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BioWare Responds to Kotaku Article Criticizing Troubled Anthem Game Development - MMORPG.com

SBFordSBFord Former Associate EditorMember LegendaryPosts: 33,126
edited April 2019 in News & Features Discussion

imageBioWare Responds to Kotaku Article Criticizing Troubled Anthem Game Development - MMORPG.com

Earlier today, Kotaku put up a scathing article about the missteps in the development of BioWare's Anthem. Most notably, employees have reported crushing development cycles, mismanagement, trademark issues and much more that led up to its February 2019 released that "was panned by fans and critics". Moments after the article was published, BioWare published a response to the article citing its value of studio workplace culture and its appreciation of its staff.

Read the full story here



¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 


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Comments

  • SBFordSBFord Former Associate EditorMember LegendaryPosts: 33,126
    Reading the article just brings back memories of Mass Effect: Andromeda and really seems to show a studio in trouble. Pretty insightful and, honestly, I don't see any reason not to believe what is being reported. That BioWare responded almost immediately lends credence to what it says, IMO.
    JeroKaneblueturtle13Tuor7TimEisenrojoArcueidGdemamiPanther2103Dhamon99ScottJeslisbartoni33and 16 others.


    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 


  • AlbatroesAlbatroes Member LegendaryPosts: 6,870
    edited April 2019
    I wish they put this much effort into the game's development as they do with PR. All these words yet still need to wait months on end for action. This is the main reason why I never buy games until months after launch.
  • AeanderAeander Member LegendaryPosts: 5,112
    It just baffles me how a game can have such incredible combat and visuals, but manages to fail at everything else. 
    SBFordkoldmiserShodanasJeroKane3domrojoArcueidVrikaArteriusPanther2103Dhamon99and 15 others.
  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 27,664
    edited April 2019
    While that list is concerning, I don't really put much value on "this" being a huge issue:

    "the name was changed from Beyond to Anthem less than a week before its announcement"

    I've changed titles of pieces on the day the info was going to the printer for the programs. Not really a big deal. Though after reading part of the article I get why they wanted Beyond.

    The other stuff is concerning.

    After this I really won't be able to understand why any company would agree to be purchased by Electronic Arts "other than the money" as it isn't a good place to be.



  • RobbgobbRobbgobb Member UncommonPosts: 672
    Seems like there is a problem in the upper ranks for sure. I lean towards the article over the pr release. Imagine if the game was in development for that long and the upper ranks just could have agreed on where to take the game on what we would have with all that development time.
    Gdemami
  • parrotpholkparrotpholk Member EpicPosts: 4,602
    Well BW did not right out deny any of it so from reading their statement tells me that the list is in part true otherwise issue a denial.

    With the state of the game none of that surprises me and definitely reeks of a lot of half baked ideas they are now scrambling to fix.
  • PyukPyuk Member UncommonPosts: 751
    Typical EA shenanigans, if you ask me. Every game EA (Bioware hasn't been Bioware for a long time post EA assimilation) pinches out has been on the weary backs of overworked, sleep deprived devs that are managed by sycophant, talentless managers that couldn't be bothered by input from the real devs in the trenches. The devs are treated like throw-away cogs, where the really talented devs jump the EA ship after one or two shipped games. They've been the worst publisher and dev house for decades. EA won't change, and it's the very definition of insanity to think that the next game will have more humane and talented game development.
    Tuor7Gdemami

    I make spreadsheets at work - I don't want to make them for the games I play.

  • alkarionlogalkarionlog Member EpicPosts: 3,007
    bioware answers looks more like, don't be mean to our workers, they did they best, something like something someone is afraid to hurt people feeling.. patetic

    and serious inquisition a sucess? was at the best better then dragon age 2 and that is not hard to achieve, lot of the game was boring as hell and combat was meh at the best, wining a game awrd means little, only that year we had a lot of crap games, and making something less crap then other is not something to be proud of


    what kotaku says here just mean what most people already see since dragon age 2 and Mass effect, bioware tossed all the regard and prestige they had in the latrine and is not something we should support

    btw how many crap games streak they have now? I stoped counting after 4
    Gdemami
    FOR HONOR, FOR FREEDOM.... and for some money.
  • koldmiserkoldmiser Member UncommonPosts: 169

    Aeander said:

    It just baffles me how a game can have such incredible combat and visuals, but manages to fail at everything else. 



    Totally agree. The combat and visuals are amazing, but it's like they tried to build a game around that and fell flat.
    onelesslight
  • BloodaxesBloodaxes Member RarePosts: 4,176
    Aeander said:
    It just baffles me how a game can have such incredible combat and visuals, but manages to fail at everything else. 
    Why should it baffle you? Nowadays all everyone wants is pretty visuals apparently.
    Tuor7rojoArcueidinfomatzonelesslighttweedledumb99

  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 19,934
    Aeander said:
    It just baffles me how a game can have such incredible combat and visuals, but manages to fail at everything else. 
    Because it takes more than a checklist of mechanics and systems to make a good game. That's true for any kind of game. There can be 2 D&D campaigns, both with character levels, loot, dungeons, and die rolls. One can be boring and the other the most amazing adventure ever. The first is just a collection of rules. The second gave players reasons to dig in.

    Sovrath said:
    While that list is concerning, I don't really put much value on "this" being a huge issue:

    "the name was changed from Beyond to Anthem less than a week before its announcement"

    I've changed titles of pieces on the day the info was going to the printer for the programs. Not really a big deal. Though after reading part of the article I get why they wanted Beyond.

    The other stuff is concerning.

    After this I really won't be able to understand why any company would agree to be purchased by Electronic Arts "other than the money" as it isn't a good place to be.
    It's always about the money. I think that's the big lie. Indie indie indie! until there is enough money on the table. Mojang, InXile, and Obsidian sold out for the same reasons. I think that holds true, to a large extent, for music and art too. There are tradeoffs and money is a powerful attractant.
    SovrathGdemami
    Fedora - A modern, free, and open source Operating System. https://getfedora.org/

    traveller, interloper, anomaly, iteration


  • WizardryWizardry Member LegendaryPosts: 16,794
    edited April 2019

    Bloodaxes said:


    Aeander said:

    It just baffles me how a game can have such incredible combat and visuals, but manages to fail at everything else. 


    Why should it baffle you? Nowadays all everyone wants is pretty visuals apparently.



    Not even ,people are spending money in drones to do nothing more than grab a gun and shoot stuff.BR's the Destiny's Anthem's,The Division ,all very shallow games,shoot stuff and pickup your loot,WHOA is that an amazing game design,so creative,so UNIQUE,never seen that design before !!.
    dragonlee66

    Never forget 3 mile Island and never trust a government official or company spokesman.

  • 3dom3dom Member RarePosts: 871
    edited April 2019
    The worst part is the loot inscriptions weren't improved even a little bit after release. And these are simple numbers in database in a PvE game which basically does not need a lot of thoughts put into balancing. Yet the players get trash-tier "legendary" drop during 6+ weeks already.

    Makes me wonder if the game will turn into new Skyforge with its nice cosmetics, characters, huge world - but endless alpha state of the core gameplay and loot.
    Gdemami

    Thank you for your time!

  • alkarionlogalkarionlog Member EpicPosts: 3,007
    Pyuk said:
    Typical EA shenanigans, if you ask me. Every game EA (Bioware hasn't been Bioware for a long time post EA assimilation) pinches out has been on the weary backs of overworked, sleep deprived devs that are managed by sycophant, talentless managers that couldn't be bothered by input from the real devs in the trenches. The devs are treated like throw-away cogs, where the really talented devs jump the EA ship after one or two shipped games. They've been the worst publisher and dev house for decades. EA won't change, and it's the very definition of insanity to think that the next game will have more humane and talented game development.

    nope don't let the ones working out the hook that easily, nowadays everyone is over worked and stressed with work, but if I do use that as a excuse to make a crap job I will still lose my job, not everyone on this world is as forgiving as players are, in any place of teh world if a company start to be know for selling crap they will close shop, no one would buy from then, gamers are.... strange in a lot of ways and these are the most annoying one
    Wizardry said:

    Bloodaxes said:


    Aeander said:

    It just baffles me how a game can have such incredible combat and visuals, but manages to fail at everything else. 


    Why should it baffle you? Nowadays all everyone wants is pretty visuals apparently.



    Not even ,people are spending money in drones to do nothing more than grab a gun and shoot stuff.BR's the Destiny's Anthem's,The Division ,all very shallow games,shoot stuff and pickup your loot,WHOA is that an amazing game design,so creative,so UNIQUE,never seen that design before !!.
    there is a reason why most BR games are linked to kids playing it :p
    Gdemami
    FOR HONOR, FOR FREEDOM.... and for some money.
  • TimEisenTimEisen ColumnistMember EpicPosts: 3,293
    edited April 2019
    EA gonna EA

    "Many features weren’t finalized or implemented until the very final months, and to some who worked on the project, it wasn’t even clear what kind of game Anthem even was until that E3 demo in June of 2017, less than two years before it actually came out."

    Isn't that every game? 
    TacticalZombehShadowStyleB
    I used to role-play a Warrior Priest now I role-play a writer.
  • AeanderAeander Member LegendaryPosts: 5,112
    koldmiser said:

    Aeander said:

    It just baffles me how a game can have such incredible combat and visuals, but manages to fail at everything else. 



    Totally agree. The combat and visuals are amazing, but it's like they tried to build a game around that and fell flat.
    It's more like they didn't try to build the game around that.

    I don't think they quite knew how to build content and stage design around the kind of mobility and verticality that Anthem offers. Thus why the game throws overheat and anti-flight zones at you at every opportunity.
  • TimEisenTimEisen ColumnistMember EpicPosts: 3,293
    edited April 2019
    Wizardry said:

    Bloodaxes said:


    Aeander said:

    It just baffles me how a game can have such incredible combat and visuals, but manages to fail at everything else. 


    Why should it baffle you? Nowadays all everyone wants is pretty visuals apparently.



    Not even ,people are spending money in drones to do nothing more than grab a gun and shoot stuff.BR's the Destiny's Anthem's,The Division ,all very shallow games,shoot stuff and pickup your loot,WHOA is that an amazing game design,so creative,so UNIQUE,never seen that design before !!.
    Drives me crazy, they are essentially voting with their money, telling studios not to try doing more or innovating, but do less as long as they pay streamers to pimp their game so pop culture thinks its cool. It's basically the now, its Cardi B and that terrible GagaCooper song and that guy that faked a hate crime all in one. As long as money is made, no one cares. That might be the new Murican slogan. 

    * And once again I'm agreeing with Wizardry
    Gdemamidragonlee66
    I used to role-play a Warrior Priest now I role-play a writer.
  • XasapisXasapis Member RarePosts: 6,337
    I wonder how much of the following conspiracy theory holds truth in the case of Anthem.

    It certainly explains their inability to fix the loot system of their loot shooter game.


    Gdemami
  • winghaven1winghaven1 Member RarePosts: 710
    Bioware is a shell of what it once was.
    bartoni33alkarionlogTacticalZombehinfomatzSpottyGekkoPhry
  • TimEisenTimEisen ColumnistMember EpicPosts: 3,293
    Kotaku has done some really impressive investigative journalism recently. Good for the lower end people to have a voice. After reading it, it sounded like fairly standard game development to me. I've long theorized there are two kinds of "launched" games; those that are bad and the few that got lucky. They always seem like a giant ball of chaos until a finish that resembles a shell of the original idea slithers to launch. Maybe that's just MMORPGs? 
    Panther2103GdemamiSBFord
    I used to role-play a Warrior Priest now I role-play a writer.
  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 19,934
    edited April 2019
    TimEisen said:
    EA gonna EA

    "Many features weren’t finalized or implemented until the very final months, and to some who worked on the project, it wasn’t even clear what kind of game Anthem even was until that E3 demo in June of 2017, less than two years before it actually came out."

    Isn't that every game? 
    But is that EA's fault? EA gave Bioware money and a deadline. EA has a lot to account for but I'm not sure giving contracted and subsidiary studios money and the leeway to wreck themselves should be counted against them.

    Maybe that long loved expression, "When it's done." has been part of the problem. It speaks to an attitude and perspective that can tap infinite resources on a self imposed comfortable timeline. That isn't reality though. A game isn't ever going to be "that good" and eventually others will supersede it. Development studios need to learn scope and deadline.

    EA and Activision on the other hand are guilty of foisting predatory monetization onto studios and dramatically changing how they think about game design. Using AI and heuristics to promote and coerce revenue out of players should be illegal. Altering gameplay to promote revenue generation should be illegal and that I believe should be on publishers first and hardest, but also studios for being complicit, and if they're subsidiaries then just as culpable.

    It's really pointless though. Nothing will come of it and the big players (Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, ....) will keep rolling on business as usual. I'm saying there is an element of futility in all this mess in that we're not deciding the outcome no matter how much wallet-voting we're gonna do.

    The real rub here is that Kotaku, with all their inside information and perspective, writes this up like it's a revelation. It sure as hell better not be a revelation to them or anyone in their position or they've been buying their own con. I don't think their criticism is wrong, but at this point it's become a lot bit circlejerkish.

    TimEisenGdemami
    Fedora - A modern, free, and open source Operating System. https://getfedora.org/

    traveller, interloper, anomaly, iteration


  • ArteriusArterius Member EpicPosts: 2,586
    I noticed that during Biowares reply they never said that Kotaku got there facts wrong. Just came out as "Please don't be mean to us."
    parrotpholkSBFordalkarionloginfomatzPhry
    Currently playing: Witcher 3 (Xbox One X), TemTem

    Currently Reading: Oathbringer (Stormlight Archive Book 3)

    Currently Writing: Champions of Legend Book 1 (2nd Draft)


  • TimEisenTimEisen ColumnistMember EpicPosts: 3,293
    Torval said:
    TimEisen said:
    EA gonna EA

    "Many features weren’t finalized or implemented until the very final months, and to some who worked on the project, it wasn’t even clear what kind of game Anthem even was until that E3 demo in June of 2017, less than two years before it actually came out."

    Isn't that every game? 
    But is that EA's fault? EA gave Bioware money and a deadline. EA has a lot to account for but I'm not sure giving contracted and subsidiary studios money and the leeway to wreck themselves should be counted against them.

    Maybe that long loved expression, "When it's done." has been part of the problem. It speaks to an attitude and perspective that can tap infinite resources on a self imposed comfortable timeline. That isn't reality though. A game isn't ever going to be "that good" and eventually others will supersede it. Development studios need to learn scope and deadline.

    EA and Activision on the other hand are guilty of foisting predatory monetization onto studios and dramatically changing how they think about game design. Using AI and heuristics to promote and coerce revenue out of players should be illegal. Altering gameplay to promote revenue generation should be illegal and that I believe should be on publishers first and hardest, but also studios for being complicit, and if they're subsidiaries then just as culpable.

    It's really pointless though. Nothing will come of it and the big players (Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, ....) will keep rolling on business as usual. I'm saying there is an element of futility in all this mess in that we're not deciding the outcome no matter how much wallet-voting we're gonna do.

    The real rub here is that Kotaku, with all their inside information and perspective, writes this up like it's a revelation. It sure as hell better not be a revelation to them or anyone in their position or they've been buying their own con. I don't think their criticism is wrong, but at this point it's become a lot bit circlejerkish.

    Well, EA owns them and has done so since 2007. If I owned a huge studio that I was giving millions to I'd be getting some status checks. Then again, maybe they lied in their status checks? I'm sure that whichever higher up didn't do their proper job will be sure that a few hundred lowbies get fired to make up for the losses. 
    Gdemami
    I used to role-play a Warrior Priest now I role-play a writer.
  • momintimmomintim Member UncommonPosts: 80
    Sooo the announcement trailer in 2017 was just pre-production then since production didn't actually start all but 18 months ago or technically right after the announcement trailer!!! WTF glad i skipped the dumpster fire.
  • ShaighShaigh Member RarePosts: 2,021
    It sounds like bioware never was capable of replacing Casey Hudson as the creative director and instead had a team that lacked a unified vision on the game they were making and kept wasting time and money. They also suffered from using frostbite, its a great engine for making battlefield games but when bioware has to make open world games in third person it makes everything a lot harder.

    Rushing a game to release sounds very typical of EA forgetting why people keep hating them.
    Gdemami
    The cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
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