With Anthem confirmed as the lowest rated game in BioWare’s storied history (currently at only 55 on Metacritic), a new report from Kotaku has surfaced explaining the troubled Anthem game development history the title has suffered through. It’s worth a read regardless if you’re a fan of the game or not just for insight on what can go wrong in a big budget, AAA game.
To quell the murmurs, and the negativity surrounding the report, BioWare has issued a statement in the form of a letter on the studio’s website, which you can read in full below.
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.
Of course, the full story of what happened to Anthem and its development is something that BioWare, and its employees, are privy to.
Will BioWare regain its mojo and magic back for the next Dragon Age game? Let’s hope so as the studio has been instrumental in shaping the RPG landscape for the past decade.