Bioware hasn’t had the easiest time of things of late. After hitting a zenith with Dragon Age: Origins and Mass Effect 2, each of the studio’s games have been controversial in one way or another—Dragon Age II was reviled for completely deviating from what made the original game so beloved to begin with, Mass Effect 3 had the infamous ending controversy, Dragon Age: Inqusition was well received by the media, but met with player indifference, and Mass Effect Andromeda was one of the worst received major games of last year.
Posting in a blog update regarding the state of Bioware as a studio, Casey Hudson, who returned to the developer after temporarily having left to join Microsoft, addressed these problems, noting how Bioware intends to do better in the future.
One of the things he talked about was Bioware’s inability to deliver story DLC that would follow up on plot threads left dangling in Andromeda. “When I returned to BioWare last summer, Mass Effect: Andromeda had just been released and there was a significant movement among players asking for a story DLC that would answer questions surrounding the fate of the quarians,” he said. “As you know, we were not able to deliver story DLC for Andromeda—this was as frustrating for us as it was for players, and it was something we knew we had to solve in future games.”
It is in the spirit of attempting to deliver continuous narratives that, Hudson feels, Anthem will turn out to be what players want, with Hudson promising that it will be a quintessentially Bioware experience.
“It’s in that spirit that we are working through production on Anthem–a game designed to create a whole new world of story and character that you can experience with friends in an ongoing series of adventures. It will be unlike anything you’ve played, but if we do it right, it will feel very distinctly BioWare.”
The way he worded it, it sounds as though, for now, Anthem is the sole focus for the studio going forward. For those of us who were expecting more single player narrative RPGs from a studio that pioneered that style, this is probably going to come as a disappointment—then again, disappointment is something that a lot of older Bioware fans have probably come to expect from the studio at this point.