BioWare has revised its development schedule for sci-fi looter shooter Anthem, confirming it is “not going to hit all the goals” it had originally set out on its “Act 1 Calendar”.
“It’s been 10 weeks since the early access release of Anthem,” said lead producer Ben Irving and head of live services Chad Robertson in a joint statement posted to Reddit (thanks, GI.biz). “While we have been quiet publicly, we have been hard at work in the background and we wanted to provide an update on the state of the game.
“We have learned a lot since the game went live. We have heard a lot of feedback from all of you, and we have been working diligently to improve as many things as we can in the short term. We’ve fixed a lot of bugs and made changes which we believe begin to point us in the right direction for the future. That being said, we know there is a long way to go before Anthem becomes the game we all want it to be.”
The post goes on to outline some of the tweaks and changes made over the ten weeks, as well as confirm some of the new content recently released. It also confirmed that the Cataclysm story content has been delayed – “the Cataclysm is an important addition to the game and it’s currently a big focus for the team” – as well as the implementation of the mastery system, guilds, legendary missions – Phase II, weekly stronghold challenge, leaderboards, and freeplay events.
“We want to make sure everything we add to the game has a purpose and fits with our long term goals,” the statement said, clarifying why some content has been delayed. “When we have information to share on the items above, we will do so.”
“We know you have been waiting for these updates, and that you might not be pleased with where we are today. We understand and respect these perspectives. The only thing we can say is this – We Believe in Anthem. We believe the game will be great, but we recognize getting there will take a lot of hard work. We want to do that work and we want you all to join us on the journey to get there.”
BioWare has also promised to introduce a Player Feedback Environment (PFE) to give players an opportunity “to get your feedback before we go live with major features” – although this is currently only planned for PC.
A detailed investigation by Kotaku earlier this month depicted an unhealthy culture at the acclaimed studio and included specific references to senior staff from a number of anonymous sources that intimated the studio lacked focus and drive throughout much of Anthem’s pre-production and production processes.
BioWare responded to claims of “problems in the development of Anthem and some of [its] previous projects” with both a public statement and an internal memo to all staff, acknowledging the workplace “problems are real” and pledged “to continue working to solve them”.