Anthem Producer: Mass Effect: Andromeda Never Had a Good Foundation to Support Long-Term Plans

Anthem's post-launch content is baked into the game's DNA.

News by Matt Kim, .

At PAX West, the team from BioWare held a panel that went in-depth into Anthem's single-player experience. But Anthem being a live-service game means that the full Anthem experience will differ from what BioWare fans might previously be used to. There are some questions about what we can expect out of the box at launch, but the live nature means that what comes in the box is just the start.

"I feel that there is a good, valuable game that you're getting for 60 dollars–or for whatever a game cost these days–at launch that is worth the money," says Anthem executive producer Mark Darrah. "You would be able to play for months and months. Even if we weren't then layering a live service on top of it. So, I think it's an excellent value right off the start. You know, four Exosuits, a complete story. So, both I think it's a complete package but it's also the starting line of an experience as well."

And because it's a live service game, post-launch content will be released at a regular clip. Something Anthem lead producer Mike Gamble says is "the big thing" about Anthem.

"We don't have to wait for full expansions anymore like our previous games, let alone other games in the [live service] space," says Gamble. "If you look at Dragon Age or Mass Effect you'd have to wait three, four, five, six months sometimes between big updates. We don't have to abide by that anymore. We can actually, week-over-week, trickle out content."

Mass Effect: Andromeda

Which is good because the last game Gamble mentioned, Mass Effect, had a pretty dramatic post-launch for its last entry. Mass Effect: Andromeda, if you recall, saw its post-launch DLC plans scuttled in the wake of poor sales and mixed critical reception. But since Anthem is a live service, post-launch content is baked into the design, and won't face any similar drama since Anthem, as a live service game, erases the line between launch and post-launch.

"I can speak conclusively when it comes to Andromeda, the [post-launch] plans were never in place the way that they are for Anthem," revealed Gamble. "The systems and tools weren't in place to support the long-term plans, it was never like [Anthem]—never had a good, solid foundation to start from with that. Where with Anthem [post-launch] is a part of it. The job does not end on February 22. It only begins for us, really."

We'll have a complete interview with Mark and Mike going up later today where we discuss all the details behind Anthem's single-player mode, and how the shared world affects (or maybe doesn't?) the story players will encounter in BioWare's ambitious live service game.

In the meantime, Anthem is out on February 22, 2019 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Check out our complete Anthem guide for previews, trailers, and news.

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Comments 6

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  • Avatar for Fourfoldroot #1 Fourfoldroot 2 months ago
    The thing is, this is done to get more money for less product and work long term. Sure you'll get free content, but also bigger expansions that mostly run with the same assets in the same world with the same controls and gameplay loop etc. It's basically the Destiny model. They'll just scrap player progress at some point with an update and new content drop, then to keep playing the game effectively you'll have to pay up.Edited September 2018 by Fourfoldroot
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  • Avatar for not_themilkybarkid #2 not_themilkybarkid 2 months ago
    Andromeda clearly had plans in place, with big obvious hooks for DLC about the missing Quarian ark flagged up in the end game. But EA binned those plans. :(
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  • Avatar for Ohoni #3 Ohoni 2 months ago
    How come Andreomeda didn't have a "good solid foundation for post launch" when Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age Inquisition did?
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  • Avatar for riot-50 #4 riot-50 2 months ago
    "I feel that there is a good, valuable game that you're getting for 60 dollars–or for whatever a game cost these days–at launch that is worth the money,"

    Does the executive producer not know how much games cost these days? Or is he setting up a convenient out for when people are mad about what they are actually getting for their money?
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  • Avatar for CheekyRobo #5 CheekyRobo 2 months ago
    Nobody should be talking about DLC and “post-launch” content as if it’s the most important thing about a game. It’s not. The game is the most important thing about a game.

    And secondly DLC is always worse value than the core game, deliberately and by design. Higher profit margin. This should make it suspicious, yet, gamers act like DLC is the measure of a game. And it determines how much they love a game.

    Also the trend for worshipping DLC and updates is connected to the fact that games aren’t regularly released in a sub-par unfinished bug-ridden state now. This was never the case in the past.

    It’s like getting excited if a movie blu-ray has (paid!) special features on the disc.
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  • Avatar for camchow #6 camchow 2 months ago
    I've said it before and I'll say it again, it's a goddamn awful shame what EA did with Andromeda. The game was fun, had a lot of potential, but was so terribly rushed that it's no surprise how bad of shape it was in when it launched. I loved my time with it despite its many many flaws.
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