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According to Jason Schreier, making Anthem was Bioware idea; EA actually gives the studios autonomy and more

Papacheeks

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,013
Watertown, NY
I would like to know Jason:
if EA forces use of Frostbite across their studios? Because according to some reports the animation tools are pure shit and a lot of internal studio work per project has to be done to get them even in usable state since the engine comes from DICE who primarily do FPS titles.

I fear that's the biggest hindrance content creation in a timely manner. It seems to have been a big contributing factor to cancelled starwars game and from what I heard Mass effect:Andromeda.
 

m_dorian

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,067
Athens, Greece
So, Anthem was the game Bioware wanted to make to be launched at the date EA dictated.

Judging from this they both made bad calls and i do not know what was worse:
to have an unfinished game at the launch date or to launch the said unfinished game at the date that was set.

Anyway, that hurts both EA and Bioware it seems.
 

headspawn

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,179
Anyone that played Mass Effect 3 MP could probably tell Anthem was the next logical step for what they were interested in. Anthem is pretty pretty much an overhauled and revisioned version of that.
 

DorkLord54

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,372
Michigan
I mean, no duh. We've already known that this was Casey Hudson's baby from the beginning, though I'm guessing the original concept for what is now Anthem was closer to something like Borderlands 2 than Destiny (i.e. a PvE-focused loot-based shooter that was designed for coop but could be played entirely solo and was not persistently online, where the revenue stream came from selling expansion packs as well as likely weapon crates like ME3MP), but shifted more towards the latter as both pre-production and actual development began to stall.
 

Stiler

Avenger
Oct 29, 2017
6,659
Are you serious? Because basically telling Bioware "Show us how you're game is going to make revenue for a long time after it's out" is basically a dictation of saying "We aren't going to give you the money to make a single player stand alone rpg."

It's quite evident that EA has been edging them more to move from this to a GAAS game since ME3/DAI with it's mutliplayer and microtransactions and then a full blown GAAS game built around trying to keep people paying for things like Destiny and such does.

If Bioware went to EA and said, "Here's our pitch, it's a single player rpg with no multiplayer and no microtransactions" do you think EA would have been like "great, you're greenlit, here's the money?"

I mean they can both, give them "leeway" to develop a game while also telling them that they can't make a strict single player only rpg like in the past.

It's also possible that EA basically told them to make a GAAS game in order to allow them to make DA4.
 

Papacheeks

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,013
Watertown, NY
BioWare devs have gone on the record stating they were not forced to use Frostbite.
Why the heck didn't they change the engine? And why the heck wouldn't management see the difficulties in leadership and in project progression they were having across multiple projects with that engine and have the foresight to course correct with a different engine?

For gods sake CDPRJ RED had to redo a fuck ton of work on a brand new renderer making the older build irrelevant. Kingdom hearts 3 changed over to different engine as well, same with FF 7 REMAKE.

Capcom changed over from unreal 4 to their new engine with great success with multiple million dollar sellars on games that run very well across different teams.

They used unreal for all three Mass effect games, the Montreal studio had tons of issuers, so did Visceral. Do you see a pattern? If they were not incentive's in some fashion then wtf were they doing once they found out very early on that animation tools are pretty shit for advanced movement outside of the First person perspective?

There seems to be more than one story to these issues over at multiple bioware teams, and studios within EA and development engines. It's either they were told their certain perk to using it either maybe budget wise, or there is just really shitty management of studios going on.
 

Sameer Sedlar

Member
Feb 8, 2018
209
Egypt
I don't really see the difference, given the other tweets, it is more of an indirect way of saying "make us something that fits the GaaS model".
 

spam musubi

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,236
I don't really see the difference, given the other tweets, it is more of an indirect way of saying "make us something that fits the GaaS model".
They could have made something easier to make, like a standalone Mass Effect multiplayer. They chose to make a sprawling shlooter new IP when they had no experience building many of the systems that this type of game entails.
 

Chandler

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,152
Wow!!!!!! I can't believe it takes a fucking reporter to say what's been said by Bioware for months!!!!

It's almost as if working at EA isn't some flesh pit fuckhouse like you maggot mouths suggest!!!
I kinda feel the same way after being called an EA white knight for daring to trust Bioware and Respawn that they weren't forced to make Anthem and Apex Legends. This happens whenever I bring up that when people don't like an EA published game, they say "EA forced X company to make this game", but whenever EA publishes a good game, people suddenly do a 180 and now the developers have full autonomy over development.
 

Oozer

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,495
From Greg Zeschuk, one of the co-founders of Bioware:

Q: Do you feel that BioWare's games were ever made to conform to some homogenous EA standard with things like forced multiplayer, micro-transactions, smart phone spinoffs, etc.? Did any of this make you jaded? Or you reject this notion?

Greg Zeschuk: No, I definitely reject it. And I can explain it too. The best analogy I use, in a positive way, is EA gives you enough rope to hang yourself. It was really interesting because we really made all the choices we wanted to make ourselves; these are all things we wanted to try. And that's something to remember - while we were independent we didn't have quite the resources we had as part of EA, and then we got to EA and it was like "wow we can do all this stuff." We had to be really thoughtful about what we wanted to focus on.

I remember this really distinct moment where - it was probably five or six months - we were just starting to wrap our head around how we worked with the company. And it took months for this formal period of joining EA, and learning how everything works, and when the initiation was done, we were sitting around asking how do we do stuff. It dawned on us, you just do it. That was the biggest revelation, that rope that EA gives you; they don't second-guess you, they don't say you shouldn't do that. We had complete creative control over a lot of it; some fans didn't like some of it and some of it was experimental, quite frankly.

The one caveat is at the end of the day for any company you have to run a profit, so you have to be thinking of things that actually make you profitable. So while you're taking all these creative risks in trying crazy stuff you almost have to simultaneously focus on the bottom line. The top line is not enough. In some ways, being independent I would say we had to be more conservative - being part of a big company, you could be more aggressive and try stuff. I think that's something people [struggle with] when they join EA; they do too much or they do too little.
 

Tranqueris

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,617
Wow!!!!!! I can't believe it takes a fucking reporter to say what's been said by Bioware for months!!!!

It's almost as if working at EA isn't some flesh pit fuckhouse like you maggot mouths suggest!!!
I like that this post has all sorts of replies telling Silky to calm down, meanwhile almost every Anthem thread for the last month has had some variation of a poster seeing an out of context Anthem screenshot, then getting angry and making a "FUCK EA! FUCK YOU EA!!!" post.
 

Jobbs

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,819
I think the people who made Mass Effect 2 and Baldur's Gate are probably mostly gone. A logo isn't making these games.

I don't mean disrespect to the individual devs who work at Bioware, who are clearly very talented, but someone involved is just making the wrong decisions.

Like having a looting game about wearing robot mech armor and completely removing armor from the gear/loot equation is so baffling of a decision to me that I can't even comprehend it. And that's just one bizarre decision/omission in a game that's full of them

I don't want to blame individual devs but someone who is making decisions is just not good at this
 

mael

Avenger
Nov 3, 2017
7,715
Unravel is not developed by an EA studio, it's just published through them (using EA's indie program which I forget the name of) so this isn't exactly comparable.
A Way Out, Fe and in this year Sea of Solitude are the projects for EA Originals. The games aren't owned by EA and all the money goes to the studio even though EA is publishing it.

This iniciative began after the success of Unravel which unlike what most people think, isn't part of EA Originals but what made it exist. Unravel is an IP owned by EA and is more of a common publishing model.
the fact EA is interested at all in publishing indie games shows that there's a window of opportunity where upper management sees selling lower budget games as something interesting to them.
 

Silky

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
10,522
Georgia
I like that this post has all sorts of replies telling Silky to calm down, meanwhile almost every Anthem thread for the last month has had some variation of a poster seeing an out of context Anthem screenshot, then getting angry and making a "FUCK EA! FUCK YOU EA!!!" post.
I'll be real: I couldn't care less about Anthem, EA and my only investment in Bioware is the Dragon Age series. I knew Anthem was gonna run into this the moment I saw the game but I knew better not to shit on people who have that investment in the game/Bioware.
 
Oct 30, 2017
5,262
If that's true then Bioware is in worse shape than believed. You don't use up 6 years of dev time fully autonomous and pump out a game in such bad shape as Anthem unless there is something inherently wrong in the studio.
 

Bricktop

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,517
So many gamers are just flat out dense and will cling to their tin-foil hat theories even after multiple developer comments that refute the narrative. We've known for a while that Bioware wasn't forced to use the Frostbite engine, we've known for a while that EA doesn't force the Bioware's of the world to make a certain kind of game. And yet, we're still here with people pretending like they've gleened some knowledge about EA and Bioware's working relationship that somehow current and past developers as well as other people in the industry don't know...lol. Everyone thinks they know better than than the people who actually know are are telling them different, it'd be sad it if were so fucking obnoxious.
 

BrassDragon

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,288
The Netherlands
Maybe, just maybe, Mass Effect Andromeda and Anthem are not flukes but full and free expressions of BioWare's quality standards.

Perhaps the fans should just accept that fact Instead of making excuses about a poor little studio beset by evil suits. They make baffling design decisions. They wrestle with their in-house tools and technology. They follow market and design trends others have pioneered. They appear to have a flawed project pipeline. They have demonstrably 'over-promised/under-delivered' for almost a decade now.

There is no conspiracy and you can still love them and enjoy their games; just accept that this is BioWare in the year of our lord 2019.
 

Krvavi Abadas

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,165
Videoland
Wow!!!!!! I can't believe it takes a fucking reporter to say what's been said by Bioware for months!!!!

It's almost as if working at EA isn't some flesh pit fuckhouse like you maggot mouths suggest!!!
Joining in on the reply chain for this post by proclaiming that they're 100% right.

There's more to a story of a game ending up "bad" than just "The publisher fucked everything up!" and "*One dev* was solely responsible for everything that wrong!"

Bioware has hundreds of employees, and it's exceedingly unlikely they all went out of their way to make something bad.

Not to mention, we live in a era where problems can easily be patched out! No Man's Sky is the most obvious example here, but even Bioware themselves has repaired a game post release (Mass Effect 3 and the Extended Cut ending.)
They aren't just going to drop the game and call it a day, they can (and will) fix it!

You people need to stop getting your news from gaming channels that cover every little issue in a game like it's the sole thing that's important.
 

Ayirek

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,691
Missoula
I've read this before, that EA gives studios tons of freedom and money, but that often devs will bite off more than they can chew with said funds.

I'm not an insider, won't pretend to be one, have no idea how the industry works. But it would make more sense to me that studios suffer from overreaching and stretching themselves too thinly than for there to be some malicious boogyman.
 

Demacabre

Member
Nov 20, 2017
2,058
"You have complete autonomy provided you find us something as profitable as this psuedo gambling, psychologically manipulate monetization we have for the most popular sport in the world. But total, total autonomy. No pressure."

FWIW, I think Bioware is at fault with anthem but that subtle cue from EA isn't so subtle.

"Your restaurant can cook anything, serve anything, and be anything provided it has something as addictive and expensive as this cocaine here."
 

NippleViking

Member
May 2, 2018
1,400
I'll never understand why people rake EA over the coals for being insidious in their microtransactions, when Activision are substantially worse.

Most insider accounts suggest that EA has a decent working culture
 
Apr 10, 2018
3,736
While I'm sure that's true, in practice does that really make a difference if the only way they can meet EA's goals is by making games a certain way? Jason himself even said Bioware has wanted to do Kotor 3 for awhile.
 

Nimmermehr

Member
Oct 27, 2017
33
It's almost as if none of the people who made me love Bioware games is left..
They are so far away from KoToR and the first Dragonage/Masseffect that there is no way back.
Let them develop more Lootcrate shooters if they want.. i know what i liked and what they are doing now is something completely different.
I still think that EA is at fault, but there is no way back for Bioware.
 

Ascenion

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,185
Charlotte NC
Is there a huge difference there?

I wouldn't say so. The outcome is the same.
I’d say there’s a big difference and it’s slightly disingenuous to imply there isn’t. There’s a ocean of difference between “ Your version of FIFA Ultimate Team”and a “Destiny clone” title. Ultimate team is simply a mode included in Madden and the like that you don’t even need to play. BioWare could’ve made a Mass Effect game with more than just a surface level multiplayer, they could’ve made a Dragon Age MMO, they had multiple options to showcase a continued revenue stream, and they chose poorly. They could’ve gone all in on Andromeda and made the multiplayer a continuation of the main story of Andromeda to hook revenue. This is 100% on them.
 

Carbon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,071
If that's true then Bioware is in worse shape than believed. You don't use up 6 years of dev time fully autonomous and pump out a game in such bad shape as Anthem unless there is something inherently wrong in the studio.
It's basically this. I fear Bioware just can't make good games anymore, if this is what 6 years of Bioware development looks like these days.
 
Oct 27, 2017
797
Yeah I don't see how there's a huge amount of nuance between those two situations there.

Like, if there's not top-down pressure to make a game with a long revenue tail, then I am just still somewhat skeptical that the final product of anthem is the game that gets made.
 

Young Liar

Member
Nov 30, 2017
861
Saying that a game needs to have "a revenue tail" to get major funding is basically requiring it to follow the GAAS model.

I'm no game dev, but I don't think it's a stretch at all for me to say that having to follow a particular business model to get funding has a huge impact on the type of game a dev studio wants to make, especially if the publisher you're working under has a reputation for closing down studios.

If that isn't a publisher being restrictive, then I don't know what is.

EA can be "subtle" about it however they want and call it "resource maneuvering" or whatever. I'd bet everything I own that Bioware and every other studio under EA that wants to make AAA games get the message loud and clear. Make your game GAAS or GTFO.

And I'm not condemning GAAS as a concept either. I've enjoyed a lot of games that follow the model, including single player games. But there are examples of AAA games that don't and enjoyed commercial success. They probably don't make as much as the biggest GAAS games, but surely the critical reception to AAA games like The Witcher 3, Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Horizon Zero Dawn, and God of War has paid dividends to the reputation of Projekt Red, Sony, and Nintendo.

Sure, good on EA for publishing stuff like Unravel and A Way Out, but those don't come close to having the impact that a big budget prestige title can make. They just don't seem to be interested in going down that route, probably because it's going to be "too much of a hit" to their bottomline.

To be clear, this isn't me saying Bioware shouldn't take any blame for how Anthem turned out. It's also on the devs for being overly ambitious, mismanaging the time and resources they had, missing the mark with their design goals, or a combination of all three.

I just don't agree with the portrayal of EA as a publisher that gives free reign to its AAA studios when it always comes with the caveat of "as long as the game can give us a steady stream of money well past the initial sale!"
 

Deleted member 5864

User requested account closure
Banned
Oct 25, 2017
2,725
"Where's your version of FIFA ultimate team?" isn't particularly subtle.
Exactly.

I get that the distinction needs to be made because you are always gonna have people out there thinking EA is chaining developers to desks and demanding one thing and one thing only, or else... but it has to be completely clear where the winds are blowing inside the company. If you are one of the Bioware leads, tasked with outlining the vision and responsible for a project your hundreds strong studio is going to dedicate the next few years of their lives to, there must be a certain amount of implicit pressure to hit the marks EA executives want you to hit. That shit is inescapable, and again, it's implicit in the way the publisher handles itself, beginning with who is your CEO (the UT guy) and carrying on with what kind of things are going on shelves.

But also, it has been clear for a long time now that the talent pool and leadership at Bioware has greatly diminished over the years, and if you've played those games, you can tell a lot of shit is squarely on them, outside of EA's culture or expectations.

When high profile duds are coming out from EA's other studios and Bioware both, you can't wash your hands from where the responsibility lies.
 

Pasha

Member
Jan 27, 2018
1,420
I don't know if there is anything subtle about EA essentially telling the studios "we wont fund your project unless it's GaaS".
Like what are they supposed to do at that point? Just pack their shit up and leave?
 

Kalamoj

Member
Oct 28, 2017
352
Europe
I’d say there’s a big difference and it’s slightly disingenuous to imply there isn’t. There’s a ocean of difference between “ Your version of FIFA Ultimate Team”and a “Destiny clone” title. Ultimate team is simply a mode included in Madden and the like that you don’t even need to play. BioWare could’ve made a Mass Effect game with more than just a surface level multiplayer, they could’ve made a Dragon Age MMO, they had multiple options to showcase a continued revenue stream, and they chose poorly. They could’ve gone all in on Andromeda and made the multiplayer a continuation of the main story of Andromeda to hook revenue. This is 100% on them.
Yep. Bioware probably burned 2-3 DA worth of money on Anthem. Without gaas it’s very hard to the deliver the same money on $60 game.
This whole situation reminds me of the Visceral SW game. Everything pointed toward EA’s goodwill and poor project management burned the house down.
 

Phellps

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,692
Yeah I don't see how there's a huge amount of nuance between those two situations there.

Like, if there's not top-down pressure to make a game with a long revenue tail, then I am just still somewhat skeptical that the final product of anthem is the game that gets made.
A single-player game can 100% have a long term revenue model. Case in point: Assassin's Creed Odyssey.
A game can also be single player with a multiplayer mode with microtransactions: like their own very successful Mass Effect 3, or Uncharted, or Grand Theft Auto V.

The nuance here is telling them that they need a revenue tail, not HOW they will do that.
 

Kahoots

Member
Feb 15, 2018
614
These are the something awesome happens every time you press a button people. The things they said post DAO made it clear to me they wanted to make action based games and were chasing Infinity Ward type adulation.
 

ReactionShot

Member
Oct 25, 2017
185
People hear what they want to hear. It has been this way since the dawn of civilization.

Maybe one day Jason will do a piece on the dev hell of Anthem. And this time I assume Frostbite will not be the scapegoat.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,906
They've been trying to get away from single-player rpgs and towards more action oriented games for a while now. I want to say since ME2. From the interviews they've given and posts on the old Bioware forums, it always seemed like they weren't satisfied with the audience they had and wanted to be the next big thing.