Anthem developer BioWare has issued a response to a new report from Kotaku that offered an in-depth report into the troubled development of the new loot-based shooter. Amid a rocky launch with more troubles following it in updates that affected the game’s loot systems, Kotaku’s extensive look at the game’s history paints a picture of a project that experienced numerous challenges before Anthem released. In response to the report, BioWare explains why it decided not to comment nor participate in Kotaku’s story and thanked its workers and fans for their support.
Kotaku’s report that’s seen here is a length one which looks at Anthem’s launch, it’s initial reveal, and teasers from years before. It also covers the reception of Anthem, how the game changed over the years, and details accounts of BioWare employees who left the studio in recent years, sometimes taking “stress leave” that occasionally lasted for months. Some sources interviewed even said “people were so angry and sad all the time” while others said “depression and anxiety are an epidemic within BioWare.”
BioWare is suggesting that reports on the challenges of development “tear down one another, or one another’s work.” Kotaku’s report does none of this. Considering that BioWare published the response ahead of the piece, it seems the studio was comfortable with misrepresenting the work of a reporter who cultivated sources and did his due diligence. Notably, the BioWare response doesn’t refute the piece, let alone any of its specific claims. Best and Cheapest Anthem Boosting For Sale - Mmocs.com.
One BioWare developer who hadn’t yet moved to the Anthem team recalled hearing those colleagues talk about how much better they had it than the people who were stuck on Mass Effect: Andromeda, which at the time was going through serious struggles thanks to technical challenges and significant directional changes. Surely, they thought, that couldn’t happen to Anthem. “We took so much time to get the experience correct,” said another person who worked on the game. “I think that’s why morale was so high. I knew we had taken the time to really refine what we wanted the game to be about. Now we just had to go and produce it.”
A developer shared that a term called, "BioWare magic" is well-known around the studio. It's reportedly a way of thinking that no matter how challenging the production on a game is, it will all come together seamlessly in the end. Kotaku writes that this belief worked with the Mass Effect Trilogy and Dragon Age: Origins, but after the large failures of Mass Effect: Andromeda and now Anthem, there needs to be a shift in attitude and working conditions.
“As a studio and a team, we accept all criticisms that will come our way for the games we make, especially from our players,” BioWare’s statement said. “The creative process is often difficult. The struggles and challenges of making video games are very real. But the reward of putting something we created into the hands of our players is amazing. People in this industry put so much passion and energy into making something fun. We don’t see the value in tearing down one another, or one another’s work. We don’t believe articles that do that are making our industry and craft better.”