Anthem – BioWare Initially Considered Free-to-Play Model; Microtransactions, Post-Launch Content Addressed

“It just wasn’t a direction that the company was moving in,” says BioWare’s Jonathan Warner.

Posted By | On 01st, Feb. 2019 Under News


How EA chooses to monetize Anthem is one of the biggest concerns people have right now. Though they’ve made it perfectly clear that the game won’t have any loot boxes, and that all future story DLC is going to be released for free as well, many are still concerned that aggressive monetization could come in the form of loot boxes, and though story DLC will be free, other content such as raids could be released as paid packages.

However, speaking on Twitter, BioWare’s general manager Casey Hudson cleared up some of those concerns. He re-iterated that Anthem will only have microtransactions for cosmetic items, which will be optional, since these items will also be earnable within the game itself. Hudson also stated that the images about high-priced cosmetic purchases that have been doing the rounds are outdated, which is something that BioWare have addressed in the past as well. He finally added that all “ongoing delivery of content, features, and story” will be done at “no extra cost”.

In related news, while speaking with EDGE in their March 2019 issue (Issue 329), game director Jonathan Warner and lead producer Ben Irving revealed that in the early stages of Anthem’s development, BioWare and EA had considered a free-to-play model for the game, but they ultimately decided that it was not something that would fit with a AAA release, and would end up with them having to sacrifice “a great player-generous model with no paid DLC”.

“We discussed a free-to-play model early on,” Warner said. “It just wasn’t a direction that the company was moving in – BioWare or EA.”

“If you go free-to-play, you still have to have a profitable business or we can’t continue to do an amazing live service for all our players,” Irving added. “So what would you really be trading if you gave the game away for free? There’s all that money you’d have to make to be profitable. And so then you get into the territory of being less player-generous. I think in the triple-A space, people are more comfortable paying the entry fee and then having a great player-generous model with no paid DLC, and optional vanity items that you can earn in-game currency to buy anyway.”

Anthem’s public demo is currently ongoing, and will be live until February 3. The game itself launches in full on February 22 for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

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