Man oh man, how six months can change the look of a game. Case in point is the game Anthem, which only came out in February of 2019. There was a ton of anticipation for this game on the precipice of its release. Anthem had a troubled beta and because of the lack of information leading up to its launch, we did not really have much to go on when Anthem launched. I mean we knew it was going to be a Game as a Service with ongoing events, but beyond that it was sort of a mystery.
Move forward to June and now people rarely bring up Anthem in discussion, the game has fallen down the list quite a bit on Twitch in regards to active streamers playing it, a three month road map that was released shortly after launch was thrown out the window and probably most importantly, Anthem was nowhere to be seen on the EA Play 2019 schedule that they released.
It is so weird to see a game that was so touted and pushed at E3 Expo 2018, that was hyped in multiple betas, would just crash and burn so hard after launch. This is a game that was number one on the NPD sales charts in February 2019 and was outside the top twenty games in sales the following month.
Now I know it sounds like I am shitting on Anthem as a game, but really I am not. Its more about shitting on EA as they seem to have completely lost confidence in Anthem and by proxy, I think Bioware as well. Note that not only is Anthem not on the EA Play docket, but Dragon Age IV (or whatever it is going to be called) is not on the list either. Yet somehow, The Sims 4, a game released five years ago, gets a featured spot. I know the game did not exactly set the world on fire, but there are some great concepts there that could be expanded on. I love flying around in the suit as it makes me feel like Iron Man (and it is way more fun than those crappy Iron Man games Sega put out years ago). The shooting is good and responsive.
Now it is not unheard of for a game to turn it around after a bumpy launch like Anthem’s. I mean, Rainbow Six Siege, For Honor and more have made Ubisoft a ton of cash, but those games came out of the gate to subpar reviews and lackluster player feedback. So there seems to be time for Bioware to pull it back out and knock it over the fence.
Right now though, I think EA needs to get the player count back up, and I think the best way to do that right now is to drop Anthem on EA Access and Origin Access this week. Make a big announcement out of it and get those player counts back up. At this point, you have nothing to lose and you need to get people back into the game on a regular basis. This is a start, but more work needs to be done.
Now if EA could just give Anthem five minutes of time at the EA Play event (Note on June 8th, 2019 – There are still tickets available for both the 8th and the 9th for EA Play an hour before the show starts).