Anthem developer BioWare has issued a response to a new report from Kotaku that offered an in-depth report into the troubled development of the new loot-based shooter. Amid a rocky launch with more troubles following it in updates that affected the game’s loot systems, Kotaku’s extensive look at the game’s history paints a picture of a project that experienced numerous challenges before Anthem released. In response to the report, BioWare explains why it decided not to comment nor participate in Kotaku’s story and thanked its workers and fans for their support.
Kotaku’s report that’s seen here is a length one which looks at Anthem’s launch, it’s initial reveal, and teasers from years before. It also covers the reception of Anthem, how the game changed over the years, and details accounts of BioWare employees who left the studio in recent years, sometimes taking “stress leave” that occasionally lasted for months. Some sources interviewed even said “people were so angry and sad all the time” while others said “depression and anxiety are an epidemic within BioWare.”
The report touched on many more topics, but BioWare’s response that’s seen in full here was a compact one compared to Kotaku’s investigation into Anthem and the studio. BioWare’s response began by saying the developer stands by every current and former team member and spoke of the “massive amount of effort, energy and dedication” needed to make a game before explaining why it declined to comment on the story.
“We chose not to comment or participate in this story because we felt there was an unfair focus on specific team members and leaders, who did their absolute best to bring this totally new idea to fans,” BioWare said. “We didn’t want to be part of something that was attempting to bring them down as individuals. We respect them all, and we built this game as a team.”
BioWare would go on to say the “health and well-being of our team members is something we take very seriously.” The developer referenced its new leadership team that’s been built up over the years as a catalyst for “big steps to improve studio culture” and creative focus while avoiding crunch time.
“Making games, especially new IP, will always be one of the hardest entertainment challenges,” BioWare said. “We do everything we can to try and make it healthy and stress-free, but we also know there is always room to improve.”
The response from the developer closed with BioWare saying its open to criticism but doesn’t see the value in tearing down the work of others and that articles doing so don’t make the games industry or developers’ crafts better.
“As a studio and a team, we accept all criticisms that will come our way for the games we make, especially from our players,” BioWare said. “The creative process is often difficult. The struggles and challenges of making video games are very real. But the reward of putting something we created into the hands of our players is amazing. People in this industry put so much passion and energy into making something fun. We don’t see the value in tearing down one another, or one another’s work. We don’t believe articles that do that are making our industry and craft better.”
Kotaku’s Jason Schreier noted that BioWare’s response seems to have been published before the report could even be read.
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