Global Chat: Grieving over Anthem’s demise

    
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Yes, this is one of the few cases wherein EA kinda gets to be the good guys.

Belghast over at Tales of the Aggronaut is going through several stages of grief over the news that Anthem has ceased active development. It’s not been a good day for him (or any Anthem fans, for that matter), but it doesn’t stop him from doing a little analysis of the game’s weak spots.

“So each player is going to ultimately have their own hit list for what went wrong with Anthem, but for me personally it boils down to two points,” he wrote. “The first is that the game just needed more content, simple as that. The story that you play through in the campaign felt like the opening chapter of a much larger tale.”

Read on for more MMO essays, including raves about Valheim, issues with Shadowlands‘ covenants, and reactions to Burning Crusade Classic.

24 Hours In: Too much of a good thing

Valheim remains a great game. If anything I’m more impressed with it now than I was a week ago because the more I see of it the more I like what I see. It’s yet to put a foot wrong, and that’s rare since even the best games invariably have weak points. All the same it’s so good it’s reawakened all kinds of bad gaming habits which I’ve been breaking with for the past year and a half.”

Gnomecore: My problem with covenants lore-wise

“Don’t get me wrong, inside every Covenant the theme pulses perfectly. Every Covenant has a strong flavor, has a strong visual and ambience theme – but together they do not form anything whole, they are simply not parts of a single realm. Whatever approach you take.”

Kaylriene: The Burning Crusade Classic

“In my opinions, this announcement is sort of interesting, because it is clear that Blizzard is brushing against the limits of what the Classic audience will allow. The introduction of paid boosts and paid cloning will likely be met with some controversy, and while I do think that the design intent is kind and thoughtful, it is also undoubtedly going to be a revenue generator and is at least somewhat justified at the business level through the income this will undoubtedly produce.”

Kamalia et alia: BlizzCon 2021 thoughts

“Flying in 9.1, good, good — and even better that earning it only requires completing a 9.1 Covenant campaign, which is something that I’m going to do anyway. I don’t mind flying being only in the four leveling zones; that will take most of the bite out of not having the Flight Whistle. I’m not particularly excited about any of the Covenant flying mounts, though.”

GamingSF: My MMORPG gaming history

“I noticed via Twitter that some MMORPG players were tweeting lists of the games in the genre they had “ever played (even for just for like a day)”. Belghast has done a blog post on the same topic, with a link to the source Tweet, if you’re interested. Such a list is likely to be rather long for myself – I’ve tried a lot of MMORPGs over the years since I started in the genre.”

The Ancient Gaming Noob: The perils of entering the MMORPG market

“As Jennings pointed out, these games have come to belong, emotionally at least, far more to the fans than the companies. It is their experiences and histories now and they won’t let it go.  It almost isn’t up to the company anymore because the fans will take matters into their own hands if the developers won’t cooperate.  And if the game is going to be running in some form with or without the studio, the studio might as well keep its hand in and make some money from an official version rather than losing what control they do have.”

Every day there are tons of terrific, insightful, and unusual articles posted across the MMO gaming blogosphere — and every day, Justin reads as many as he can. Global Chat is a sampling of noteworthy essays, rants, and guides from the past few weeks of MMO discourse.
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IronSalamander8 .

Never played Anthem, wasn’t really interested in it as it always looked like EA’s attempt to follow in Destiny’s footsteps, but also not happy that a game got shut down either. It never feels good, and EA had just done something similar to BfN so it hits close to home.

One can point out that having live games like this or MMOs means the games can adapt, add new content, and so on, but at least I can always play my old nonlive games whenever I want, even if we didn’t use to get updates or had to mail in our floppies for new ones (like I did for Magic Candle on the Commodore 64).

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Holden Nagata

Anthem had a lot going for it once some patches smoothed out its release… I will certainly mourn Next getting the axe :( especially after trying the Outriders demo and finding it an edgier stepcousin of Anthem that I just didn’t vibe with. The hope and camaraderie infused in Anthem’s story is something I hope to see in more scifi games. Enough of these depressing dystopias for the sake of plot drama pls

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ChoJun

tbh the game in itself, the core aspects and the idea was legit good. It got ruined by incompetent devs and just the fact that EA was behind it Apparently the same company(not same devs afaik) is making the new star wars mmo or w.e. it was announced not long ago, and i hope, HOPE, they will use anthem flying mechanics, that shit was the 11/10 feature of the game, could even i say i wish it was the new standart of character flying in future games(naturally expand and improve it with time etc.), yet… EA is behind that game too, so who knows, it’s been a decade and more yet they’re still the same trash company they were….

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Dug From The Earth

you need to watch the numerous vids of where Anthem went wrong in its creation cycle.

The game was never more than a proof of concept. Thats not the fault of incompetent devs. Thats the fault of bad leadership/management.

They took a tech demo that was designed to wow people at E3, and then tried to build a game around that.

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ChoJun

im not talking about half-baked half-developed failed game, missing basic reasonable systems and no content, that’s shit is irreversible stain on the company and nothing will fix it and im definitelly not praising them on anthem for anything but flying mechanics, in fact im one of the bigger haters of the devs/game since they fucked it up(having no game to ruin is not ruining anything, 5head devs) so much for what potentionally could be a great game because it had decent enough idea of gameplay, the core flying/fighting was good enough to warrant a playtrough, yet there was nothing to play and what we could, was not worth mentioning..

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Hurbster

Bioware had no business making this game. EA should have given it to a company with a track record of making this sort of thing.

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Tee Parsley

I got into Anthem six months after it released, cheap, and enjoyed it for what it was.

That said, the name Anthem became a sea anchor, a millstone, bad branding, etc. EA killed it because, well, that’s what they do. And really, it would be better to take it and redo it, under a different name and genre. Or keep the good parts and transplant them to another game in production.

While EA wasn’t responsible for the up close and personal failures of Anthem, they do deserve reasonable blame for various big picture decisions: ‘You will use Frostbite, you will make is a GaS game, you will shoehorn it into a genre you are not familiar with, etc’.

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Bryan Correll

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Anthem not dead yet.png
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Scorp Gang

Really Glad I only played it through the Origin Subscription when it was released.

They weren’t ever going to be able to fix it without a massive rewrite. Anthem was done when they decided you wouldn’t be able to dodge shots. The Hitscan sytem it had sucked. No one wants to eat damage.

Flying was fun though. Maybe built something Single player with the remnants.

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Arktouros

If people spent more time playing/supporting Anthem and less time bemoaning it’s loss it would have had it’s development continued.

However the fundamental truth these days is there’s too many games out there to waste our time on bad games. There’s always someone else looking to capitalize on the same general concepts over and over. Oh look, there’s Outriders coming along as another looter shooter with ability powers. Will it be good? Who knows, if not there’s always another.

rafael12104
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rafael12104

No. You couldn’t be more wrong about the support.

I was there in the trenches. From the demo to the day the game stopped providing any updates, about a year ago, me and a community of players who believed the game could deliver something special hung in there. There was support and even a surge of new players after Anthem Next was announced.

But the fact of the matter is that the game was never finished. And even after some bug fixes and the introduction of new Cataclysms it was still incomplete. Players didn’t stick around because of that simple fact.

And let me clear about what I mean when I say incomplete. There were systems (loot was not the only one) that were broken and never really fixed. There were issues with progression that were never truly addressed. There were issues with sound, random shutdowns, and load screens. In fact the crappy demo wasn’t to far off from the final product despite assurances that it was an early build and its issues were already fixed.

That is pretty much how the game stayed. A few things were fixed. You could finish the story line after a few fixes. And there were a few updates that provided some relief, short term, for loot issues and new content at end game. But the core of the game remained incomplete. And that marriage between story telling and action content using a hub is a joke.

Bioware acknowledged all of these problems and proposed Anthem Next as a way to launch a fully realized and finished product. And then, they stopped development. Heh. What fools we were to think that the game would be saved.

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Arktouros

And here’s the anecdotal, super specific one off scenario that’s supposed to counter broad general statements regarding the game’s population and support…

As should be common knowledge by now, most development studios make decisions primarily by metrics and performance. They look at numbers like “Monthly Active Users” (and daily/weekly as well) and of course revenue (who’s spending, what they’re spending on, etc). Regardless of whatever litany of reasons people stopped playing and paying, be they 100% justified and right or 100% wrong and rationalized the fact of the matter is they resulted in the numbers they did.

Decisions like this, to stop working on the Anthem overhaul, primarily come about because of those kinds of metrics and studies. If that sounds souless, robotic or uncaring understand that these kinds of metrics and numbers also result in decisions like DA4 no longer being required to have a multiplayer component something many people equally cheered about. People are unreliable narrators of their experiences when it comes to games however the metrics and numbers don’t lie. “We hate loot boxes…” people cry out as they produce record profits for gaming companies, for example. Does that mean all those people are liars? Of course not, however there’s also a good chunk of them that absolutely say that while dropping down hundreds on them. Cue picture of Modern Warfare 2 boycott group all playing Modern Warfare 2.

Again I’m 100% convinced everything you said is true, I’m not implying or calling you a liar only that there are numerous people like that who exist which makes looking at the numbers the most direct course of action for information. So even if you have legitimate reasons to not log in and not spend money that’s ultimately all they care about. Your voice doesn’t matter nearly as much as your actions, and if your actions were to not log in the game or spend money then this is the result of those actions. And if you were 100% trooper, in the trenches till the end, you still log in every day because of your unwavering commitment to the project that is Anthem cause you just love every ounce of that game…this isn’t about you, it’s about everyone else.

rafael12104
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rafael12104

Lol! Here is the what? Brother, if you don’t talk specifics than you aren’t saying anything despite the length of your response. The game failed because it didn’t sell enough units? Your kidding! But if those bemoaning would have just kicked in a few bucks…. Lol.

The specifics matter. In this case it wasn’t big bad EA that led to this disaster, it was Bioware and to the extent that the failure was covered by inside sources, this iteration of a AAA failure was laid truly bare unlike most.

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Arktouros

I never stated I don’t want to talk specifics, but you’re right I don’t. I stated that because a specific example exists it doesn’t repudiate my broad, general statements regarding the game population as a whole. This is something you could have easily found multiple times in “the length of my response.” Over simplifying my stance, you clearly didn’t read, does you no credit either as it’s not just sales that matter but other factors I mentioned such as active users and the like.

Specifics are entirely irrelevant. A person not playing is a person not playing. People quit games all the time for a multitude of reasons and you’re not going to have access to all the reasons why. Even then the minority of people who do provide feedback is entirely unreliable for the reasons stated above. Game developers will always use data to drive game design decisions because data doesn’t lie.

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PanagiotisLial1

Its a problem that developers do not realise the risk of releasing a game before it is ready. Yes they may cash in initially some money, but the game gets a bad reputation and when the bad reputation becomes common knowledge most potential new players avoid it – and eventually the company decides its not worth bothering further.

Sometimes I wonder if its mature people or kids taking the decisions

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Arktouros

One thing I’ve learned getting older is it’s all just people (and really that goes for everything). People get older or get put into positions of responsibility but they’re still basically the same person before we gave them some fancy title. Developers aren’t any less fallible than the rest of us. You talk to anyone of them for a while and you’ll hear all sorts of stories about how petty and immature they can be like you’d hear anyone talk about their work.

That goes as well for the suits at a company like EA who likely were the driving factor of going ahead with pushing out a game like Anthem early. It’s very easy to write off a company like EA as a faceless, souless machine but it’s just made up of people who all have their own pressures and factors they have to navigate as well.

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Dug From The Earth

If people spent more time playing/supporting Anthem and less time bemoaning it’s loss it would have had it’s development continued.

Wow… this is just awful.

First, these are games. They are meant to be entertaining… not something you have to endure, struggle with, be frustrated over, and bored of. Suggesting that people should intentionally subject themselves to the exact opposite of entertainment, when that is the sole purpose of why we play games… just… ugh.

Second, these are products. Products we PAY for. They should be “complete” when they are sold, not 6 months later. Anthem didnt suck because it didnt have ongoing content expected in a live service game. It sucked because its core systems and mechanics were incomplete, flawed, buggy, and poorly designed.

We arent there to FUND the initial development of a game when we buy a released product. Thats what a publisher is for. Buying the game is paying them for work that should have been done, not work that still needs to be done. Future content and growth (like adding new systems and mechanics) come from things like subscriptions, microtransactions, buying DLC and expansions, etc. This is what is so broken with the industry… the fact that gamers actually believe its on US to pay a company to finish a “released” game.

I rarely agree with you, Ark, but typically your differences in opinion are at least sensible and logical. I can only think you are playing devils advocate here in this instance.

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Arktouros

People keep using that term “devil’s advocate” around here lately but seem to completely misunderstand what it means. The term Devil’s Advocate is taking up a stance you don’t believe in for the sake of discussion and conversation. I absolutely believe and support the comments I’ve made here in regards to Anthem.

In fact I think it’s you all who are being disingenuous and representing a position you don’t really believe in.

rafael’s comments list strong arguments of why Anthem was a terrible game and why people do not and did not want to play it as a game. In fact he was very insistent those reasons mattered a lot. You equally are making arguments that one should not “should intentionally subject themselves to the exact opposite of entertainment” which inherently implies that Anthem was the exact opposite of entertainment.

The more you guys argue how just fucking awful Anthem was as a product, horribly inept and incompetent the development team or company behind it was, and it’s general failure to be an entertainment product it completely works against the message that it should be improved or stick around. There’s no consistency in the argument “Wow this thing is awful, lets keep it around!”

By comparison my argument is entirely consistent by comparison. People who argue the game should stick around should support and play the product. That in by not doing so their actions are speaking louder than their words that they don’t want the product to stick around because they know it’s bad and don’t want to play it (or as you said perfectly, “these are games. They are meant to be entertaining… not something you have to endure, struggle with, be frustrated over, and bored of.”). I also argue we shouldn’t keep bad things around because they serve no purpose and trying to fix them to serve their original purpose isn’t a guaranteed proposition (as Defiance 2050 can handily show).

The sense and logic is all there, once you can get past your sensibilities for cheering for dead games to finally be declared dead.

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Dug From The Earth

The term Devil’s Advocate is taking up a stance you don’t believe in for the sake of discussion and conversation.

Thats exactly what I was using it for. I was theorizing that you were doing this. That whole benefit of the doubt thing, because of how outlandish the comment was. Thanks for explaining that you werent…

although, that leaves me with even more confusion to your comment… as expecting people to endure bad things in regards to something that is supposed to be entertaining… just… I got nothing…

Hope no one ever asks you to plan a party for them

“Oh, its boring now, and kinda sucks… but its gonna get great in 4 hours, but only if everyone hangs around!”

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Arktouros

I absolutely don’t expect people to endure bad things. Instead I expect them to speak the same as they act and draw conclusions based on their actions/words. Equating playing the game to suffering and then arguing it should be kept around is an extremely…conflicted…stance.

To recap:

Internet: “Oh Anthem, we grieve over your demise, you were abandoned too soon…”
Me: “Well you could have not abandoned it and then they would have not abandoned it either.”
Internet: “OH HELL NO, Anthem was straight up a human’s rights torture violation to play. It’s existence was foretold in the book of Satan as the heralding of the end times and blood would scrawl down our monitors when we tried to play. How dare you suggest I ever go back to playing that awful game!!!”
Me: “Oh that sounds pretty awful, why are you grieving it then?”
Internet: “You can’t force me to be miserable by playing that game! But, also, It’s just a tragedy too soon…it had such potential…”

You people are quite literally mad and with your arguments.

PS: My parties are fucking lit B)

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Dug From The Earth

Your recap makes a lot more sense. Thanks for putting it into a better context.

I do think you are reading some comments from the wrong perspective, though, based on it.

Anthem is still up and running. Thats not changing. Those who like the game, can still play. Nothing to grieve there.

Those that are “grieving” are grieving the death of a possible BETTER version of the game. One that SHOULD have been released day 1. People already gave their money to Bioware/EA, they shouldnt have to do any more to have gotten this “better version”.

There is no hypocrisy (my word, not yours) in someone saying they cant stand playing the original game, but are upset that they wont get to see a newer, better, revamped version of it.

And for the record… “Anthem Next” was killed off not because people werent playing current Anthem. It was killed off because of Good business. Thats right. EA easily understood that it was going to cost them more money to fix anthem, than they would make from it after they fixed it. They already made money off the initial sales. A revamp was like making a whole new game but without the benefit of getting to resell it again. Just bad business all around. Hence… canceled.

And no, more people playing the game wouldnt have fixed that.

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Arktouros

The title of this article is quite literally “Global Chat grieving over Anthem’s demise” and in another article “A eulogy for Anthem and Defiance.” I assure you I’m not the one “reading some comments from the wrong perspective.”

The “better” version of Anthem is entirely fictional and theoretical. As has been repeatedly stated there’s no guarantees that Anthem could have been fixed to a state that would see a large reversal of user adoption/retention. We can see this in action with another recently cancelled game with Defiance 2050, their overhaul of the game. People are “grieving” a fantasy, entirely made up. The actually real Anthem game, people equate playing to suffering.

Your view on “Good business” is also very short sighted. Even if they won’t get a lot of initial sales that wasn’t the entire business model. The entire strength of the GaaS model is the ability to upsell customers into side grades such as cosmetics as well as the potential to sell future content as it’s developed. However that only works if you have a user base, and if the user base of something like Anthem is too low then that business model doesn’t operate.

This is why I say that by not playing the game people caused development to stop. To which again you can say you shouldn’t have to suffer, but then again I’d have to ask why is anyone grieving a game they equate to suffering?

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Dug From The Earth

but then again I’d have to ask why is anyone grieving a game they equate to suffering?

And again, if that is what you think is going on, then you are either misinformed, or misinterpreting things.

No matter how you look at it, people are grieving the death of Anthem Next, because that is the only thing that has been killed off here.

Current Anthem players, who still enjoy anthem, grieving the possibility of an improved version of the game they love and play.

Ex-Anthem Players who hated the current game, who had high hopes of a much better game with Anthem next, grieving the demise of that becoming a reality

Neither of these actual situations are people grieving over something they hate or equate to suffering, and its pretty far fetched to think otherwise. (hence why I figured you were just playing devils advocate for the sake of the debate)

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Arktouros

And again, if that is what you think is going on, then you are either misinformed, or misinterpreting things.

You’re the one misinterpreting things by myopically focusing on a single part of my reply and trying to say I’m misunderstanding or misrepresenting while ignoring the part of my reply that directly responds to the issues you want to discuss.

I clearly addressed the point that grieving for Anthem Next is grieving a fantasy. It was never actually deployed and is purely theoretical as to what impact it would have. There is zero factual basis that Anthem Next would have been an actual improvement to the existing game. You can imagine that it would have fixed things but just because you hope it would be good doesn’t mean it would have been.

Which leads us back to why did such an update become fictitious in the first place? Players did not want to play the game. Why did they not want to play the game, because as you and others have vehemently stated the game was dog shit bad. It’s so bad you went off on an entire tangent of how you should not be forced to play such bad games. Okay that’s fine, but you also lose the ground to complain/bemoan/grieve about what happens in a game you choose no longer to be a part of regardless of the reasons why. Your time is valuable, great argument. So is the developers time. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

What’s far fetched to me is why anyone would “grieve” anything video game related. Like you guys are talking about how horrific the base game is in it’s current state and pretending like some magical patch is going to fix everything. Why are you wasting your time on garbage like that in a gaming field of thousands of games many of them you don’t have to “suffer” through in the first place? I mean you wanna talk about far fetched and playing devil’s advocate…

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Bannex

Anthem had a solid beta version of combat and that was it. The issues with the game were too many to list so I understand why EA shut it down.

It’s clear that outside of ubisoft most of the large non – exclusive AAA developers are going to remaster and reboot route. Thanks Hollywood!

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Hurbster

They thought they could make a whole game based on Andromedas one good thing – the combat.

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Danny Smith

I got it for free off a friend who wanted anyone to play with. I got at least one javelin to the absolute max gear they could get, did all the content available and even got the PS4 platinum trophy.

This wasn’t a game it was a paid alpha.

I still get amazed when people go “it had so much potential” because they can never define what potential means beyond “an actual finished game would have been preferable” and yeah no shit it would. Thats not unreached potential, thats failure to come close to the bare minimum.

Bioware of old is deader than old Blizzard and the sooner people realise it rather than going “b-but this time its going to be like the good old days again!” the better.

Its amazing how Silent Hill seems to be the only IP where its audience actually learnt to not fall for the recognisable brand hustle.

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Arktouros

After 20+ years of gaming I have really grown to despise the “it has/had so much potential” garbage that people throw out open endedly. It justifies and defines nothing but the developers failure to live up to what could have been.

Tizmah
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Tizmah

God forbid people seeing what could have been with a video game. How horrible.

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Arktouros

Yes, yes it is. Instead of having managed, practical expectations for games and accepting them as they are instead people create these irrational and baseless hopes for what a game “could” be. People see mud huts made out of feces and sticks and say nonsense like “Well with a bit of concrete, steel and glass this house has the potential to be a skyscraper.” Just stop.

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Vanquesse V

The issue here is that they sold you a game that was very clearly faulty, didn’t do anything to fix the faults and then canceled it when they felt bioware was likeable enough that it wouldn’t hurt future sales. And the game wasn’t faulty in a “oh, whops we didn’t take that one thing into account” it was faulty to a point where you’d have to lie to make it sell.
EA has the money to make good but decides it doesn’t want to.
I’m sad that I’ll never get to play a good version of Anthem, but mostly I’m mad that EA made some shady decisions and people don’t care because the mass effect remaster is around the corner.