As Electronic Arts puts its marketing might behind the upcoming release of Anthem, BioWare's highly anticipated online multiplayer game has managed to draw criticism due to a confusing release schedule. Although the full game will drop on February 22, EA has come up with a mind-boggling way to give gamers some other options.
Instead of games running with beta testing and then just releasing, there's a growing influx of companies that offer different ways to try before players buy. Only recently, the likes of Capcom's Resident Evil 2 launched a free-to-play demo that allowed players to try 30 minutes of gameplay. EA has taken this one step further with mixed results. While different release options can be a coup to grow a fanbase or cash in on subscription services, Anthem is showing everyone how it probably shouldn't be done.
Posting on Twitter, EA Help 'tried' to explain the various options of demos and early access. The basic gist is the amount of pre-release time fans will have playing Anthem will depend on what console they own and what subscription service. For example, there's good news for PC users who can access the full game on February 15 - if they've signed up to EA's pricey Origin Access Premier service. Elsewhere, those who parted with their cash for the Legion of Dawn Edition won't get early access or the 10-hour Play First Trial.
Want to know when you can play #AnthemGame? Here's a breakdown of when you can get your hands on it, and get more info on the Open Demo coming up this weekend: https://t.co/KRoikyBXh4 pic.twitter.com/wdZgRCPVtx— EA Help (@EAHelp) January 30, 2019
All in all, players are being left confused and frustrated in equal measure. At the end of the day, if EA hasn't even taken into account regional differences and needed a chart to explain the releasing structure, there's probably something wrong. Safe to say, fans were soon responding in droves to mock yet another EA debacle.
I feel like you need a Masters Degree to understand release schedules now... pic.twitter.com/3OT0hPmJFy— JonnyEthco (@JonnyEthco) January 31, 2019
This is the latest blunder in EA's checkered gaming history. After all those loot box scandals, there was the recent drama of canceling one Star Wars game to rush out another and Rogue One writer Gary Whitta saying EA should be stripped of its Star Wars rights. Despite gamers expecting Anthem to be huge in 2019's gaming world, Screen Rant's Rob Keyes shared his own thoughts on the demo, and said the game still has to "prove itself from a story or gameplay longevity perspective."
It's not like there hasn't been long enough to plan Anthem's marketing campaign and tiered release schedule. Mass Effect's Casey Hudson started development on Anthem way back in 2012. Next time someone asks when can they play Anthem, it's probably best not to direct them to EA Help.
Source: EA Help