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

Oct 27, 2017
359
Canada
All that says to me is that we'll never get a proper functional single player rpg from them again. Any future games will feature some kind of saliciously awful content dearth in both story and visual gear components in order to force players to suckle the Electronics Arts microtransaction teat.

Want a game filled to the brim with missions, characters, and locations? Well fuck you we'll strip that shit out and spread it far and wide past the games "release" to please the benevolent overlords who want more money you damn filthy gamer peasants.
 

Brock Reiher

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
32,574
based on the tweets, would they have in theory been able to make like 2-3 smaller scale games in the same amount of time instead?
 

SuperBanana

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,658
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!!!
Years and years of EA fucking IP's and shitting down developers have lead us to be doubtful.
 

Deleted member 5864

User requested account closure
Banned
Oct 25, 2017
2,725
The tweet said "what's your version of ultimate team", nothing about demanding that extreme level of profit. Guess what, BW already did their version of UT, before with ME3's multiplayer.

Once again, nothing mandated that Anthem be a shlooter besides Bioware themselves. It could just have easily been a primarily single player experience with ME3 like multiplayer using it's monetization model aka the ultimate team model. BW themselves decided to bite off far more than they could chew, their "dream game".
Maybe you are missing the context from where that quote came from:

Hennig also wasn’t used to working with a corporation like Electronic Arts. Despite being owned by electronics giant Sony, Naughty Dog had been able to operate autonomously, in large part because they were widely perceived as the corporation’s prestige video game studio. At EA, however, things were different. “She was giving these massive presentations on the story, themes,” said one person who worked on Ragtag. “EA executives are like, ‘FIFA Ultimate Team makes a billion dollars a year.’ Where’s your version of that?”

https://kotaku.com/the-collapse-of-viscerals-ambitious-star-wars-game-1819916152

That's from Kotaku's exposé on Visceral's collapse. The context of that quote is 100% about demanding knowledge of that extreme level of profit above your game's core experience.
 

skeezx

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,467
i think BioWare more or less made they game they "wanted" to make but realities of deadline, budget and hardware restrictions funneled it into the fairly pedestrian loot n shoot experience we ended up with. EA is symptomatic with that but the same pressures would've existed with any big publisher that wouldn't pump unlimited funds into some grand vision ad infinitum
 

Josecitox

Member
Oct 25, 2017
379
Argentina
based on the tweets, would they have in theory been able to make like 2-3 smaller scale games in the same amount of time instead?
They didn't want to do that, that's the problem here, they failed to convert the ambitions they had for this project into something realistically possible to execute. They knew the limitations, they had the time, they knew where other games failed and what they did to succeed and yet they failed spectacularly. It's entirely their fault to have failed in designing a game with those ideas.
 

Vire

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,989
Maybe you are missing the context from where that quote came from:

Hennig also wasn’t used to working with a corporation like Electronic Arts. Despite being owned by electronics giant Sony, Naughty Dog had been able to operate autonomously, in large part because they were widely perceived as the corporation’s prestige video game studio. At EA, however, things were different. “She was giving these massive presentations on the story, themes,” said one person who worked on Ragtag. “EA executives are like, ‘FIFA Ultimate Team makes a billion dollars a year.’ Where’s your version of that?”

https://kotaku.com/the-collapse-of-viscerals-ambitious-star-wars-game-1819916152

That's from Kotaku's exposé on Visceral's collapse. The context of that quote is 100% about demanding knowledge of that extreme level of profit above your game's core experience.
That was old EA, new EA is generous and benevolent, maggot mouth.
 

Almagest

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,265
Spain
Can't blame BioWare for trying to survive by making themselves useful to EA and their obsession with 'stable revenue streams', they probably thought that Anthem being a big hit was their best chance to get more clout and keep making other games without EA breathing down their necks continuously.

Too bad they apparently bit more than they could chew and here we are.
 

SuperBanana

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,658
based on the tweets, would they have in theory been able to make like 2-3 smaller scale games in the same amount of time instead?
How would smaller scale games generate constant revenue though? It's really only mobile and specific AAA gsmes doing that. EA might let them develop any game they want but it still has to tick off certain boxes and the top obe would be "Make something like Fifi ultimate team". Whatever that "something" is is up to Bioware. GaaS aren't what Bioware do though.
 

Moebius

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,857
How about making a game that people want to purchase? If the games good, it will have a tail. Making a game based around loot boxes/extracting money from customers is really terrible. I only want to see that stuff in free to play games.
 

Brock Reiher

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
32,574
How would smaller scale games generate constant revenue though? It's really only mobile and specific AAA gsmes doing that. EA might let them develop any game they want but it still has to tick off certain boxes and the top obe would be "Make something like Fifi ultimate team". Whatever that "something" is is up to Bioware. GaaS aren't what Bioware do though.
Second tweet seems to imply that the reason it needed to make so much revenue was because of the huge investment (time and money) it was for EA.
 

Teeth

Member
Nov 4, 2017
1,360
I'm kinda surprised people thought Anthem was an EA mandated design. I mean, it was codenamed 'Dylan' cuz Casey Hudson wanted it to be as influential to games as Bob Dylan was to music. That doesn't sound like a mandated game.

That said, I totally get how things can change when the higher ups start asking "how are we going to make back this extra $50M you're asking for?"

But then, it's easy to ask for the world when you aren't cutting the cheques.
 

Gamer @ Heart

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,518
How about making a game that people want to purchase? If the games good, it will have a tail. Making a game based around loot boxes/extracting money from customers is really terrible. I only want to see that stuff in free to play games.
For all of anthems faults, and there are many, it's not that type of game at all. Even the cosmetic store is anemic in content. It's just a poorly designed game all around that was intended to hook people long term in it's loot cycle. There is nothing like FIFAs ultimate team, a mode where you are at a ridiculous disadvantage without spending money, in this game or even signs it could go that way. The business model behind the game was sound and simple and generally accepted (new skins and armor for your iron Man loot Hunter), the execution of everything around it sucked.
 

Harlequin

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
1,554
All that says to me is that we'll never get a proper functional single player rpg from them again. Any future games will feature some kind of saliciously awful content dearth in both story and visual gear components in order to force players to suckle the Electronics Arts microtransaction teat.

Want a game filled to the brim with missions, characters, and locations? Well fuck you we'll strip that shit out and spread it far and wide past the games "release" to please the benevolent overlords who want more money you damn filthy gamer peasants.
To be fair, Ubisoft has kind of proven that you can combine live service and single-player RPG relatively well with the last two Assassin's Creeds. Of course, those do have a fair bit of grinding so it's not a perfect solution but it's better than, well, the Anthem "solution".
 

ChippyTurtle

Member
Oct 13, 2018
837
That was old EA, new EA is generous and benevolent, maggot mouth.
Meh, there's a difference between Sony and EA. Sony does not rely on selling games to recoup costs and make money directly, EA relies on games braking and exceeding their costs to fund the next investments. For Sony to write a "blank check" for single-player experiences works cause they lead to hardware and software sales, Sony's bread and butter. For EA to approve a game that brakes even? Not good enough when that's your only revenue. I think what Jason means, EA wants money, how you achieve that is your decision, just bring us the figures and predictions. Of course Henning isn't used to that, story and themes don't translate to sales and long revenue tails.

If anything, after the string of failures across the board of Bioware, DICE, EA may decide to meddle more deeply into the studio leadership's and management.

I mean to be frank, Anthem clearly, clearly went wrong in development, and Project Dylan and the results signal toward the same grand vision that Andromeda went through and failed to deliver. (Someone else suggested this on era)

Like, lets not blame all EA or all Bioware, end of the day, the two entities are part of Electronic Arts, it really does not matter who fucked up. Saying EA fucked up and released too early, EA failed to manage the project, EA failed etc, well it still boils to Bioware failing, and as the owner of Bioware, EA fucked up.
 

Polioliolio

Member
Nov 6, 2017
2,900
Who to believe, one of the most respected journalists in the industry or

random internet poster creating some weird hypothetical backed up by nothing?

HMMMMM

Like come on are ya'll serious right now?


Of course! No way should I be standing up for EA cause EA is responsible for their own share of shit. But THIS? Come on people, its clear as day EA wasn't coming in telling them to make a shitty non existent loot table or make enemy scaling work in reverse.
Weird hypothetical backed up by nothing. Were you born yesterday? EA has quite a reputation.
The quote is so vague you could interpret it in almost any way. Anthem was Bioware's idea. You think? They made the game. Literally thousands of ideas involved.. They know who their employer is, they know what's expected of them. Do you think it's a coincidence EA, Ubisoft, Activision, all these massive corporate publishers are the ones leading the way with the live service monetization model? Bioware didn't come up with the idea. Bioware has ideas, they serve their master.
 

Nightengale

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,503
Malaysia
So they weren't pressured into making Anthem except for the fact that they were. OK.
The whole point is that there isn't some EA-executive 'faux-game designer/director' bogeyman shadowing and armchair-gamedev-ing their developers into making games they don't want to make.

But that they're there to remind and steer their developers on the necessity to think about long-term monetisation in making their products. And that they, like every other developer - has deadlines to meet.
 

Aters

Banned
Oct 26, 2017
7,948
The tweet said "what's your version of ultimate team", nothing about demanding that extreme level of profit. Guess what, BW already did their version of UT, before with ME3's multiplayer.

Once again, nothing mandated that Anthem be a shlooter besides Bioware themselves. It could just have easily been a primarily single player experience with ME3 like multiplayer using it's monetization model aka the ultimate team model. BW themselves decided to bite off far more than they could chew, their "dream game".
ME3 model will not make FIFA money. Keep in mind FIFA makes that money EVERY YEAR. If you want a steady revenue stream over the years, you need shlooter. A single player game will die down within a year.
 

Teeth

Member
Nov 4, 2017
1,360
Did they really think a clone of another game was gonna be that?
I actually think that points to why Anthem is as threadbare as it is: they had massive ambitions and most the fresh things they tried didn't work out for whatever reason. So plans had to change to salvage what they could and we got what we got.

Which is why I raise an eyebrow at the people who comment like " it took six years for THIS!?!?!"
No.
It probably took a fraction of that time to make what we actually see, while the rest was used for prototypes and plans that were tried and failed or came reeeeeal close to working but time kept marching and you have to ship something. So you hack out the stuff that was never done before (and it may have never been done before for good reason), you shore up the stuff that works (flying) and use templated structures (aka proven to work) to make it a functional game.
 

Almagest

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,265
Spain
I don't think that saying they were 'forced' is correct, but when you're softly pressured to meet certain expectations which can only be achieved in a certain context it's not like you have a lot of flexibility to work with.

BioWare has historically been an SPRPG developer and those games are not ideal for what the parent company wants, so they had to go out of their field of expertise and they paid the price.

ME3 model will not make FIFA money. Keep in mind FIFA makes that money EVERY YEAR. If you want a steady revenue stream over the years, you need shlooter. A single player game will die down within a year.
Nothing will realistically make as much money as FUT, soccer is immensely popular beyond videogames themselves. EA just wants player 'engagement' and 'continuous revenue', if they actually demanded FIFA numbers no one studio would survive.
 

ChippyTurtle

Member
Oct 13, 2018
837
So they weren't pressured into making Anthem except for the fact that they were. OK.
What separates the relationship between EA and Bioware vs say Ubisoft and Ubisoft Montreal? Aside from the brand power of Bioware, and EA buying it 13 years ago, why do we act like things like "pressure" (i.e corporate direction)are normal and par for the course for Ubisoft, yet aren't for EA?
 

SeanBoocock

Software Engineer at EA
Verified
Oct 27, 2017
169
Austin, Texas
based on the tweets, would they have in theory been able to make like 2-3 smaller scale games in the same amount of time instead?
Heh, we tried to do exactly that and had two new games in (pre)production at Bioware Austin (one of which was announced as Shadow Realms). However, EA decided to move away from taking more and smaller bets, at least with internal teams, concentrating instead on projects with more potential upside.
 

Almagest

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,265
Spain
So what's Dragon Age 4's "long-term revenue stream?" Will it just be how AC: Odyssey did it?
I'm not extremely familiar with ACO's model but I really hope someone manages to nail down the open world RPG GaaS formula so BioWare can copy it, since they don't seem to be interested in being industry leads in that area anymore.
 

Josecitox

Member
Oct 25, 2017
379
Argentina
I don't think that saying they were 'forced' is correct, but when you're softly pressured to meet certain expectations which can only be achieved in a certain context it's not like you have a lot of flexibility to work with.

BioWare has historically been an SPRPG developer and those games are not ideal for what the parent company wants, so they had to go out of their field of expertise and they paid the price.

Nothing will realistically make as much money as FUT, soccer is immensely popular beyond videogames themselves. EA just wants player 'engagement' and 'continuous revenue', if they actually demanded FIFA numbers no one studio would survive.
Bungie set out to make an MMO like game after making shooters their whole life and they failed too, except on what they knew what to do best, that's what saved Destiny at launch.
Massive developed RTS games before having to do the MP for Far Cry 3 and an Assassins Creed. And after that they made The Division.

The point here is, all of them had ambitions to make something new and drastically different from what they did before, and clearly some people are better at doing that than others, Bioware failed, simple as that.
 

Brock Reiher

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
32,574
Heh, we tried to do exactly that and had two new games in (pre)production at Bioware Austin (one of which was announced as Shadow Realms). However, EA decided to move away from taking more and smaller bets, at least with internal teams, concentrating instead on projects with more potential upside.
Thank you! I think it's still fair to put some blame on EA then.
 

Aters

Banned
Oct 26, 2017
7,948
Nothing will realistically make as much money as FUT, soccer is immensely popular beyond videogames themselves. EA just wants player 'engagement' and 'continuous revenue', if they actually demanded FIFA numbers no one studio would survive.
That's my point. How can you keep player engagement with a single player game? How many people still play ME3 multiplayer after 2 years?
 

Almagest

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,265
Spain
Bungie set out to make an MMO like game after making shooters their whole life and they failed too, except on what they knew what to do best, that's what saved Destiny at launch.
Massive developed RTS games before having to do the MP for Far Cry 3 and an Assassins Creed. And after that they made The Division.

The point here is, all of them had ambitions to make something new and drastically different from what they did before, and clearly some people are better at doing that than others, Bioware failed, simple as that.
I certainly won't argue with that.

Point is, BioWare has historically been good to great in their usual genre, but since the new gaming ecosystem doesn't facilitate that they're having some real issues.
 

Herne

Member
Dec 10, 2017
1,588
Autonomy until it comes down to certain details and we get shit like Javik being locked behind dlc and all the money grubbing behind Anthem. Then EA start throwing their weight around.

And of course the tools they provide them with for making the game. Frostbite for everyone, regardless of whether it's suitable for the game or not.
 
Oct 25, 2017
12,709
Sweden
What separates the relationship between EA and Bioware vs say Ubisoft and Ubisoft Montreal? Aside from the brand power of Bioware, and EA buying it 13 years ago, why do we act like things like "pressure" (i.e corporate direction)are normal and par for the course for Ubisoft, yet aren't for EA?
probably the fact that ubisoft releases successful large scale games, while every high budget EA game that is not sports bombs

clearly there is some crucial difference between how EA and ubisoft manage their studios
 

Hailinel

Member
Oct 27, 2017
17,624
"Maggot mouths". God damn, Silky.

Nice to see more clarification on what actually led to Anthem being Anthem.
 

MerluzaSamus

Member
Dec 3, 2018
63
People seem to forget that Anthem was conceived before Destiny was even announced, it's not a clone, they announced it's development a couple of months after ME3 was released.

EA's relationship with their studios is quite simple:
They can have all what they need for their proyect if it gives then enough revenue/pedigree. The catch? Fail enough times to meet expectations, and they will use all that rope that was given to hang the studio with it, no second chances.
 

Faabulous

Member
Oct 27, 2017
106
"This gun right here can't be shot anywhere else but towards your head. I'll look away now, do as you wish. Just remember to meet the quarterly goal of no bullets left on any guns, ok?"
 

i-Lo

Avenger
Oct 31, 2017
11,550
Not America
Meh, there's a difference between Sony and EA. Sony does not rely on selling games to recoup costs and make money directly, EA relies on games braking and exceeding their costs to fund the next investments. For Sony to write a "blank check" for single-player experiences works cause they lead to hardware and software sales, Sony's bread and butter. For EA to approve a game that brakes even? Not good enough when that's your only revenue. I think what Jason means, EA wants money, how you achieve that is your decision, just bring us the figures and predictions. Of course Henning isn't used to that, story and themes don't translate to sales and long revenue tails.
Wait, wait what? Setting aside PS+ & PSNow on Sony’s side and EA access, ultimate team and and some form of Mtx system in all their in-house development teams’ games w/o exceptions, What?

Show me evidence for this preposterous claim because I am confused as to why Evolution studios, SCE Studio Liverpool etc have been shut down.
 

Baccus

Member
Dec 4, 2018
2,498
What separates the relationship between EA and Bioware vs say Ubisoft and Ubisoft Montreal? Aside from the brand power of Bioware, and EA buying it 13 years ago, why do we act like things like "pressure" (i.e corporate direction)are normal and par for the course for Ubisoft, yet aren't for EA?
Ubisoft has a company wide vision that gets completed by the studios. montreal doesn't have much autonomy, and such, any "bad" decision falls unto the executives themselves and not the studios. They're a case of high bureaucracy taking the responsibility for the low profile level performance- Which I think it's the healthiest you can get on the AAA level..
 

ChippyTurtle

Member
Oct 13, 2018
837
Wait, wait what? Setting aside PS+ & PSNow on Sony’s side and EA access, ultimate team and and some form of Mtx system in all their in-house development teams’ games w/o exceptions, What?

Show me evidence for this preposterous claim because I am confused as to why Evolution studios, SCE Studio Liverpool etc have been shut down.
I apologize, i was mistaken about what I just said. In hindsight, my argument refers more to why Sony can sell consoles at a loss, since their game sales, PSN revenue can more than cover (I think) any loss selling console hardware cheap.

Thinking about this, yeah, what im saying does not hold up in regards to EA "needing" GaaS and long revenue tails over single-player game sales.
 

Seeya

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,603
The whole point is that there isn't some EA-executive 'faux-game designer/director' bogeyman shadowing and armchair-gamedev-ing their developers into making games they don't want to make.

But that they're there to remind and steer their developers on the necessity to think about long-term monetisation in making their products. And that they, like every other developer - has deadlines to meet.
The counter point I was going to make to that maggot mouth who was, alternatively, an overly invested EA shareholder, or, someone with no greater aspirations in life than to someday be an interchangeable price of meat, worthy of being fed into the grinder of the AAA video game industry — an industry that thrives off of exploiting and discarding useful resources like him to manage its horrible turnover rates and working conditions — is that ‘this is the game BioWare wanted to make forever’ is a bald faced lie.

This type of game didn’t really exist back in the day and BioWare was comprised of people making RPGS. It’s no doubt that, with the huge burnout throughout Anthems development, and the project itself taking so long, that the people they attracted during are people who wanted to make this type of large GAAS game, but when you consider how much of Anthem was likely thrown out and started from scratch? It’s a shakey statement to say that what Anthem has ended up as is the game even they wanted to make.

It’s the old broom and broom handle paradox, does anyone believe for a second that the old school executives of BioWare wanted to make this game before they’d left? Of course not. Or that the success of Destiny didn’t influence Anthem tremendously?

Uncharted started out like Tomb Raider and shifted Gears due to Gears of War. Naughty Dog had an exodus after Jak finished up and Uncharted was in swing because there were a lot of NDers that wanted to continue to make cartoony games, not realistic ones. Following maggot mouth and his poor understanding of things, the two scenarios I mentioned above couldn’t have happened.

And I disagree with your interpretation. EA mandates that you follow a set ‘type of product’ in what it does for them, which funnels design in a massive way, it’s absurd that some people don’t understand this.
 
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