BioWare's Anthem Delayed to 2019, But it Isn't Delayed

rgMekanic

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Electronic Arts has stated that BioWare's new IP "Anthem" was going to miss it's Fall 2018 launch window, releasing in early 2019 instead. EA states that the change has nothing to do with development being behind schedule, rather that they don't want to launch "Anthem" and a new Battlefield game in the same quarter. “It’s not a delay,” EA CFO Blake Jorgensen told the Wall Street Journal. “People are trying to create a story.”

Kind of a bummer for me, as I play a ton of Warframe and was looking forward to Anthem. What's a little more disappointing to me though is the inadvertent announcement of yet another Battlefield game, ever since it became a yearly franchise it has went downhill in my opinion. BioWare's last game was Mass Effect: Andromeda, and EA's was Battlefront II, so I have no idea if I should even get excited anymore.

“Regardless of how it’s being portrayed, we’re not looking at that as a delay, we’ve chosen to launch Anthem in [the fourth quarter]. The date is chosen by by portfolio balance, not product readiness,” EA CEO Andrew Wilson said in a call. “And we’re really excited by the way the new Battlefield is shaping up. It probably doesn’t make too much sense to launch Anthem right by it. As a new IP, it probably makes sense to give [Anthem] its own launch window.”
 

Dan_D

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I don't understand this. If there is only one good game to buy in a given launch window, I buy one game. If there are two or three, I'll pick up all of them. Beyond that, people who foam at the mouth for another Battlefield game are probably not Anthem's target audience.
 

Axiomatic

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This is the response you give when you are desperately trying to remove the Wilson Lootbox from a game in development.
 

Armenius

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I don't understand this. If there is only one good game to buy in a given launch window, I buy one game. If there are two or three, I'll pick up all of them. Beyond that, people who foam at the mouth for another Battlefield game are probably not Anthem's target audience.
Probably has something to do with the Titanfall 2 launch. EA made the assumption that the Battlefield audience wouldn't cannibalize Titanfall sales. Doesn't matter that they're different. In the multiplayer arena people tend to choose one game and stick with it exclusively for months.
 

RogueTadhg

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Anthem is a game Bioware needs to not be a flop for it's survival.

Anthem already came at a time where Mass Effect: Andromeda flopped so horribly EA shuttered part of Bioware already-- Bioware Montreal and Shelved the Mass Effect franchise. And we all know EA loves to shutdown developers that don't perform...

Anthem is also like Destiny 2 which 2 is doing pretty abysmal to the point it's got Anthem's developers scared. Destiny 2 players go through content like an alcoholic drinks light beer. Destiny 2 is swarmed with pissed off gamers leaving for other games from many different reasons many of which stems from Bungie's lack of communication or even possible hidden motivations for design choices. From my experience, Bioware isn't the best communicator of problems, either.
 
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Madoc

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It's not a delay, it's just that you'll have to wait longer to play the game (for those who you who actually want to play it).
 

lcpiper

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I too am waiting for Anthem.

I am also disappointed in a delay, I'd rather have an early launch and I'm sure not buying Battlefield because Anthem isn't available yet.

The only real concern I have is that Anthem won't be the guy I want it to be.
 

bugleyman

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It may not be a development delay, but if the game is coming out later than previously stated, it's a delay. That's what "delay" means.

Unless we're letting EA make up their own definitions, and I just didn't get the memo.
 

Trepidati0n

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Anthem went from a "fuck no I won't buy bullshit" to a "i'll possibly buy it after launch". The whole loot box shakeup I think will have some positive effects IMO. Destiny 2 made it such that I will never EVER pre-order again.
 

SixFootDuo

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Before all these micro-transactions I would get very excited when new games were announced.

I find the thought of anything EA releasing to be almost sickening.

Yeah, I feel bad for kids these days. They have to pay out the ass for any new game almost if publishers had it their way.
 

Comixbooks

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Battlefield 5 is rumored

I didn't pick up Battlefront 2 just because I knew the player base wouldn't be there 6 months from now.
Anthem looks good visually but looks like a Titanfall 2 and Mass Effect Andromeda combo.

When you go big with games you need to go Big I'm not talking sitting on your arse spending 12 months rendering swords all day you gotta go big and build on successes and tweak the next project. Zelda I mean that game got Game of the Year last year for a reason it's a damn good game lots of easter eggs and you need a console to play it and guess what it's not visually the most textured game out there but it works.
 
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MacLeod

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Maybe EA and Bioware have learned their lesson from ME3 and ME:A and aren't going to rush an unfinished game out the door.

Yeah I know it's doubtful but it could happen.
 

bugleyman

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Maybe EA and Bioware have learned their lesson from ME3 and ME:A and aren't going to rush an unfinished game out the door.

Yeah I know it's doubtful but it could happen.

One in the sense that one could win the lottery. ;)
 
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Grimlaking

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Destiny 2 is still a fine game I suppose I don't play it religiously but for me Destiny 2 is like Diablo3. Something to turn my brain off for a few and blow away badguys. No need for thought or critical thinking. point... click.. boom.

In regards to Bioware... I knew Bioware as a studio was basically done when EA bought them out. They might as well have shudderd the windows, barred the doors and outsourced development to India at that point. Nothing good is made under EA's watch. It's a holding company that milks the IP of purchased studios lays off employees in mass and introduce mircotransactions to the PC gaming arena.
 

Dan_D

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Anthem is a game Bioware needs to not be a flop for it's survival.

Anthem already came at a time where Mass Effect: Andromeda flopped so horribly EA shuttered part of Bioware already-- Bioware Montreal and Shelved the Mass Effect franchise. And we all know EA loves to shutdown developers that don't perform...

Anthem is also like Destiny 2 which 2 is doing pretty abysmal to the point it's got Anthem's developers scared. Destiny 2 players go through content like an alcoholic drinks light beer. Destiny 2 is swarmed with pissed off gamers leaving for other games from many different reasons many of which stems from Bungie's lack of communication or even possible hidden motivations for design choices. From my experience, Bioware isn't the best communicator of problems, either.

They didn't shelve the Mass Effect franchise, but rather any hope of continuing Andromeda with DLC. A sequel to the series is a long way off and what that's going to look like is anyone's guess. Let's also be clear, financially, Andromeda wasn't a flop. It's criticisms, valid or not represent how social media effects a game's perception. Anyone I' know that's played it, said it was a good game even back when the animations were shittier than they are now. In fairness, BioWare did fix a lot of the shit that people complained about. The biggest problem in my opinion, isn't animations or even it's characters or story. It's the fact that the game is too big for it's own good. In the earlier games, you've got some side quests but ultimately you always feel like you are serving the story (or at least getting a good laugh) and parts of it have a definite urgency to them. Andromeda is so big, so vast, and ultimately there are quests that rarely feel like they serve the main story in any way. The major plot stuff is so few and far between in the vastness of the game that the experience feels flat compared to the last three installments.

Anthem, was put together by the BioWare team that was responsible for the earlier Mass Effect series. Since Andromeda was lambasted on social media despite being a financial success, the BioWare Montreal guys were sacked. It's that simple. EA's too big and too souless to give those guys another chance. They really did a good job, but people can't see that because of some decisions and constraints they were forced to deal with.
 

Hakaba

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Still not buying Battlefield games EA, heck depending on what you do to Anthem depends if I even buy that or not.
 

oldmanbal

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"We've decided to release a game in beta instead of alpha this time, so instead of fall '18 it will be ready 1H '19" -EA/BIOW
 

umeng2002

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Jesus Christ, are they owned by bloody loan sharks? Why are they afraid of delaying a game a few months. Look at Nintendo, they'll delay a game a year to make it better.

It's not like EA's shareholders are pointing a gun to the CEO's head.
 

Nolan7689

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I don't understand this. If there is only one good game to buy in a given launch window, I buy one game. If there are two or three, I'll pick up all of them.

You, are but a single person. Same as myself. We can purchase at launch the game(s) we wish.

We, however, are not indicative of the entire market. Many people are on a budget. I know some people who’s budget is typically only a single full priced game per month. And they have to choose which they want most or perhaps plan and save to splurge on two games.

Gaming is a hobby and a luxury and not everyone has the same monetary situation.



All that said, it’s a bullshit excuse. The game needs more time and they delayed it, simple as that. It would be nice to pretend they learned from the Titanfall 2 release debacle, but they didn’t learn from that. Anyone with half a brain new sales would be cannibalized regardless of the type of game. It wasn’t a lesson that needed to be learned.
 

scorpy

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What's a little more disappointing to me though is the inadvertent announcement of yet another Battlefield game, ever since it became a yearly franchise it has went downhill in my opinion.

A yearly franchise? Early on they were more yearly, but it hasn't been that way so much recently. Unless you consider Hardline part of the base series. Per WikiPedia,

Battlefield 1942 launched September 2002
Battlefield Vietnam was released in March 2004
Battlefield 2 was released in 2005
Battlefield 2142 was released in 2006
Battlefield: Bad Company was launched in June 2008
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 was released in March 2010
Battlefield 3 was released in October 2011
Battlefield 4 was released in October 2013
Battlefield Hardline, a cops and robbers style battlefield, launched in March 2015
Battlefield 1 was released in October 2016

Either way, by the time the new Battlefield launches in the fall, it will be almost two years.

EDIT: yes, I realize there is Battlefield 1943, Battlefield Heroes, Battlefield Online, and Battlefield Play4Free, but I don't consider these part of the "core" franchise.
 

Dan_D

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Maybe EA and Bioware have learned their lesson from ME3 and ME:A and aren't going to rush an unfinished game out the door.

Yeah I know it's doubtful but it could happen.

ME:A shouldn't have been rushed as it had a five year development cycle. They are the dumbasses that didn't know what they were going to do with the fucking thing until just under two years from release. Honestly, ME:A's quality issues were very real, but that's ultimately not why I think it flopped. ME3 was clearly rushed, but ending aside it was very successful the same as Andromeda was. The real problem is that social media backlash has created a perception of a product which doesn't necessarily reflect how a product is really perceived. Companies using that as a barometer for how a game is received may not be the best idea.

The reasons why Andromeda fell short of some people's expectations are impacted by quality, but it's largely the design of the whole thing. Open world gaming as a concept sounds good, but the reality is that there are a lot of people that don't like it. Open world games often lack focus and direction. For something like Skyrim, that can work. For something like Mass Effect that's character and story driven, that lack of focus is problematic. It's too easy to adopt a sweep and clear methodology for doing a quest area or planet. You do this to make sure you get everything but you end up losing touch with the story as you spend more time grinding through supplementary content rather than the core story. The sense of urgency in the story is lost to time and thus, it loses gravitas. Because there was no order to the game, or very little order to it you never had consequences to fear by fucking around. Again, this makes the story feel less important and more flat.

Secondly, while some characters were excellent, they didn't really have a chance to grow on you like they did with the earlier games. Garrus and Tali weren't really big hits until ME2. They were cool enough in ME1, but it wasn't until we got into ME2 and ME3 that they became so endearing to the players. Andromeda didn't really get that chance. Sure, standouts like Drak and even Vetra work well but mostly because they are tied to the central story lines. The other characters in some cases just aren't. The biggest problem is Ryder himself. He's just not as much fun or as epic as Shepard was. Shepard is known for bold and decisive actions that cover a wide range of behaviors. Ryder is more middle of the road and plays it safer in many situations where Shepard would be far more bold and fun.
 

M76

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The only sad part in this, that the later it gets released the later those people can actually start working on something worthwhile.
 

Dan_D

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The only sad part in this, that the later it gets released the later those people can actually start working on something worthwhile.

It BioWare truly believes it has a hit on it's hands, and EA thinks so too, they may go straight into developing a sequel like they did with ME1, ME2, and ME3. It wasn't until the backlash concerning ME3 that EA took a step back and delayed the green light on a sequel. Even then, it began relatively fast in some form or fashion after ME3's release. I wouldn't at all be surprised if ME5 was underway in some form. In fact, I've read rumors (of which the veracity isn't known) that it is. The point being that if Anthem is a success or still needs a lot of work, the devs who are on it that worked on Mass Effect won't be available for ME5 or anything else but Anthem sequels. If Anthem looks like it's going to suck whale dick, then it's probable that more people will get walking papers.
 

M76

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It BioWare truly believes it has a hit on it's hands, and EA thinks so too, they may go straight into developing a sequel like they did with ME1, ME2, and ME3. It wasn't until the backlash concerning ME3 that EA took a step back and delayed the green light on a sequel. Even then, it began relatively fast in some form or fashion after ME3's release. I wouldn't at all be surprised if ME5 was underway in some form. In fact, I've read rumors (of which the veracity isn't known) that it is. The point being that if Anthem is a success or still needs a lot of work, the devs who are on it that worked on Mass Effect won't be available for ME5 or anything else but Anthem sequels. If Anthem looks like it's going to suck whale dick, then it's probable that more people will get walking papers.
I don't understand the concept of sequel for a grind and micrtotransaction based online multiplayer shooter. It can be a v2.0 at best.
 

Dan_D

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I don't understand the concept of sequel for a grind and micrtotransaction based online multiplayer shooter. It can be a v2.0 at best.

It's simple really. It's effectively the same concept as any other sequel for movies or games. They take the criticism of the first installment and overhaul the basic design to appeal to wider audiences to make even more money than they did with the first game. Some things you can change in a patch, and some shit you can't. Game developers also look at what their competitors are doing and incorporate what worked well in competing games and integrate those ideas into their future installments in a given franchise. Sometimes, they can even improve on an idea. They can also take the development time to improve the graphics and do other shit they think will generate more revenue.
 

Dan_D

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I think I hear someone digging a hole behind the shed again...

Sadly, BioWare's days are numbered. They were on a downward spiral the second they let EA acquire them. Even so, they were a golden child until the PR fiasco that was Mass Effect 3's ending. That same period of time, Star Wars: The Old Republic failed to meet expectations, though the game did eventually prove profitable. Dragon Age 3's reception....well I don't really know how that was received. I've heard mixed things about it but mostly positive stuff. Mass Effect Andromeda is I think generally well received, though social media lambasted it with memes concerning it's poor quality animations. Again, a PR nightmare. It definitely damages the brand and EA doesn't like that.

If EA's keeping the doors open at BioWare, it's simply because it's a beloved studio that's well known. Shooting it in the head and dumping them in the hole behind the shed would also be a PR disaster for them. However, it's just business and the ire EA would earn from the public is something it will face if it improves the bottom line.
 

M76

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It's simple really. It's effectively the same concept as any other sequel for movies or games. They take the criticism of the first installment and overhaul the basic design to appeal to wider audiences to make even more money than they did with the first game. Some things you can change in a patch, and some shit you can't. Game developers also look at what their competitors are doing and incorporate what worked well in competing games and integrate those ideas into their future installments in a given franchise. Sometimes, they can even improve on an idea. They can also take the development time to improve the graphics and do other shit they think will generate more revenue.
I was eluding to the fact that in order for something to have a sequel it needs to have a story and characters you can connect with. Something that doesn't have a story much more than set decoration I can't think of like that. To me it feels like saying that the 2018 Ford F150 is the sequel to the 2017 model. But it's just a newer version.
 

Budzman

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Maybe they learned something from the gigantic failure that Destiny 2 was.

Not sure why the hate for BF.
 

Dan_D

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I was eluding to the fact that in order for something to have a sequel it needs to have a story and characters you can connect with. Something that doesn't have a story much more than set decoration I can't think of like that. To me it feels like saying that the 2018 Ford F150 is the sequel to the 2017 model. But it's just a newer version.

Whether you think of it like that or not doesn't matter. They make sequels to shit without a story or characters all the time.
 

MacLeod

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ME:A shouldn't have been rushed as it had a five year development cycle. They are the dumbasses that didn't know what they were going to do with the fucking thing until just under two years from release. Honestly, ME:A's quality issues were very real, but that's ultimately not why I think it flopped. ME3 was clearly rushed, but ending aside it was very successful the same as Andromeda was. The real problem is that social media backlash has created a perception of a product which doesn't necessarily reflect how a product is really perceived. Companies using that as a barometer for how a game is received may not be the best idea.

The reasons why Andromeda fell short of some people's expectations are impacted by quality, but it's largely the design of the whole thing. Open world gaming as a concept sounds good, but the reality is that there are a lot of people that don't like it. Open world games often lack focus and direction. For something like Skyrim, that can work. For something like Mass Effect that's character and story driven, that lack of focus is problematic. It's too easy to adopt a sweep and clear methodology for doing a quest area or planet. You do this to make sure you get everything but you end up losing touch with the story as you spend more time grinding through supplementary content rather than the core story. The sense of urgency in the story is lost to time and thus, it loses gravitas. Because there was no order to the game, or very little order to it you never had consequences to fear by fucking around. Again, this makes the story feel less important and more flat.

Secondly, while some characters were excellent, they didn't really have a chance to grow on you like they did with the earlier games. Garrus and Tali weren't really big hits until ME2. They were cool enough in ME1, but it wasn't until we got into ME2 and ME3 that they became so endearing to the players. Andromeda didn't really get that chance. Sure, standouts like Drak and even Vetra work well but mostly because they are tied to the central story lines. The other characters in some cases just aren't. The biggest problem is Ryder himself. He's just not as much fun or as epic as Shepard was. Shepard is known for bold and decisive actions that cover a wide range of behaviors. Ryder is more middle of the road and plays it safer in many situations where Shepard would be far more bold and fun.

Most games are doomed these days because this is the age of hate. Millennials hate everything. I mean how many games have come out in the last few years that people loved? I honestly can't think of any. However I can list a bunch that had people spitting all over their keyboards as they banged away rage post after rage post.

ME:A was a pretty good game by itself. I enjoyed the nearly 60 hours I played it and will probably go back and play it again at some point. The bugs did hurt it but in the end, what made ME 1-3 great was the characters, their chemistry and the atmosphere. ME:A had none of that. Shepard was a bad ass that I'd follow through the gates of hell. Ryder is a milk toast millennial that couldn't lead a pre-school to a playground and looked just silly trying to act tough. As for the characters, socially justiced ugly people with boring stories and no personality. Hell I see those guys every day at work!

So yeah, going against a game that caught lighting in a bottle with it's characters in a time where it's trendy to hate everything and ME:A was pretty much destined to be a flop. It's a shame too because it really is a pretty good game.

As for the rush job that EA forced them to do, giving them enough time to fix the animation wouldn't have made it a huge hit but at least it would've kept it from becoming an internet punchline and the butt of the funniest YouTube video ever.
 

Madoc

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The way a lot of games have been used to push some sort of ideological agenda... yeah, I hate that kind of crap. I also hate it when games are focused-grouped into bland, gutless mush. And, yes, I consider ME: A to be such a game, even though I never played it and have no intention of ever doing so. I don't need to take the Tide Pod Challenge to know it is moronic, and I don't need to play ME: A to know things about it.

And compared to what EA and BioWare hoped to achieve with ME: A, I would definitely call it a flop. EA's actions reinforce that conclusion, IMO. Also, I agree that BioWare's days are numbered. I think they've lost a lot of their stature with gamers, and that from now on people are going to view their new products with a lot of scrutiny and skepticism. I don't think they'll be able to recover from that. EA might not be ready to take them out behind the shed yet, but I'm betting they're digging a new hole in preparation.
 
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