This kind of dissent is the cost of transparency, apparently.
To say that EA and BioWare’s Anthem has had a rough time of it would be putting it lightly. The game got mauled critically, prompting discourse on exactly what caused BioWare to fall this far from its apex, and seems to have underperformed in terms of sales as well. Players have expressed dissatisfaction at a game that, while conceptually appealing, and featuring good minute to minute gameplay, has no meat to the bones—a proof of concept, not a game.
The baffling thing is that there seemed to be a lot more to the game when it was first shown off—enough that is not in the final game. This, of course, has prompted cries among players who claim that BioWare misrepresented the game, including one on the Anthem subreddit, which prompted a response from the game’s lead producer Ben Irving.
Speaking on Reddit, Irving noted that BioWare wasn’t dishonest, but rather made the opposite mistake—they were too transparent along the development of the game. Things change along game development, so a lot of what they showed was not representative of the final product.
“The short answer is that the cost of transparency is things change,” he said. “We did our best to be transparent on the journey to going live but with that we knew things would be different in some situations. Sometimes people would be happy and sometimes they would be upset. It’s the cost of transparency.
“To elaborate – game development is full of change. There are a million reasons why you set out with an idea and it evolves over time. This is common in every game. We shared as much as we could. Some things change. So the cost of transparency is that some things we said become not true, not because someone was dishonest but because it changed over the course of development.”
While I empathize and agree with the sentiment, one would also assume that such transparency would also have intimated players of these changes, and allowed them to adjust their expectations accordingly. And yet, that is not what seems to have happened.
Anthem is available now on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.