Destiny launched in 2014 to mixed reception by many fans and critics however with major updates along with 3 DLC packs Destiny became a powerhouse for sales shipping 12.74 million units reported out of http://www.vgchartz.com/. Activision green lit Bungie’s Destiny series for a sequel in 2014, and it released this year to strong sales of 3.82 million units thus far. BioWare’s Anthem appears to be Electronic Arts answer to this genre/platform and may attempt to capitalize in areas where some believe Bungie had let fans of Destiny 1 & 2 down.
BioWare studios founded in 1991 by Ray Muzyk, Greg Zeschuk, and Augustine Yip(Departed the company in 1997), and has been a powerhouse to the RPG Genre for well over a decade producing some of the genres most iconic titles such as Baldur’s Gate 1 & 2, Neverwinter Nights, Star Wars:Knights of the Old Republic, Star Wars the Old Republic(MMORPG), Dragon Age series, and Mass the Mass Effect Trilogy. However in recent years the studio has faltered on several extremely public instances such as the original ending for Mass Effect 3.
The ending of the Mass Effect Trilogy left many feeling a sense betrayal prompting a class action lawsuit which forced BioWares hand in the release of Mass Effect 3 (Uncut) DLC in an attempt to address concerns with the ending. Mass Effect Andromeda showed the public how complicated game production can become with missed deadlines, forced cuts, and software switches in the middle of production. Reviews for Andromeda along with extremely disappointing sales inevitably led to the closing of the BioWare studio in Montreal. Public losses from the studio as a whole leave many to believe BioWare to be a shadow of its former self however BioWare seems to be out to prove the world wrong with it’s latest upcoming title Anthem.
Electronic Arts needs little introduction however it was formed in the United States of America in California, 1982. Electronic Arts is the second largest video game company in the world owning 31 studios as of December 2017 with 4.8 billion in revenue reported in their Q4 FY17 and Full Year 2017 financial results. EA produces games in nearly every genre from Dice’s first person shooter Battlefield titles, EA Mobile producing IOS/Android titles, EA Sports producing titles such as Madden, and BioWares RPG titles. Needless to say Electronic Arts is a powerhouse for gamers for better or worse with acquisition of studios on a regular basis along with regular studio restructure/closures of others.
Recent studio closures include Visceral Games known for its single player Dead Space titles, BioWare Montreal studio, and Pandemic Studios responsible for Star Wars: Battlefront 2(2005). During its reign over BioWare the studio has undergone several restructures including the aforementioned Montreal Studio closing, but it has also suffered the loss of several other BioWare umbrella studios including Victory Games(Command & Conquer) and Mythic Entertainment(Dungeon Keeper). Currently BioWare consists of two studios BioWare Edmonton tasked with the development of the upcoming Anthem title and BioWare Austin currently tasked with creating Dragon Age titles along with Star Wars the Old Republic upkeep.
While Electronic Arts is best known to most for its predatory business practices, such as online pass purchases for pre-owned titles, loot boxes as seen in recent Battlefield titles, and Battlefront 2(2017) latest microtransaction controversy. Electronic Arts also has been positioning it’s studios to create more online games rather than single player titles in an attempt to make games a more like a service rather than a one time purchased product. The gaming public has since pushed back on these business practices in the case of Battlefront 2(2017) however the Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson has stated at the 37th Nasdaq investor Conference
“…Overtime we’ll address how we will want to bring the MTX either into the game or not and what form we will decide to bring it into”.
While some may see this as a win if the microtransactions are not implemented into Battlefront 2(2017), EA does not seem to be giving up the fight so easily.
In the last 5 years BioWare has undergone extreme changes and now they have been tasked with the creation of Anthem. Anthem looks to be a fantastic looking game that will if absolutely nothing else bring more competition to the shoot and loot titles such as Destiny. Currently the only direct competition to Destiny is Warframe a free to play title with microtransactions however has been released with large scale updates since 2013 including its recent open world planets part of the “Plains of Eidolon” update. Anthem does seem to be taking a lot from both of these titles with the dystopia open world setting fighting to keep its city alive from Destiny, and the use of Javelins(Exosuits) that are swapabled as well as customizable which is obviously inspired from the Warframes concept from the title Warframes(I know that sounds wrong grammatically but that’s what they are called).
Anthem is also going to be a title that we will need to keep a close and cautious eye on as we approach release. Electronic arts wishes for Anthem to be a “10 year long journey” which stands as a direct war declaration on Activision’s 10 year long publishing agreement with Bungie for Destiny titles. Micro transactions in Bungie’s Destiny are well known, and in Destiny 2 title begin to appear as Vendors within the first 30 minutes of the Story mode it will be interesting to see Electronic Arts take on these models even while still cooling off from all the heat of Battlefront 2. Anthem is without going to be one of the most anticipated titles of 2018 however I caution anyone thinking of pre-ordering.
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What are your thoughts on BioWares upcoming title and do you think Electronic Arts is going to implement strong micro transactions into the game? Drop a comment below and let’s talk about it!