Incredible things can happen when developers decide to step out of their comfort zone and try completely new things that one wouldn’t normally associate them with, but there’s always a lot of risk involved with anything along those lines, because as we’ve seen more than a few times over the years, it doesn’t always work out. In fact, you’ll see plenty of examples of that looking just at developers known for making single player games who end up chasing after multiplayer trends, whether that’s at the behest of their publishers or parent companies or of their own volition. Of course, results tend to vary from game to game, and for some of them, things do actually turn out quite well- but unfortunately, more often than not, the opposite is the case. Here, that’s exactly what we’re covering, as we talk about a few times that single player studios misguidedly ended up chasing multiplayer trends.
After having built itself up as one of the best Western RPG developers in the industry over the course of decades, with Anthem, BioWare decided to go down the live service looter shooter route, and it was… well, let’s be generous here and say it wasn’t great. Anthem was a failure by pretty much every metric, because not only was it sorely lacking in the things that had made previous BioWare games as great as they were, it wasn’t even a good looter shooter. Hell, it wasn’t even a competent one. It was rife with technical and connectivity issues, missions and objectives were boring, the loot balancing and progression systems were broken, and there was a shocking lack of content, a terrible issue to have a for a game that claims to be live service. Of course, it didn’t even end up being live service in the end, because after a short period that saw intermittent and underwhelming updates (and some talk of a complete overhaul), BioWare and EA ultimately decided that it just wasn’t worth the effort, and chose to shut Anthem down.