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Jason Schreier gives some info on Anthem's development, how EA didn't force them to make an online game/Destiny clone, their studios get autonomy


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BioWare’s recent releases:

 

Anthem

Mass Effect Andromeda

Dragon Age Inquisition 

Mass Effect 3

Star Wars The Old Republic

Dragon Age 2

Mass Effect 2

 

Besides Mass Effect 2, the list is rather mediocre and some of those games were technical messes at launch.  I don’t personally think bioware is a top tier dev anymore.  

 

The narrative leading up to Anthem was “BioWare’s A team has been working on it so don’t worry.”  Anthem had a long dev cycle according Jason’s tweets and the end results have been rather underwhelming. 

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9 minutes ago, ManUtdRedDevils said:

BioWare’s recent releases:

 

Anthem

Mass Effect Andromeda

Dragon Age Inquisition 

Mass Effect 3

Star Wars The Old Republic

Dragon Age 2

Mass Effect 2

 

Besides Mass Effect 2, the list is rather mediocre and some of those games were technical messes at launch.  I don’t personally think bioware is a top tier dev anymore.  

 

The narrative leading up to Anthem was “BioWare’s A team has been working on it so don’t worry.”  Anthem had a long dev cycle according Jason’s tweets and the end results have been rather underwhelming. 

 

Eh, I'll push aside Andromeda since it was basically a different studio entirely since it was a new studio that was originally just a support team and was eventually given a full game to do. And I thought ME3 was great overall, with also one of the best DLCs I've played in Citadel.

 

I've been "scared" to try DA:I based on people's reactions to the game and the overall opinion I read that many games have easily topped it since. :p 

 

It's a pity Andromeda didn't work out. It would have been cool to get a new AAA studio making games, but it's not to be.

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I liked Inquisition well enough. It's a hub-world game, where basically you travel to a map, wander around collecting question marks, do everything there is to do, then move on to the next map. Most people shit on it cuz the rpg elements and combat were no longer based on strategy like DA:O was, instead being more ARPG than anything. Since I tend to lean more to the ARPG side of things, I didn't have a problem with it, personally.  (If you played DA:O on consoles and not PC, the combat isn't much different, since it was lacking the isometric camera option that most people used on PC).

 

It wasn't a bad game by any means though, and you can get it for dirt cheap nowadays.

 

I have Andromeda and the combat is fun but omg the "space station" (can't remember what it's called) is so fuggin' boring. I completed the first planet and when it sent me back to the space station to run around and talk to people and do menial tasks I mentally checked out and haven't been back since.

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I thought Dragon Age Inquisition was rather good, at least for its time.  Was it hated on?  

 

I'm still a fan of Bioware.  I enjoyed all the Mass Effects, all the Dragon Ages, and I even really enjoyed Andromeda.  The combat was really fun in that game, and the story I thought was fine.  I didn't caught up in the facial animations and all that, and had a good time with it.  

 

I have enjoyed my time with Anthem, but I can't excuse all the issues its had.  It is a technical mess for sure, and some design decisions were things they really needed to revisit.  I still think it's got a high ceiling if they get the time to fix it, the core of the game of excellent, but it is a big hole to dig up out of.

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Having worked in business, I have a feeling I know how it works.

 

The business model required to greenlight games requires a longer revenue tail (GaaS) -- the traditional games that BioWare has made don't deliver the required revenue, so won't get greenlit.

 

It's semantics to say "EA didn't force them to make a Destiny clone" vs. "EA wouldn't let them make a ME2-like game".

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1 hour ago, mikechorney said:

Having worked in business, I have a feeling I know how it works.

 

The business model required to greenlight games requires a longer revenue tail (GaaS) -- the traditional games that BioWare has made don't deliver the required revenue, so won't get greenlit.

 

It's semantics to say "EA didn't force them to make a Destiny clone" vs. "EA wouldn't let them make a ME2-like game".

 

That makes the most sense to me.

 

If i worked at PIXAR, there's no rule saying i can't pitch whatever idea i wanted to them, but if i wanted a thumbs up it probably shouldnt be a movie about mutant killer robot penises.

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2 hours ago, mikechorney said:

Having worked in business, I have a feeling I know how it works.

 

The business model required to greenlight games requires a longer revenue tail (GaaS) -- the traditional games that BioWare has made don't deliver the required revenue, so won't get greenlit.

 

It's semantics to say "EA didn't force them to make a Destiny clone" vs. "EA wouldn't let them make a ME2-like game".

 

That's how it seemed to me. Do what you want, but have a long revenue stream, means GaaS is most doable.

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It sounds like EA doesn't want to fund a proper BioWare game and in order for BioWare to get the budget they need they have to make the game online with expansion packs to keep the interest going through the year. Instead of making a classic single player game that can stand the test of time.

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I don't really understand Jason Schreier's point.  Sure, they may not have instructed BioWare so explicitly, but telling them that they need a revenue tail and a version of FUT sends essentially the same message, regardless of what the game actually turned out being.  In general I find that Shreier comes off as a petulant know-it-all, so maybe it's just my bias speaking, but his point doesn't make much sense.

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Nearly every big game by a major developer is targeting a long term revenue stream. The idea that this pigeonholed BioWare into making precisely and only a destiny clone is absurd. They could have gone about it any number of ways, including a single player RPG a-la mass effect with a separate multiplayer mode. They made a lot of money with past ME multiplayer modes. 

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10 hours ago, Paperclyp said:

Nearly every big game by a major developer is targeting a long term revenue stream. The idea that this pigeonholed BioWare into making precisely and only a destiny clone is absurd. They could have gone about it any number of ways, including a single player RPG a-la mass effect with a separate multiplayer mode. They made a lot of money with past ME multiplayer modes. 

So what are the long-term revenue streams for Spider-Man, Assassin's Creed: Oddyssey,, Kingdom Hearts 3, Ace Combat 7, Devil May Cry, and Crackdown 3?

 

It is simply not true to suggest that every publisher is trying to make nearly every game a GaaS.  It does seem to be true that EA is trying to make every game a GaaS.

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Microsofts biggest issue coming into this gen is it felt they wanted all first party to have long revenue streams, and kind of forced their 1st party studios to find ways to implement them.

 

Look at Loot Boxes in Forza?  I mean how the hell do you need loot boxes in a sim racing game.   Even that first Hot Shots Golf type game at launch, they had card packs I think (loot boxes).

 

Halo 5's Warzone was pretty much built for MTX and Loot Boxes, Gears had tons of loot box type mechanics.  My guess is they've learned their lesson and now are letting studios do what they want to make the best game first and foremost.   

 

So I could definitely see EA putting that same pressure on Bioware, and Bioware rather than spending all their efforts on a traditional single player RPG then tacking on Mulitplayer with loot boxes, they probably wanted to try to build a game focused around multiplayer, try something new.  It's a good game at its core, but yeah they definitely have a lot of learning and tweaking to do.

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22 hours ago, ManUtdRedDevils said:

Star Wars The Old Republic

 

I do include this in the shit games post ME2, but doing the base story content is pretty great. There was some bonus EXP shit years back, and you were given enough bonus exp so you only had to the main story missions. I did the Imperial Agent and it was pretty darn good. One day I'll see about playing another class.

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2 hours ago, mikechorney said:

So what are the long-term revenue streams for Spider-Man, Assassin's Creed: Oddyssey,, Kingdom Hearts 3, Ace Combat 7, Devil May Cry, and Crackdown 3?

 

It is simply not true to suggest that every publisher is trying to make nearly every game a GaaS.  It does seem to be true that EA is trying to make every game a GaaS.

To be fair, the answer to Crackdown 3 is obvious. You sign up for game pass to play it for $10, then forget to cancel. Long term revenue stream. 

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3 hours ago, mikechorney said:

So what are the long-term revenue streams for Spider-Man, Assassin's Creed: Oddyssey,, Kingdom Hearts 3, Ace Combat 7, Devil May Cry, and Crackdown 3?

 

It is simply not true to suggest that every publisher is trying to make nearly every game a GaaS.  It does seem to be true that EA is trying to make every game a GaaS.

I didn’t say nearly every game was looking for a game as a service. Most of the games you listed are doing some form of continual revenue stream, however.

 

EA certainly is looking to do this with most of their games, but that didn’t mean this was an inevitable conclusion for the game BioWare was gonna make.

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1 minute ago, Paperclyp said:

I didn’t say nearly every game was looking for a game as a service. Most of the games you listed are doing some form of continual revenue stream, however.

 

EA certainly is looking to do this with most of their games, but that didn’t mean this was an inevitable conclusion for the game BioWare was gonna make.

 

I get ya. When Anthem was revealed, one of the main criticisms/observations I saw was, "I guess EA wanted in on that Destiny action." Not to mention the OT on this board is "Official Thread of Totally Not EA/BioWare Destiny, update - 90 Day Roadmap released." xD~~

 

I have to imagine a single-player game with expansions/DLC would also constitute a long revenue stream?

 

If so, it's possible Bioware wanted to do something different than a big RPG a la Mass Effect/Dragon Age.

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2 minutes ago, SaysWho? said:

 

I get ya. When Anthem was revealed, one of the main criticisms/observations I saw was, "I guess EA wanted in on that Destiny action." Not to mention the OT on this board is "Official Thread of Totally Not EA/BioWare Destiny, update - 90 Day Roadmap released." xD~~

 

I have to imagine a single-player game with expansions/DLC would also constitute a long revenue stream?

 

If so, it's possible Bioware wanted to do something different than a big RPG a la Mass Effect/Dragon Age.

Yeah I’m not sure. I think BioWare is so different from what a lot of people think of now. Personally I think it’s an average studio, at best. 

 

Like if anthem was instead some massive, single player only RPG, we have little reason to expect it would blow anyone’s socks away. 

 

I get the sense some people think EA is holding them back, and that if they could just break free of the shackles we’d be getting gold from them. I just don’t think that’s remotely the case anymore. 

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One thing I do have to wonder is “where did all that time go?”  

 

Anthem spent so long in Development, yetnit really feels more like a game that was green lit and released in less than 3 years. 

 

I see people say BioWare should have delayed the game. But that is not their choice. Plus with 7 years in development, it would be a tough sell to get EA to allow another delay. 

 

I hate to admit it, but @Paperclyp is right. It’s not the same BioWare that gave us Mass Effect one. I don’t even think it is the same BioWare that gave us ME3. I can see flashes of old BioWare, but that’s because Anthem has the same writer and ME1. 

 

Im still not sold on Casey Hudson as a project lead. 

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Wasn’t Destiny like 5/6 year development too?

 

I feel like with games like these, getting the engine working, figuring out gameplay systems, and loot mechanics ect are 90% of the work.   Once you get that done, adding story and content must be the easy piece.  

 

Division 1 had such little content at launch, but nailed this engine, gameplay cover shooter mechancis, then spent 3 years learning the loot mechanics the community wanted.  So they could easily turn around a new game cause 90% of the hard stuff was done it was just building in new content and story.  

 

Destiny 2 had no real excuse though.  

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@JPDunks4 Both Destiny and Destiny 2 had kind of a development “reset” where they essentially started over 18 months before release. So while the game may have been in development for nearly 6 years, only a year and half of that was developing the version we played. 

 

I would not be surprised if we find out Anthem had at least one major reset too. 

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Yeah I read that @Spawn_of_Apathy, but again, I think the main hiccup when developing these games is probably more the Character Classes, abilities, weapons, loot balancing, game economy, over the actual missions and activities.  Raids I could see being a big development hurdle in order to develop the proper puzzles and what not. 

 

Playing Division 2 though, I can't imagine this game was hard to develop since all the work has been done the past 3 years just improving Division 1.  

 

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12 hours ago, JPDunks4 said:

Yeah I read that @Spawn_of_Apathy, but again, I think the main hiccup when developing these games is probably more the Character Classes, abilities, weapons, loot balancing, game economy, over the actual missions and activities.  Raids I could see being a big development hurdle in order to develop the proper puzzles and what not. 

 

Playing Division 2 though, I can't imagine this game was hard to develop since all the work has been done the past 3 years just improving Division 1.  

 

I’d imagine most of the development time was rendering DC and modeling new assets. 

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