In what has seemingly become one of the largest mis-steps from a AAA developer in recent memory, Bioware has finally provided an update on what’s happening with Anthem and surprisingly (or possibly unsurprising depending on your perspective), it seems rather tone deaf.
The official update came from the Ben Irving (Lead Producer) and Chad Robertson (Head of Live Services). Here it is in full:
It’s been 10 weeks since the early access release of Anthem. While we have been quiet publicly, we have been hard at work in the background and we wanted to provide an update on the state of the game.
The Past 10 Weeks
We have learned a lot since the game went live. We have heard a lot of feedback from all of you, and we have been working diligently to improve as many things as we can in the short term.
We’ve fixed a lot of bugs and made changes which we believe begin to point us in the right direction for the future. That being said, we know there is a long way to go before Anthem becomes the game we all want it to be. So where are we at today…
Game Update 1.1.0
Game Update 1.1.0 went live today and includes some new content and improvements to the game:
- A new Stronghold called “The Sunken Cell”
- Access to the Forge anywhere in the world
- Ability to launch a new expedition from the end of expedition menu without loading into Fort Tarsis
- Access to contracts without having to run around and pick them up
There are a bunch of additional fixes and improvements – the patch notes for Game Update 1.1.0 can be found here.
There is also a livestream later today where we will show you the Sunken Cell Stronghold and some of the other improvements in Game Update 1.1.0
Act 1 Calendar
While we have delivered many of the Act 1 features on time, we are not going to hit all the goals on our Act 1 Calendar.
We have been prioritizing things like bug fixes, stability and game flow over the new features of Act 1. We set aside time for this work, but the reality is there are more things to fix and improve than we planned for. While this is the best thing to do for the game, it means some items from the calendar will be delayed.
- Mastery System
- Legendary Missions – Phase II
- Weekly Stronghold Challenge
- Some Freeplay Events
We want to make sure everything we add to the game has a purpose and fits with our long term goals. When we have information to share on the items above, we will do so.
The Cataclysm is an important addition to the game and it’s currently a big focus for the team. The Cataclysm will bring new challenges and rewards and pushes the story of Anthem forward. As our work continues, we will share more with you in May.
We have heard your concerns around end game loot. We agree that our loot and progression systems need to be improved and we are working towards this. When we have more information to share, we will.
A lesson we have learned is we have been talking about things too early. There are so many factors that can cause us to pivot on our plans – whether it’s bugs & stability issues, player feedback, or complications with a feature that require us to take more time to deliver it. Our goal is to tell you about new content and features once the work is closer to being done.
At the same time, we want to provide more ways to get your feedback and for you to tell us what you think is fun (or not fun). To facilitate this we plan to introduce a Player Feedback Environment (PFE), an opportunity to get your feedback before we go live with major features (in the short term for PC only).
We know you have been waiting for these updates, and that you might not be pleased with where we are today. We understand and respect these perspectives.
The only thing we can say is this – We Believe in Anthem. We believe the game will be great, but we recognize getting there will take a lot of hard work. We want to do that work and we want you all to join us on the journey to get there.
Thanks for taking the time to read this update.
Fans and players have been exceedingly negative in their response to this update particularly with Bioware stating that the initial release was “early access”. The update was provided on Reddit and it takes no time at all to see the displeasure in the comments.
Honestly, at this point we don’t know where Bioware goes with Anthem. Typically you can point to some key deficiencies and estimate the time to repair, but given what we’ve learned of Anthem’s development, it seems to be a far more complicated issue. The update from Ben and Chad doesn’t address specifics and frankly only further damages the already fragile, or even broken, connection with players. Delaying the entire roadmap of the title would likely be acceptable IF there was another plan provided of fixes and updates. But that hasn’t happened.
We’ve spoken extensively on Anthem and while we, along with some players, feel there’s a solid foundation to build upon, doing so could take several months or even years. For now, we’ll just continue to wait to see how this unfolds through the rest of 2019.