Anthem Director Admits Free-to-Play Model Was Considered; Claims Anthem is ‘the Most Emotional Shooter of Our Decade’

Anthem is currently enjoying another beta period, and BioWare’s development team will definitely gain valuable feedback before the game’s official launch.

Game Director Jonathan Warner and Lead Producer Ben Irving were both featured in an extensive interview in EDGE magazine’s March issue, where they revealed the studio actually considered developing Anthem as a free-to-play game. However, this didn’t coincide with neither BioWare nor EA’s company visions for the title. Irving continued to justify going with the regular triple-A title approach, which allows the studio to release more content down the road with the revenue generated right away.

Jonathan Warner: We discussed a free-to-play model early on. It just wasn’t a direction that the company was moving in – BioWare or EA. Dave Brevik did it with Marvel Heroes , and I think it’s an interesting business model. It has its ups and downs.

Ben Irving: If you go free-to-play, you still have to have a profitable business or we can’t continue to do an amazing live service for all our players. So what would you really be trading if you gave the game away for free? There’s all that money you’d have to make to be profitable. And so then you get into the territory of being less player-generous. I think in the triple-A space, people are more comfortable paying the entry fee and then having a great player-generous model with no paid DLC, and optional vanity items that you can earn in-game currency to buy anyway.

Later in the interview, Warner claimed Anthem is “the most emotional shooter of our decade.” He continued to explain how games that build emotional connections with the players are the ones that succeed and resonates across the gaming industry.

[We might have] the most emotional shooter of our decade! Games you don’t connect with emotionally are not games that you end up talking about years later. To me, that is the delight of making games, because I know that somewhere some young person is going to pick up Anthem and play it, and it is going to be that game for them. It’ll be their game. That’s such an amazing privilege. It can sound so pretentious to say, ‘We really want you to emotionally connect to this game’. I do, but I want it to connect to lots of different people emotionally in different ways – whether it’s a touching story, or a character that you particularly love, or an adventure that you tell your friends about, or whether it’s just that adrenaline rush. It’s all emotional.

Anthem releases on February 22nd, 2019 for PS4, Xbox One and PC. BioWare revealed Anthem’s story choices “more personal.”  For now, you can check out the game’s latest trailer, showcasing cutscenes, story bits, and more. In addition to that, earlier this week, Anthem producer Scylla Costa clarified how players from different levels will still be capable of playing together.

[Source: EDGE magazine’s March issue via WCCFTech]