Bioware, a company once known for its stellar storylines, excellent single-player RPGs and focus on player choice, has fallen far from grace in recent years. Despite the excellent Mass Effect 1 and 2 becoming easily two of the best RPGs ever made, the company took a major misstep with the third entry in the franchise and hasn’t seemed to correct course since.
In the years since, the company has been consumed by working on the disastrous punchline of a video game, Anthem.
Anthem, a clear attempt to cash in on Bungie’s popular Destiny model of always-online looter-shooter, was met with laughs and poor review scores when it launched a year ago. After limping along for months and seeing several delays to the post-release “roadmap,” Anthem has been confirmed by Bioware to be undergoing a revision.
What Will This Entail?
“Over the coming months we will be focusing on a longer-term redesign of the experience, specifically working to reinvent the core gameplay loop with clear goals, motivating challenges and progression with meaningful rewards—while preserving the fun of flying and fighting in a vast science-fantasy setting,” writes studio head Casey Hudson in a blog post.
“And to do that properly we’ll be doing something we’d like to have done more of the first time around—giving a focused team the time to test and iterate, focusing on gameplay first.” While many reviewers noted that Anthem was pretty, and the story was passable, the bland, forgettable gameplay and uninteresting combat were common sticking points.
Doubling Down on Anthem Could be Mistake
Many have noted that watching Bioware double down on what is easily one of their worst games is frustrating, to say the least. Those hoping to see the company let the beleaguered “live-service” model go in favor of their strong suit, traditional single-player RPGs, met Hudson’s post with groans.
One commenter online pleaded, “Let it die. Move on.”
In the years leading up to, and immediately following, Anthem’s release, several key members of Bioware stepped down. Notably, head of live services Chad Robertson and producer Ben Irving both left the company the summer after Anthem’s disastrous launch and abysmal sales.
The company doubling down on such a big mistake strikes many as a clear example of the sunk cost fallacy at work.