'It's been a long road to get here': BioWare's Mike Gamble on the launch of 'Anthem,' and what the team learned from that rocky demo

Anthem (game)

  • Starting this week, the first huge game of 2019 is
    finally available: “Anthem
    launches on February 15.
  • Ahead of Friday’s launch, Business Insider spoke with
    lead producer Mike Gamble about the game’s rocky first demo weekend
    and what to expect from the full game.
  • Yes, we also spoke about that

There’s a lot riding on “Anthem,” the huge upcoming game from
EA’s legendary BioWare studio.

For starters, it’s the first major new franchise from BioWare in
years. It’s an online-only, multiplayer-focused shooter — a major
departure from single-player role-playing franchises like “Mass
Effect” and “Dragon Age” that the studio is known for making.
BioWare’s last game
was a massive flop that damaged one of the
studio’s core franchises.

Moreover, “Anthem” is a direct competitor with games like
“Destiny 2” and the upcoming “The Division 2,” both of which have
dedicated audiences at this point.

With all this background in mind, on Monday I spoke with
“Anthem” lead producer and longtime BioWare employee Mike Gamble.
Here’s what he had to say, just days before the game’s initial
launch on PC:

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.

chart perfectly illustrates the needless complexity of buying video
games in 2019

spent 72 hours with the first huge game of 2019 — here’s what
‘Anthem’ is like

Ben Gilbert: How are you feeling right now?

Mike Gamble: Because the game has been in
development for so long, and doing new intellectual property is
definitely hard, and you don’t know what to expect … we’re
definitely anticipating launch. It’s been a long road to get

That said, I think we’re ready to have “Anthem” out to the world
so that we can start to build it out in the live service as

Gilbert: More personally speaking, how are you?
Having sleepless nights?

Gamble: Definitely, definitely.

This always happens before any launch, right? It is kind of like
delivering a kid, where it’s something that you’ve put a lot of
time, effort, love, patience into over the last how many years? And
for the people who’ve been here since the inception, and even much
of the staff who’s come on from other projects — when you work on
something day in and day out, you start to get really attached to
it. You don’t really know what to expect until it comes out. So the
anticipation is pretty high.

It is a kind of freeing moment to have it actually come out, and
then finally see what everyone thinks. And then to really shift
your mindset to how you’re going to support it for a long time, as
opposed to the usual thing with our games in the past: It comes
out, and then everyone goes to sleep for awhile, and then you start
to do downloadable content.

With ‘Anthem’ it’s very different. There’s a team that’s kind of
waiting in the wings, and they’re already working on some content
which can support the live service.

Gilbert: Without getting into
specifics/spoilers, what are you most excited for people to finally

Gamble: It’s challenging, because the demo was
a little cross-section of the game. Unless you’re going to give the
beginning of the game to introduce players — which has its own
problem of spoiling the beginning of the game — you have to dump
players right in the middle without any context. They don’t really
know why they’re doing what they’re doing. So the whole idea behind
the demo was to give players a tease of the gameplay.

Okay, so now everyone has a good sense of how the game plays.
But what they don’t have a sense of is how we grow the narrative
and grow the story and immerse you in this world. Basically, we
bring you along for this journey with us.

And then of course, you have the amazing gameplay to go with it.
That’s what I’m most looking forward to seeing: The people who can
play the game from the very beginning, they can learn about the
characters, they can get to know the world a lot more, and get
sucked into the lore and context and everything that goes with it.
Because you don’t have a chance to do that unless you play the full

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Source: FS – All – Entertainment – News
'It's been a long road to get here': BioWare's Mike Gamble on the launch of 'Anthem,' and what the team learned from that rocky demo