Close to the end of this month, players will be seeing the fruits of BioWare’s labors when Anthem releases. As a shared-world shooter, it was advertised to not have microtransactions or pay-to-win mechanics. According to the BioWare team, however, an Anthem free-to-play model was considered early in development to ensure profitability.
EA has become the poster child for microtransactions in recent years, wanting to shoehorn them into every game made in order to make them more profitable…rather than focusing on making the game enjoyable. Anthem, being the alternative to Mass Effect Andromeda that came out in 2017 and was awful, is just the latest.
Many gamers thus blame Anthem for being the reason that Andromeda was bad, as a large amount of Andromeda’s development was given over to a rookie studio while the other, more experienced BioWare devs made Anthem, which was one of the reasons of the game failing and having all of its support cut off.
To make things worse, EA has to still deal with the fallout of their closing of Visceral Studios, with many BioWare fans worrying that if Anthem fails, BioWare will be next on the chopping block, despite the fact that EA is forcing them into developing a game in a style they’ve never done before.
News of things like EA charging stupidly high prices for skins is also already starting to bring back rumblings of the same controversy that forced them to withdraw microtransactions from Star Wars Battlefront 2. Knowing EA, the Anthem free-to-play model likely would have had to deal with that same thing, depending on how intense the microtransactions were.
The fact that Anthem’s VIP demo didn’t go over to well either, being inundated with issues of the servers being supposedly filled. And with another demo set to launch this weekend, and the game itself coming out in three weeks, EA and BioWare will have to make sure that Anthem’s launch is a good one if they want to have a successful game on their hands.
Hopefully even without the Anthem free-to-play model that was supposed to be coming out, we’ll still be getting quality gameplay and a BioWare-tier story that will be able to make us forget that it was published by EA.