“EA is on probation with gamers,” says the industry analyst.
EA has made one major blunder after another in 2017, kicking things off with the disappointing Mass Effect: Andromeda and continuing in the same fashion till the end of the year, with releases such as Need for Speed Payback and Star Wars: Battlefront II. One of their biggest upcoming releases is BioWare’s Anthem, but given the recent track record of both EA and BioWare, people remain a little skeptical. One of the most major reasons for that is the fear that EA might once again include a draconian mictrotransactions model, similar to what they did in Battlefront II.
According to industry analyst Michael Pachter, however, the publisher won’t be doing the same with Anthem. In an exclusive interview with GamingBolt, we asked Pachter about the same, and not only does he believe Anthem won’t have an overbearing microtransactions model, but also that it will probably end up being quite successful commercially. “I think if you look at companies that are successful in microtransactions, you’ll see that they are either making mobile games or free to play PC games,” Pachter told us. “So there’s some formula to creating a compelling game along those lines that doesn’t seem to have translated over that well to console games yet by big publishers. I think the analogy is, the big publishers are like movie studios making these cinematic experiences, like Sony with Uncharted and Rockstar with GTA. So deciding that you like the other model, the mobile or League of Legends model, that’s not so easy to do- if it were, you’d see every company doing it.”
“So the question for Anthem is, will EA screw it up like with Star Wars?” he continued. “Or will they follow the Overwatch and Destiny roadmap, where the actual game is fun to play and the payments are ancillary? Because where they got into trouble with Star Wars was in making it pay to win. Had they limited themselves to purely cosmetic items, I don’t think anyone would have said anything. So Anthem has the potential to be Destiny like in terms of game experience, and Overwatch like in terms of mcirotansactions offered, where it’s all cosmetic and no one bats an eye.”
“But the truth is, BioWare has made several games that have sold around 5 million,” Pachter went on to say, “so I’m very comfortable saying Anthem will sell at least that much. 7 or 8 million? Yes, if it’s a great game. 10 or 20 million? Probably not, but we’ll find out. Bungie did that with Destiny, Blizzard does that all the time. BioWare hasn’t yet done that. But I’m encouraged because we have Casey Hudson back, since he is very capable- so I am confident Anthem will be great, and it will do well, on the whole.”
“I think right now EA is on probation with gamers,” Pachter elaborated. “I think everyone is watching everything they do. I don’t think they can afford to put an onerous mcrotransaction scheme in any game going forward, they need to re-earn gamers’ trust again. So I hope they are sobered by this experience, and learn from it. But I think they are smart people, so I am sure they will do the right thing going forward. We’ll see.”
Anthem is due out sometime in 2018 for the PS4, Xbox One and PC, though it currently doesn’t have a specific release date. Stay tuned to GamingBolt for more updates on the game.