EA's CEO is confident that BioWare can bring Anthem to the state it was promised and beyond. Anthem was released on February 22nd of this year for Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Based on the trailers and gameplay revelations that trickled out in the two years before its release, it rose to be one of the most highly anticipated games of 2019. It was set to take on Destiny and The Division as the shooter MMO everyone had to play. The hype, however, didn't survive its release.
To say that Anthem's reception was mixed would be the understatement of the year. Aside from literally breaking consoles, the biggest complaint about Anthem is how little game there is to play. While Destiny and The Division faced similar criticisms upon their release, the steady stream of content updates for both franchises slowly and surely won their respected fan bases over. That added content never really happened for Anthem and players have not been very forgiving. Still, EA has come out to reassure players that they haven't given up on BioWare and that BioWare hasn't given up on Anthem.
EA CEO Andrew Wilson spoke with GameDaily and said that he was certain BioWare could turn Anthem into "something special." His comments mentioned the parts of the game that people do enjoy (such as the world of Anthem and the Javelin suits) and talked about wanting to build on those high points. He also talks about getting the game to a state where it could last seven to ten years. Wilson also admits that Anthem was released to plenty of criticism, but expressed confidence that they could win their players back:
"If we believed that at the very core the world wasn’t compelling people, if we believed at the very core that the characters weren’t compelling for people, or the Javelin suits weren’t compelling, or traversing the world and participating in the world wasn’t compelling then provided we hadn’t made promises to our players… we might not invest further. IP lives for generations, and runs in these seven to ten year cycles. So, if I think about Anthem on a seven to ten year cycle, it may not have had the start that many of us wanted, including our players. I feel like that team is really going to get there with something special and something great, because they’ve demonstrated that they can."
Plenty of other MMOs have been released to similar negative reactions, but as those games got older, they got better. Meanwhile, Anthem has been unable to shake its poor reputation. In fact, by almost all accounts, it's only gotten worse. Reviews were poor initially and updated reviews continually have nothing good to say. Content updates have been delayed for bug and quality of life fixes. Some people only play Anthem to continue mocking it online.
Regardless, Wilson's optimism is refreshing and it's good to know that EA is not going to scrap Anthem, altogether. Despite the negativity surrounding the game, there are still people playing it and that might be enough for to reach the plateau it initially set for itself. Time will tell if Anthem has what it takes to push past its rocky first months and become the next must-play MMO looter shooter.