There is a rumor going around based on an anonymous source at EA that the leadership at BioWare blames the players and the "vitriol" they spew as the reason why Anthem is not selling as well as expected.
There is, of course, no way of verifying if this is true. That is why we call it a rumor from the outset. For a brief moment, let us assume that the statement is true, and then examine why such an utterance is so detached from reality that the speaker might as well be telling a starving crowd, "Let them eat cake."
Underpromise, overdeliver. In an ideal world, a developer would lay out its plans and then be so fueled by passion in a project that the end result is nothing short of a masterpiece. The Witcher series did this, as did smaller developers with FTL: Faster Than Light, and Terraria. We expected something resembling what those developers laid out in their trailers and promotional material, and then we were happily rewarded with so much more.
Not every organization can do that by any stretch of the imagination. These examples mentioned are ideals that should be held up as the best of the best in terms of player engagement and delivering more than was promised.
Anthem, meanwhile, is a clear-cut case of promising one thing and not coming anywhere close to delivering on that promise. They created in their players an expectation that they were fully in control of since they first revealed their seven-minute clip of real-time, in-engine footage at E3 2017. It was they who cultivated the minds of their consumers, building hype at the beauty and detail of the Fort Tarsis area, and then showing off a beautiful world as the character went forth on an adventure.
This was the first sign that Bioware had no intention to deliver what they promised. The difference in visuals between that trailer and the actual game are in no way insignificant. There are so many things missing, leading the vibrant trailer looking like an empty flea market (alright, that is perhaps an exaggeration, but only slightly). It does not matter if this is nitpicking details that most players may not notice. The point is that the nits are theirs to pick because Bioware promised one thing and delivered another, far deficient from expectation.
Interacting with the world - Not as immersive as expected
In that gameplay footage, our main character strolled outside the walls of Fort Tarsis to meet a friend and then went off to engage the enemies in search of great loot. In the game we were given, players instead select their missions or zone from a map when they attempt to leave Fort Tarsis. In the trailer, the players were moving freely with quests popping up and new, better guns being looted, and then showing in real time if they were better than what was currently being used.
None of this ended up feeling like that initial bit of gameplay once the game went live. Missions are not free-flowing, enemies appear as if from nowhere, and loot cannot be simply walked over and begin showing a real-time comparison to what you may have. Are these differences fundamental to the gameplay? Not really. In fact, if the release of Anthem were the first time I was experiencing any part of the game, I would probably be fine with it. But again, the problem is not in which way is better, the trailer or the actual release. The problem is that the trailer, what was implicitly promised, was drastically different than the release, what was delivered.
The Bugs, "Our World, My Story," the Lack of Content
We will stop here now, for this is not going to be a comprehensive list of everything lacking or broken or different in the game from what was promised. That can be found on countless blogs, videos, and forums online. The points mentioned here are made more in principle than anything else, whereas the complaints of problems and lack of content in other forums are far more substantial and demand answers. If the game is planning to go free-to-play, there is still going to be some significant, fundamental work done to make players even consider setting foot in this game, especially if they are currently being blamed for everything.
If the leadership at Bioware genuinely blames players for being upset, or "vitriol" in their reaction to Anthem, it is high time for that leadership to be replaced with individuals with at least one foot ground in reality. The players did not create this mess, rather, they fell in love and supported the world that Bioware purported to deliver, and now, are simply calling for what they were promised, and not a darn thing more.