BioWare’s future is “inextricably linked” to the success of its upcoming persistent world shooter Anthem, according to a new report from Kotaku.
Kotaku’s Jason Schreier has claimed that sources close to the project believe that “BioWare will look very different in the future” if Anthem doesn’t live up to expectations, with EA keeping a watchful eye on the developer following the poor reception to Mass Effect: Andromeda.
The report claims that the developer is under mounting pressure to come up with the goods, with its projected release window of fall 2018 pushed back into 2019, and EA allegedly refusing to delay it any further than March 2019.
“At points during 2014 and 2015, I heard several rumors that the Anthem project was not going well, in part because of the long-running issues that BioWare has faced with its engine, Frostbite, and in part because making a game of this nature can be an excruciating process,” Schreier wrote.
EA previously closed down Visceral Games and canceled its single-player Star Wars project, with the belief being that the publisher was only looking to invest money in multiplayer games with the potential for consistent monetization. Anthem fits that bill perfectly, with it shaping up to be BioWare’s equivalent to Destiny, offering co-op gameplay with plenty of room for microtransactions.
However, with Destiny 2 having been on the receiving end of much criticism for its use of loot boxes and EA’s Star Wars Battlefront 2 becoming embroiled in a major controversy over its microtransactions last year, there’s concern that Anthem will follow this trend into similarly divisive territory. Schreier’s sources have claimed that BioWare has been watching the fracas surrounding Destiny 2 closely, with some worried that its consumer reception will echo the response to Bungie’s FPS.
BioWare is a long-standing developer with a storied history, but if Kotaku’s report is to be believed, then it seems that the studio has placed a lot of importance on the success of Anthem, and EA is watching it very closely.