As Anthem’s Cataclysm event comes to a close, BioWare have explained what the future holds for the troubled looter-shooter. Accepting once more that the game simply isn’t where it should be, the team now working on the game are planning “a more thorough review and re-working” to address the game’s core issues.
Writing on the BioWare Blog, Head of Live Service Chad Robertson explained that this also means moving away from the Acts structure for updates that the company had originally planned. Of course, the Acts were a moot point when the company bunkered down after the game’s release and reports of its shambolic development emerged, leading to a delay and cancellation of much of Act 1. Cataclysm was the cornerstone event from Act 1, but took months longer than originally planned to go live.
However, BioWare will still be adding new content to the game over the coming months, with seasonal updates planned through the year that they hope will keep players engaged. “These events will deliver challenges and chases similar to what you’ve seen, and are built around some fun themes we’re bringing to the game.”
For the more meaningful changes, well BioWare have no actual news outside of the change of focus, but Chad says they “will continue to engage with you, our community, through PTS when we can show you what is coming.” The Public Test Server popped up alongside Cataclysm’s reveal, letting players dive into the work-in-progress event and mode to give feedback. Through this, BioWare made the following changes:
- Combat balancing improvements
- Adjustments for minor-to-major crystal economy
- Additional types of reward crates, providing more player choice
- UX tips in load screens to better explain Cataclysm mechanics
- Final Score Banners to show how much score was gained from playing on higher difficulties
Certainly, those are all good things, but it sounds like the company won’t have anything to discuss publicly for quite some time. When they do, will people still care? Anthem was dropped into EA Access just last week, but even then it has rivals with the just launched Borderlands 3, Destiny 2 is due another shot in the arm thanks to its upcoming Shadowkeep expansion, and there are so many game vying for attention in general.
Seasonal events through the rest of this year are nice for people still playing, but Anthem needs a wholesale reboot of the level of Destiny: The Taken King or Destiny 2: Forsaken to have a hope of rekindling interest. Those take time and manpower to deliver, but it’s worth noting that both times Bungie found themselves in a sticky wicket, the core game was still attracting millions of players and they were being engaged with regular expansions and updates.
The odds of a similar turnaround in opinion and dramatic rise in engagement are much longer for Anthem, but here’s hoping anyway.