As the old saying goes, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade -- and that’s exactly what the Anthem devs are trying to do. The launch may have been all kinds of shonky, but apparently the game’s fortunes are about to turn around.
Big launches are never an easy time, are they? There’s all the anticipation and stress, the relentless charge of the hype train, and gamers sitting with their fingers poised above their keyboards, ready to tear you down in an instant if your game doesn’t live up to it all. It’s a rough time all around.
This reality hit BioWare squarely between the eyes with Anthem. It’s been a nightmare since it was launched about a month ago, and everything from that darn loot drop rate to that horrifying PS4 problem has been soundly criticized.
It’s a rough situation, as first impressions mean a lot in this industry. Remember when the Xbox One was about to launch? All of that ugly business with the mandatory Kinect and anti-used-games policies set the console back to an unbelievable degree.
Anthem isn’t the first game to have a PR farce of a launch -- not by a long chalk. It won’t be the last either. What really matters, however, is what happens next. The good news is that BioWare is being candid with players, dedicating itself to changing and improving the game for the long haul.
“On the one hand it’s been a rougher launch than expected,” Casey Jones of BioWare wrote in the blog post. “But then as I think back we also knew that big new online games tend to hit some kind of problem once they go live, so as much as we tested and prepared to make sure everything was ready, we were also ready for the possibility that unexpected issues might arise at launch.”
Of course, this would be the sort of PR spin that a dev team would want to put on the situation, but the key is that these aren’t just empty words. Jones goes on to mention over 200 improvements that the team has made to the title in response to the various issues and player feedback: the infamous loot system, customization, and more.
With big-name titles that have so much potential, you’ve got to be serious about these things. Take The Division 2’s awful "skill bug," for example, and the way the team leapt on it with all its might and tried to crush it flat. Yes, there are issues; there always will be and players will always hate them. However, you’ve got to put your money where your mouth is and fix them, and that’s the key here.
This is just what the Anthem team has promised to do. The post ends on this encouraging note:
“We also continue to listen to your feedback, with more improvements to endgame loot and progression, game flow, and stability and performance coming soon – so there’s a lot more work that we intend to do.
This is all a learning experience for us, and as we work to make sure the game is improved and perfected, we can’t emphasize enough how much we appreciate you staying with us. Especially because the next stage is where things really get exciting.”
Let’s see how this all pans out in the coming weeks and months.