BioWare’s latest blog post has some big news for Anthem players. They’ve decided, after taking player feedback on board, that in order to bring out the game’s “full potential” they’ll be focusing on a long-term redesign over the next few months.
The blog, written by BioWare general manager Casey Hudson, starts by remembering the experience of launching Anthem a year ago; “a game that represented a big leap into new territory” for BioWare. “It was an exhilarating and terrifying experience to go out to the world with something new and different, and we are grateful to all the players who have come along with us on the journey”, Hudson says. Anthem’s release was highly-anticipated, but its reception proved to be bumpy and plagued with bugs, loot box complaints, and development issues. Hudson says that, “Over the last year, the team has worked hard to improve stability, performance and general quality of life while delivering three seasons of new content and features”. The main feedback the Anthem team got, he says, was that “Anthem needs a more satisfying loot experience, better long-term progression and a more fulfilling end game.” Hudson says the team are aware that “there’s still more fundamental work to be done to bring out the full potential” of the game, and that it needs “a more substantial reinvention” than could be achieved through an update or an expansion. With that in mind, BioWare are going ahead with a “longer-term redesign of the experience” over the next few months, which will focus in particular on “reinventing the core gameplay loop with clear goals, motivating challenges and progression with meaningful rewards”.
It’s not yet clear what this redesign will mean for players. For now, BioWare will be carrying on with the current version of the game, although they’ll begin to “move away from full seasons”. They’ll keep having events and store refreshes, as well as bringing back seasonal and cataclysm content; but future seasonal content will perhaps be limited. Hudson does say that during the redesign, they’re planning to give “a focused team the time to test and iterate” and focus on gameplay — perhaps the current version will continue for the foreseeable future, to give this team time to begin testing. A complete redesign sounds like a mammoth task, but Hudson seems determined. “Creating new worlds is central to our studio mission, but it’s not easy,” he says. “Sometimes we get it right, sometimes we miss. What keeps us going is the support from players like you. Your feedback gives us guidance on how we can improve, and your passion inspires us with the courage to create. I look forward to working together with your involvement and feedback towards the best possible future for Anthem.” BioWare have previously promised better communication with their plans for Anthem, and it sounds as though this post is part of that effort. There’s no word yet on when the redesigned Anthem will be finished, and Hudson hasn’t provided an outline or roadmap, but we’ll keep you posted.