Anthem Report Prompts BioWare Response
"We don’t see the value in tearing down one another."
A lengthy article detailing the troubled development of Anthem has prompted a rare response from developer BioWare. In the statement, the studio explains why it hadn't given comment before, then addresses some of the criticisms head-on.
The spark behind the response was an expose published on Kotaku. It spoke with several developers that either worked on the game or are familiar with the conditions around its development. Their stories included first-hand accounts of stress and burnout, as well as troubles adapting the Frostbite engine and purported warnings to management that went unheeded. BioWare itself chose not to engage with the article, but the statement makes very clear that the expose is what prompted the response.
"We'd like to take a moment to address an article published this morning about BioWare, and Anthem's development," the statement reads. It then says it stands behind all of the developers who worked on the game, and that was why it abstained from participating. "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. 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."
The statement goes on to give BioWare's positions on building a healthy workplace culture, and says it will be looking at stress company-wide in feedback and team surveys. It also says that the team collectively accepts criticisms, but also issues a pointed criticism that appears aimed at those who spoke to Kotaku for the article.
"We don't see the value in tearing down one another, or one another's work," it reads. "We don’t believe articles that do that are making our industry and craft better."
For his part, the expose's author, Jason Schreier, noted on Twitter that BioWare's response was written before they could have read the article.
In an internal email, BioWare general manger Casey Hudson acknowledged some of the issues raised in the piece and said the company plans to address these, along with plans in the wake of internal feedback and postmortems.
Anthem has suffered from a host of problems since launch, including middling reviews, crash bugs, and refund requests. BioWare has even openly acknowledged the rough launch. Still, BioWare is planning several updates and making quality-of-life quality-of-life adjustments. The game had a strong sales debut, so BioWare has every reason to continue supporting it.
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