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‘Anthem’ Still Broken, EA Says 24 Hours After Reporting it Fixed

About 24 hours after assuring fans that the main issues impacting the VIP demo for “Anthem” were resolved, Electronic Arts is now saying that it is continuing to work to fix those same issues.

“We are continuing to track current issues for the Anthem VIP Demo and the team is working very diligently to quickly resolve them,” according to EA’s support site.

Existing issues include the two chief complaints that have been limiting access to the demo: An infinite loading screen when launching the game or entering an expedition and the inability to get past the “Anthem” title screen.

The company says it has mitigated or resolved other issues including “rubber-banding” during missions and free roam, a second javelin not unlocking when you reach level 12 and some access issues for console users.

The rubber banding was fixed to some degree after EA “identified problems in our infrastructure that were causing some rubber banding. We have already made changes to our back end to improve the performance and will continue to do so over the weekend.”

In a separate post on Saturday, Bioware’s head of live services Chad Robertson said that Friday was “rocky” and outlined what EA believes happened which, he said, wasn’t caused by under planning for server capacity.

“We’ve been testing the entire game and platform for several months, but there were a few things we missed; real-world play frequently leads to unexpected issues. Before I share details on this and what we’re still facing, I want to dispel one comment we’ve seen: that we under-planned for server capacity. To ensure stability, we intended to manage our servers to match the player population as it grew. Overall, we had excess capacity prepared for population increases, and continue to do so. That said, what’s important is that all parts of the game work as designed to meet players’ needs, and that did not happen in the opening hours.”

The issues were caused by a number of things, broken down into three primary areas:

Platform connections – this was caused by the spike in players entering the game when we opened up. Unfortunately, these issues did not present themselves during our internal testing. Investigations are ongoing, and we will continue to apply fixes throughout the weekend.

Entitlements – these are account flags that grant players things like their pre-order incentives and demo access. During the demo weekend, we identified a bug where VIP players with a specific combination of entitlements were being blocked from accessing the demo. We believe we’ve resolved most of these, but have additional cases we are addressing.

“Infinite loads” – this is occurring for some players, particularly when they transition from Fort Tarsis to an expedition. We saw this only in isolated cases during internal testing and believed it was resolved. Unfortunately, the problem is exacerbated in the real-world where differences with player’s ISPs and home networks introduce new behavior.

Robertson went on to say the team continues to work on solutions and then shared some numbers. “Anthem” had more than 300,000 concurrent viewers on Twitch with more than 100 million minutes watched, he said.

“We appreciate everyone’s patience and sincerely apologize for those who have had issues getting into the game.,” he wrote. “As a token of appreciation for your enthusiasm and any issues you encountered, we’re giving everyone who participated in the VIP demo weekend an additional new vinyl at launch.”

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