It’s no small secret that games are changing. With the rise of subscription services, microtransactions, and post-launch content, games are beginning to resemble Netflix in many ways. One other aspect of this shift is the “games as a service” business model, which sees developers regularly release new content for their games after they release. Now, more developers are beginning to eye this model for their games, including BioWare, the developer behind the upcoming game Anthem, who would like to see elements of the model make their way into their other two major franchises Mass Effect and Dragon Age.
While speaking at a panel during PAX West in Seattle, Anthem Lead Producer Michael Gamble said:
“If you remember back to the ancient times we released a game and that would the story for a set of characters, and we released DLC that enabled us to tell unique bits of story afterwards. For Anthem, where we’d all like to see us head, is the ability to tell new great stories throughout the years, throughout the months after launch…We can do all that and Anthem gives us the tools to do all that. My point is that I hope that future games, whether it’s Dragon Age or the other one that starts with ‘Mass’, continues to utilize this kind of storytelling.”
While it’s likely that many gamers would initially react negatively to this change, the idea of a steady stream of content for an RPG with a heavy emphasis on narrative is enticing. Done correctly, and the game could potentially see content all the way until the release of a sequel, meaning gamers would always have some new quest to conquer.
It is worth noting that BioWare plans to release all of Anthem’s post-launch story content for free, which would likely carry over to Mass Effect and Dragon Age if the game is a financial success. This isn’t the only triple-a game published by EA utilizing this model. Battlefield V also made waves with its announcement that post-launch content would be free to all.
Hopefully, BioWare is able to nail down the model with Anthem so that the transition into its other games goes as smoothly as possible. Mass Effect, in particular, will have a lot riding on it after the rocky launch of Mass Effect: Andromeda.
Anthem will release on February 22, 2019, for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC