Anthem Game Development

We’d like to take a moment to address an article published this morning about BioWare, and Anthem’s development. First and foremost, we wholeheartedly stand behind every current and former member of our team that worked on the game, including leadership. It takes a massive amount of effort, energy and dedication to make any game, and making Anthem would not have been possible without every single one of their efforts. We chose not to comment or participate in this story because we felt there was an unfair focus on specific team members and leaders, who did their absolute best to bring this totally new idea to fans. We didn’t want to be part of something that was attempting to bring them down as individuals. We respect them all, and we built this game as a team.

We put a great emphasis on our workplace culture in our studios. The health and well-being of our team members is something we take very seriously. We have built a new leadership team over the last couple of years, starting with Casey Hudson as our GM in 2017, which has helped us make big steps to improve studio culture and our creative focus. We hear the criticisms that were raised by the people in the piece today, and we’re looking at that alongside feedback that we receive in our internal team surveys. We put a lot of focus on better planning to avoid “crunch time,” and it was not a major topic of feedback in our internal postmortems. Making games, especially new IP, will always be one of the hardest entertainment challenges. We do everything we can to try and make it healthy and stress-free, but we also know there is always room to improve.

As a studio and a team, we accept all criticisms that will come our way for the games we make, especially from our players. The creative process is often difficult. The struggles and challenges of making video games are very real. But the reward of putting something we created into the hands of our players is amazing. People in this industry put so much passion and energy into making something fun. We don’t see the value in tearing down one another, or one another’s work. We don’t believe articles that do that are making our industry and craft better.

Our full focus is on our players and continuing to make Anthem everything it can be for our community. Thank you to our fans for your support – we do what we do for you.

Anthem – Post Launch Update

Whew.  How’s everyone doing out there?  It’s been a wild ride these last few weeks.  On the one hand it’s been a rougher launch than expected.  But then as I think back we also knew that big new online games tend to hit some kind of problem once they go live, so as much as we tested and prepared to make sure everything was ready, we were also ready for the possibility that unexpected issues might arise at launch.  And we continue to be committed to responding to them.

We launched a game that so many of you tell us is really fun at its core, but we also had a degree of issues that did not reveal themselves until we were operating at the scale of millions of players.  We were of course very disappointed about that, as were many of you.  I’ve been in there playing with you since those early days (I’m a Ranger in Edmonton Oilers colors!) and it makes me sad to hear about any issues that would hold someone back from fully enjoying the game.  I take that very personally, and it’s been our top priority to get improvements out to you in the fastest, safest way.

Combat Balance Meeting in Austin

In these first few weeks, our Live team has worked hard on that, delivering over 200 improvements through patches and live updates, across stability, loot and progression, customization, and more.

We also continue to listen to your feedback, with more improvements to endgame loot and progression, game flow, and stability and performance coming soon – so there’s a lot more work that we intend to do.  This is all a learning experience for us, and as we work to make sure the game is improved and perfected, we can’t emphasize enough how much we appreciate you staying with us.  Especially because the next stage is where things really get exciting.

The Story is Just Beginning

As we move through this most difficult period of launching a new game and IP, we are also working on the things that will really show what Anthem is capable of – a series of world events, new story content, and new features, that all build towards the Cataclysm later this spring.

But we understand there is skepticism out there.  We hear the criticisms and doubts.  But we’ll keep going anyway, working hard every day on Anthem – an ever-changing world, constantly improving and growing, and supported well into the future by our team of passionate developers.

With Anthem we’re trying something a little different than we’ve done before.  And likewise our upcoming games will be different from Anthem.  But with everything we do, we focus on staying true to our mission, creating worlds that inspire you to become the hero of your own story.  So what’s most important to us is you, the players who have supported us in this journey.  And we’re excited to prove that with Anthem, the best is yet to come.

Casey

Anthem – our Live Service begins

Hello again Anthem Community!

Today’s world-wide launch marks a big milestone for Anthem. Here at BioWare, we’re excited, and at the same time a little anxious.

Coming off our Early Access period, we understand that we have lots of work ahead of us to continue to improve the game. As a Live Service team, a core tenet for us is listening hard to the community. We use that insight to fix issues and make Quality of Life fixes to the game. Our most recent patch – the one you are playing now — reflects your feedback. You can see the list of changes here. Many came from listening to you. Beyond that, we have a growing list of improvements we’re evaluating for the future. You’ll start seeing the next of those this coming week.

While launch is our most significant step yet, it is also just the first of many in fulfilling our long-term vision for the game.

I look at today from two perspectives. As a gamer, I’m excited by what we’ve created with Anthem and the promise it carries for a long future behind the game’s lush world, immersive lore, rich characters, and core gameplay. As a developer, I know we’ve worked hard to strike a balance of engaging BioWare story combined with fun action-gameplay and multi-player progression; I also know how much more we want to bring to the game.

Anthem’s launch represents a commitment we’re making to you: we’re just getting started.

We shared a preview of our Live Service calendar 2 weeks ago. Today, I’m excited to share our first 90-day roadmap. It includes more insight on what we are planning for the game and the community. We’ll be talking in more detail about this roadmap in upcoming streams and social media.

We also commit to sharing updates with you frequently and consistently. I look forward to hearing more of your feedback on our plans and the game overall.

I’ll close by welcoming you to the game and thanking you for your support and feedback thus far. This is just the start of a rich Live Service we’ll be creating together. See you in game.

Stronger Together!

Chad

Onward to Launch!

Greetings to our Anthem Community!

I’m thrilled to share that our public demo weekend exceeded our expectations. Operationally, things were super smooth – our war rooms were tranquil this weekend, which is exactly how we like them.

Most importantly, your response was again overwhelmingly positive. We had more than 40M hours of play in the game across our two demo weekends. That’s incredible! We hope you all enjoyed the small taste of what’s to come with the full game. As developers, we remain humbled by your positive response to what we’ve built. Thank you so much for your support!

Of the many cool things we’ve seen from the community, the creativity around Javelin customizations has been mind-blowing. So many favorites, but here are several that caught our eyes:

(credit: @lrelique)

(credit @AnthemGameHQ)

(credit @berhgain38)

(credit @Verne_Lotts )

Our focus now shifts 100% to launch and beyond. Our development team is hard at work on finalizing our launch builds and beginning our countdown preparations. As I’ve mentioned previously, the launch version of the game has a long list of updates and improvements that were not in the demo builds.  And, of course, launch will be the first time our community has access to the full game with all content.

There’s so much more than you saw in the demo and we can’t wait for you to play it. We’re also very hard at work on exciting post-launch content. You saw a small glimpse of it in the game Sunday.  We’ll have much more to share on that soon.

Onward! Stronger Together!

Chad

Hello Anthem Community!

Hello Anthem Community!

Thanks for being here!

We’re hard at work to be ready for our public demo weekend, starting tomorrow, 2/1. This week has been focused on improving the player experience in the demo – that focus was based on our learnings and your feedback. For those of you that played last weekend, you should see significant improvement in multiple areas over last week.

While we are confident that these changes will improve this weekend’s experience for players, we’re also cognizant that we may see recurring and new issues. Our team will again be working around the clock to deal with any problems that arise so that all players can enjoy the game.  As always, you can use Answers HQ for help.

Our ongoing scale testing this week has gone well. We’re confident we are ready for the load we will see. Like last weekend, we will be prepared with more server capacity than we anticipate will be needed. However, predicting player numbers – particularly for a new game like Anthem in its first open public weekend – is very difficult.  If more players decide to try the game than we anticipate, we also have systems in place to control entry rates of incoming players. This is to ensure players in the game are having uninterrupted fun and to give us time to increase capacity.  If you encounter this situation, we hope you’ll be patient with us and try again later. We’ll have messaging on our servers on our server status page.

I mentioned earlier in the week that we’ve also been preparing for many weeks for our full launch. That version of the game already has a long list of things that are already fixed that did not make our demo weekends. It includes:

  • Further performance Improvements
  • Additional stability fixes
  • Fixes to inscriptions showing up incorrectly
  • Fixes to inscriptions from other Javelins being chosen
  • Fixes to disappearing customization settings
  • Fixes to XP gain behavior
  • Audio improvements
  • Improvements to PC controls, including flight and aiming
  • A Social Hub: The Launch Bay
  • And a few thousand more (literally)…

One additional comment based on what we’ve been asked on Twitter.  If you are a returning VIP demo player, you’ll keep your progression from VIP weekend. That includes your Javelins, pilot level, and all gear, weapons, and customizations.

I hope to see everyone in the game starting Friday. Lastly, please be kind to the grabbits!

Stronger Together!

Chad