It's no secret that EA isn't exactly held in high regard by gaming enthusiasts here on the internet. When BioWare announced that it was creating something completely new in the form of ANTHEM -- a game that appears to be a far cry from the developer's usual RPG-based output -- many onlookers suggested that EA had "forced" the Canadian studio into crafting a more mainstream release.
ANTHEM is, of course, a third person, semi-open world shooter with a focus on co-op -- and at this point, it's sometimes hard not to be cynical. But former BioWare developer James Ohlen, who recently departed the studio after working on ANTHEM as narrative director, has said that BioWare was never pushed to make the game by EA.
Speaking to Game Informer, Ohlen states "I know there's a lot of the conspiracy theories that EA is the one behind [ANTHEM], but that's never been the case." He continues, "BioWare's always had a lot of control over the kind of games it makes."
Going into more depth on the relationship between BioWare and EA, Ohlen says "I think EA really respects what BioWare brings to it."
And on the topic of whether ANTHEM's success could determine the ultimate fate of BioWare as a development studio, Ohlen is optimistic: "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."
As is usually the case, it's interesting to read about the perspective of someone like Ohlen, who had been a part of BioWare for over 20 years before leaving. It's easy to browse internet forums and gaming websites and have your perception skewed -- usually in a negative way -- but it's always fascinating to hear from the people who have actually been directly involved in the topic at hand.
What are your general thoughts on ANTHEM? Are you looking forward to its release in 2019? Step inside of your mech suit in the comments section below.