Even with all of its problems, BioWare shouldn't give up on Anthem. The game is the result of many long years of hard, devoted work. It clearly shines with multitudes of effort and sleepless nights. Anthem is a beautiful, majestic visual experience that exposes masterful world-building melded with intuitive, fun combat. But it suffers badly in the live game aspect.
BioWare's come way too far to quit now. The only way Anthem really truly fails is if BioWare gives up on it, if they drop it and move on. But they've invested far too much manpower, years of hard work, and money to just nix the project. No, the studio has to keep going.
Ultimately we should support BioWare and encourage them to continue working hard. The Anthem community is doing this in their own way. Despite the banter and the lambasting, there's genuine feedback to be found amid the negativity.
I'm reminded of a recent GDC speech from No Man's Sky's Sean Murray:
"Innovation is in such short supply in the industry. We need it so badly, we need to encourage it, we need to foster it. We need to ask people to shoot for the moon."
"And if they fail on their first attempt, we need to be there to support them. We focus far too much as an industry on week one sales and so little on long-term impact. We're all making games in the most polarized and intense moment in gaming. And it can be scary."
BioWare shot for the moon, and they missed. But they took the chance. It takes courage to act, to try and manifest your dreams into a reality, and while some say BioWare may not deserve our time or money, they certainly deserve our respect.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm," Les Brown once said.
I'm confident the studio can turn things around. Armed with EA's know-how, its own talented developers, and community feedback, we could see Anthem become the game it always should've been. We could see it become the game BioWare dreamed of way back in 2012.
The beauty of live games is that they can continue to grow over time. Yes, BioWare needs to be criticized, and yes, Anthem is a hot mess right now. And yes, the game feels like a kind of advanced beta test with janky features that shouldn't be in a $59.99 release. And no, we shouldn't give BioWare a pass just because they took a risk and tried to make their dream game.
But we should respect them enough to try and guide them through the process. BioWare can't turn things around without our help, without our encouragement.
Like all developers and gamers out there, we're all in this together.
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