on what they have to do for the overhaul. 

This leaves a worrying impression to some of the players because indecisiveness and lack of direction is what made Anthem fall apart in the first place.

Fans also swore that they would never fall for another trailer of Anthem and treated the first one as a bait to lure players into buying the final yet unfinished product.

Players started putting on their thinking hats and believed that it would cost BioWare more than what they started with and should just release a new game instead of attempting a remake of Anthem in order to save time and money.

BioWare’s Dragon Age staff stated that all hands are on-deck for Dragon Age 4 before the rumor about Anthem started going around which caused a lot of confusion for Dragon Age’s fans and sparked more doubtful impressions on Anthem’s players. 

While a lot of people didn’t believe the rumor because there were no official declarations by BioWare that followed, there is nothing much to say about the current state of Anthem except for the fact that it’s still an unfinished game with a broken loot grind and its “meh” levels of gaming experience.

With BioWare being silent regarding renovations on Anthem, majority of the fans are still hoping that the team will pull off a No Man’s Sky update or Final Fantasy XIV’s legendary comeback with A Realm Reborn.

It is also clear that everyone who bought Anthem despite the bad reviews had a reason to buy the game, and that is to give it another chance.

All of the players are standing by their decision of not spending anything more for this rumored overhaul unless BioWare is able to prove to the fans that they have put a decent amount of care for the game, provided a decent amount of effort to fix the bugs that severely hindered their gaming experiences and add more customizable content for everyone to invest on.

At this point, it’s either BioWare releases this overhaul as a free update or Anthem will be abandoned for good.

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