Anthem, the latest game from venerated developer BioWare, hasn't been able to catch a break. From a troubled development to lackluster returns, EA's would-be franchise starter has failed to lift off in any meaningful way. But CEO Andrew Wilson hasn't given up hope quite yet.
"IP lives for generations, and runs in these seven to ten year cycles," Wilson told Game Industry. "So, if I think about Anthem on a seven to ten year cycle, it may not have had the start that many of us wanted, including our players."
However, Wilson also admitted that should Anthem continue to flounder, EA might clip its wings sooner rather than later. He stated that the company "might not invest further" if the game didn't "prove compelling for people."
Wilson went on to lay the blame for Anthem's disappointing performance on generational differences. "There are kids today who are 12 years old, who weren't around when Bioware started making games... and they have different expectations of what a Bioware game should be in the context of the world they've grown up in."
From these statements, it seems as though Wilson hasn't entirely given up hope on Anthem quite yet. Which makes sense, considering that Anthem only launched in February. From where Wilson stands, it's a relatively recent game, and using titles like Destiny as an example, a recovery may seem possible with a little bit of development know-how and market research.
In practice, however? Anthem making a total recovery seems like a daunting prospect. People in the mood for looting and shooting have games like Destiny 2, with two years' worth of content under its belt and a thriving playerbase, and upcoming surefire hits like Borderlands 3.
There's also the factor of Anthem's tumultuous development to contend with. With most of the core staff seemingly gone, the onus would be placed on people who haven't been with the game for its entire lifecycle. That makes the whole idea a bit of a dicey proposition.
However, at the end of the day, it seems like BioWare fans don't have a reason to totally despair just yet. EA is making it known that they haven't given up just yet. Whether this is a PR spin or a genuine effort remains to be seen, but for now, Anthem is still being cleared for liftoff.