Jason Schreier, a Kotaku editor, conducted an investigation and published an article about the secrets of creating the Anthem. After the premiere of the loot shooter, the audience threw stones at the authors for a long time: it even reached the boycott. The failure of such a large-scale project of the eminent company could be attributed to pure chance and bad luck. But after talking with 19 employees of BioWare, the journalist came to the conclusion that the development did not work from the beginning.
According to Schreier, the story of Anthem is a story of indecisive and incompetent management, a deep crisis and misunderstanding. Many of the interlocutors agreed that the problems began after the success of Dragon Age: Inquisition. RPG, which received the prestigious award Game of the Year in 2014, was born in terrible conditions but became a hit. Management decided that other projects created at a similar pace will be popular. However, "magic BioWare", which is so expected management, did not save the post-apocalyptic fighter from the fiasco.
Work on Anthem began in late 2012 under the leadership of Casey Hudson, head of mass Effect development. It was an ambitious project about a hostile alien world in which the gamer is threatened by everything. Describing the early stages, Schreier's interlocutors compared the game with Dark Souls, Darkest Dungeon and Shadow of the Colossus. Promising ideas appeared one after another, and at some point, the team began to doubt that Frostbite will cope with all the ideas. Despite the optimism of the team and the huge potential of creation, it was not possible to come to a single decision for a long time.
There were also problems with Frostbite, which one of the former employees described as "full of sharp blades". With the difficulties faced by everyone: designers, artists, and programmers. It turned out that the engine is not adapted for the full implementation of Anthem — and many of the ideas just began to give up. As a result, by 2016, full-scale production has not begun. However, in 2017 Patrick Soderlund, then the head of EA, was presented with a demo shooter — and the boss called what he saw unacceptable: "This is not what you promised me."
These words marked the beginning of a tense six-week crunch. Anthem is trying to make a spectacular and effective, return to game fly, which was abandoned earlier, and to impress the Senior Manager. The result was stunning: Soderlund was delighted, and on the basis of the demo it was decided to remove the gameplay trailer, which was brought to E3 2017. However, the developers admit that all this was mostly a fake: the team was not even sure of the possibility to implement what was shown.
After E3 2017 was to begin intensive development, but it did not happen immediately. BioWare threw in the creation of Anthem the forces of several studios, however, between the groups was not understanding. As a result, Anthem was actually assembled in 12-16 months (another interlocutor called an even more impressive period, 6-9 months) before the release, in great tension and haste. Some of the features that openly promised gamers had to be abandoned, and many things went wrong. In addition, the forces of employees were exhausted — the interviewees reported mass layoffs and General fatigue.
The end of the story is known to all. Critics have recognized Anthem the worst release of BioWare, shops began to sell shooter at a discount on the day of release, and even Sony, usually strict in the issue of refund, because of the critical bug went on unheard of concessions. The Corporation, by the way, has already commented on the investigation. Management believes that the creation of any game involves difficulties and always requires a huge impact. However, the Corporation closely monitors the health of employees and does everything possible to protect them from stress.