Although initial previews of Anthem left many excited for BioWare's take on the science-fantasy looter shooter genre, this fell incredibly short when the title officially launched. Many couldn't see how a game six years in development dropped the ball so hard until Kotaku's explosive report revealed that it was only in production for 18 months and Anthem's impressive E3 2017 demo was fake.
Now, Aaryn Flynn, a former BioWare general manager now serving as the general manager of Improbable, has commented on the rough launch and reception of Anthem. It's worth mentioning that he was one of the BioWare leads that helped get Anthem started, so it's understandable that he feels a lot of emotions over the release of the game. In fact, "surreal" is the word Flynn uses to describe watching everything that has gone down.
As Flynn put it, "Surreal is a good word for [watching Anthem's reception]. It's tough. But at the same time, I know they're working hard on it. Mixed emotions, surreal – those are all good words." For those not in the know, alongside Casey Hudson, Mark Darrah, Drew Karpyshyn, and David Gaider, Flynn was one of the biggest names at BioWare, and has worked on titles like Knights of the Old Republic and Mass Effect. Speaking of the former, now-BioWare general manager Hudson has also recently commented on the controversies affecting the studio.
"Fiscal years are fiscal years. You don’t have to squint too hard to know what’s going on," Flynn also stated, suggesting that some of what happened with BioWare revolved around money. During Kotaku's investigation, it was also revealed that publisher EA would not allow BioWare to delay Anthem beyond the end of the fiscal year, which would have been March 2019. EA's reputation concerning delays somewhat proceeds itself, as even Super Meat Boy Forever's delay takes a dig at the publisher.
As noted by Flynn, BioWare is hard at work on improving the experience of Anthem. It remains to be seen if the developer can somehow turn it around, but it's worth noting other online-only looter shooters have been able to do so after launch. BioWare's battle may be more uphill than most, but stranger things have happened.
Anthem is out now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
Source: Game Informer