EA CEO: Here's What Went Wrong with BioWare’s Anthem


The FPS Review
Staff member
May 6, 2019
Anthem hasn't been very successful, and there is nobody who understands that more than EA CEO Andrew Wilson. He recently admitted to GameDaily.biz that BioWare's online RPG didn't live up to its potential and gave his thoughts as to why.

Wilson believes Anthem's biggest mistake was trying to cater to very different types of players, which inadvertently drove the community apart. His theory is that classic, story-driven BioWare fans didn't mesh at all with other players (e.g., the action-oriented Destiny crowd).

“We brought together these two groups of players who were making this emotional value calculation on two different vectors,” Wilson explained. “One was traditional BioWare story driven content, and the other was this action-adventure type content. About the 30 or 40 hour mark they really had to come together and start working in on the elder game. At that point everyone kind of went, ‘Oh, hang a minute.’ Now the calculation is off."

"It's off because I've got a friend who sits in this other category of player. They want to play the game a certain way. I want to play the game a certain way. The promise was we can play together, and that's not working very well. Oh, by the way I'm used to 100 hours of BioWare story, and that’s not what I got. Or, I expected that this game would have meaningfully advanced the action component that we'd seen in games like Destiny before, and I don't feel like it has."

Despite the incredibly rocky start, Wilson says EA is "committed to the game and its audience."

"I feel like that team is really going to get there with something special and something great, because they've demonstrated that they can.”
The takeaway: The CEO doesn't get it. This is this the same jackass who called loot boxes "Random Fun Boxes".

They didn't cater to any player was the problem; it was a hollow shell of a game. Great mechanics, great graphics, had the start to some lore, and the outline of a core loop was there, but there was no meat . Had very little to do with catering to any specific demographic of gamer, and everything to do with the lack of any actual game to play.

I guess unless you just liked dressing up your avatar, they did have an amazing custom avatar configurator.
Bioware. A company that still has potential and definitely has some talent at the low and mid levels but obvious the higher levels are fairly disconnected from their customers. I think most of their newer games in the last 3-5 years have visually impressive moments but there's always something holding them back from being truly great. I'm one of the few that seemed to enjoy DA IV, I still can't get into MEA(but I keep saying I will), and it doesn't sound like I missed much with Anthem. I keep hoping for them though because they do have some great IP's.

The other take away is the single player and multiplayer groups rarely mix well outside of forums. I love single player games because of eye candy and being able to be more casual with them. I'm not tied to a server or anyone else's schedule either. I really like the story content. Multiplayer enthusiasts tend to really want that group involvement, story isn't much of a concern, and thrive off the faster paced action and interaction. I occasionally feel like playing games like that but I'm more likely to just put on Doom or Crysis and go nuts for a little while. EA as a whole seems to still be learning that with the many varied reviews for the Battlefront games that are torn between those same camps.

edit: Just wanted to say that if it wasn't for Origin access I probably would never have tried the newer Battlefront,Battlefield, Dragon's Age games but I'm glad I did.
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