Similar to how other studios crash and burn when it comes to providing a steady stream of content for live service games, BioWare is going back to the drawing board with much of Anthem. Its a tactic that resulted in a lot of radio silence as they put out their “pardon our dust” signs, and the developer is finally ready to tell us what that all entails: kind of.
Although the first “Cataclysm” event, which was heralded as one of the big post-game updates for Anthem, has been delayed, it still lives. BioWare is letting people try it out on PC by way of a test server, and has officially unveiled it through a Twitch stream. In short, it’s a new open world area that culminates in a boss fight, is score-based, and contains a time limit due to the unstable nature of the zone. You can watch it play out here.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I enjoyed Anthem at launch, but I was always wary of BioWare’s ability to maintain a looter shooter beyond that scope. So far they just haven’t delivered in just about any respect. A few weeks out they could have easily buffed up the loot to keep people interested, but stuck coldly and stubbornly to their guns. It has not worked out for them so far.
Interestingly, close to launch the team used to post updates on Reddit, keep people informed, and even reply to individual comments. Then roughly a month afterward, when it was clear that they were not going to course correct, they reversed nearly all of those policies that garnered them a lot of goodwill in spite of Anthem‘s issues. Now they just occasionally post patch notes on the official site and that’s that. It really reminds me of Bungie’s constant flubs with the community with the Destiny series, like an order came out from on high to stop engaging and stick their nose down. As a public figure I totally get wanting to drop out of conversations that constitute harassment, but there were hundreds of great, constructive suggestions and comments that were wholly ignored as a result of the stonewall.
Maybe if they have a change of heart and deliver more kick ass content they can turn the ship around. But they need to do both.
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BioWare is testing Anthem’s big new Cataclysm event before rolling it out publicly