There have been a lot of questions and concerns surrounding BioWare’s upcoming title, Anthem. The developer, who is famously known for their single-player, story-driven titles such as Mass Effect and Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic, is working on a multiplayer shooter which has clear influences from titles such as Destiny. This shift has caused some BioWare fans to question the direction of the developer and a growing concern surround Anthem has begun to surface.
In an interview with gameindustry.biz at this years Gamescom, Anthem Director Jon Warner tried to address the concerns of fans and explain how the upcoming game will be a BioWare experience.
“If you look at BioWare games on a spectrum, from Baldur’s Gate to Neverwinter, and Jade Empire to Knights of the Old Republic, to Mass Effect and Dragon Age, you’ll see that the games have always been about evolving our technique and storytelling… so the way that we look at it, Anthem is not a departure, it’s the continued evolution of our craft and our technique,” Warner says.
“I think once players get their hands on it and dive in they are going to find a world that is well realised and full of rich characters that you’re going to want to get to know, and you’ll be the hero of your own story, and honestly that is the heart and soul of a BioWare experience.”
One major issue some fans have with Anthem is that it’s adopting the ‘games-as-service-a-service-model’, which has found success with titles such as Rainbow Six: Siege, but seems to be an odd fit for a BioWare title. Warner, who has years of experience working on games with this model, discussed how he implements this service while making it enjoyable for players.
“[There’s] two big principals there: one is generosity towards our players,” he explains. “We never ever want people to regret spending time with us, or spending money with us, and that’s something that’s really important to us as gamers and as creators.
“The other one is providing an experience that is engaging… being able to inhabit a BioWare-style experience over a longer period of time is something that is very interesting for us, so that sense of engagement and wonder, and trying to provide continued reasons to re-engage, is also a principal that guides us.”
Whether this interview with Warner will quell some of the issues players have with Anthem is yet to be seen. BioWare is a skilled and experienced developer who has a great track record with critics gamers alike. Until we get our hands on the game, we won’t know if this shift in focus will be a success.