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‘Anthem’ Developer Promises Focus on Story and World in Wake of ‘Andromeda’

BioWare, the developer behind the “Mass Effect” series and the upcoming online action role-playing game “Anthem,” is refocusing its game development mission, putting a greater emphasis on continuous story and world building, Casey Hudson, the company’s general manager, wrote on Monday in a blog post.

The reasoning behind this restructure is the shortcomings of BioWare’s most recent game, “Mass Effect: Andromeda,” Hudson says. After its release last March, many players hoped BioWare would release downloadable content wrapping up story threads from the main game. However, the company confirmed in August that none were coming. “[T]his was as frustrating for us as it was for players, and it was something we knew we had to solve in future games,” Hudson said in his post.

Looking to the future of the company and to its next release, “Anthem,” Hudson says BioWare needs to “delight players with new experiences and innovation, but we must stay focused on the importance of the world, character, and storytelling elements that players expect from our games. And our games must be designed to continue delivering new stories and experiences, in an ongoing relationship with players in the worlds we’re evolving together.”

This new philosophy is being applied to “Anthem’s” production, Hudson said. The game’s story will be ongoing, he added, perhaps directly pointing to solutions to “Andromeda’s” failings.

“It will be unlike anything you’ve played, but if we do it right, it will feel very distinctly BioWare,” Hudson concluded in his post.

“Anthem” was originally teased at E3 in 2014 before being officially unveiled during the 2017 EA Play Event, which runs the same week as E3. It’s expected to be released early next year.

“Mass Effect: Andromeda,” the fourth game in the decade-old “Mass Effect” series, for the most part was a disappointment. Many critics pointed to a host of technical issues and an underwhelming narrative, especially compared to the pedigree of earlier games, as being some of the game’s biggest shortcomings.

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