Over the last several years, even more so in the last two, more and more of our favourite developers have been moving on to different projects away from BioWare. Some of these names have been with the studio for over 17 years and have been a part of the company's more memorable titles (forever sobbing over Mass Effect and Dragon Age.) After the controversy surrounding Mass Effect Andromeda post-launch and the eventual cancellation of the game's DLC, the future of BioWare has been cast under a shadow of doubt, causing long-time fans to worry about what the future will bring. Luckily, one former dev is easing some of those worries.
Former Senior Designer James Ohlen recently sat down with Game Informer to talk about the company and their latest IP, Anthem. After 22 years with BioWare, it's safe to say that Ohlen knows a thing or two about how the company runs and with his own work on the upcoming online action-RPG before his departure, it's interesting to get his hot take.
For those worried that if Anthem fails, so shall BioWare, Ohlen had this to say:
"No. The more success that a studio has, the more freedom and resources that it has, so obviously BioWare wants to have success with Anthem because that will be good for the studio as a whole. However, I think EA is looking for BioWare to be a long-term part of the company. I think EA really respects what BioWare brings to it."
He added, "BioWare is a lot different than all the other aspects of its business, so, even if Anthem doesn't do as well – and I think it's going to be great – but if it doesn't do gangbusters I don't think that's the end of BioWare. I think it will simply be a chance for BioWare to learn some lessons and apply it to the next game that comes out."
That's not to say he wants it to fail, quite the opposite in fact. Additionally, the dev said that players will be quite surprised by what the new IP has to offer, "Just for those people worried, I know that Anthem is looking amazing. I think people will be very surprised when Anthem comes out next year at what they've been able to do with that game. It's got some incredibly talented people working on it, and it's going to be a great experience."
After my own hands on time with the game at this year's E3, I have no doubt that many doubters will have those concerns absolved. Everyone will be able to see for themselves when Anthem drops on Xbox One, PS4, and PC on February 22nd, 2019.