BioWare’s anticipated online action-RPG “Anthem” comes out Feb. 22, but when you can actually log in and play it is a bit confusing. So confusing, in fact, publisher Electronic Arts tweeted out a helpful spreadsheet on Thursday explaining it all. But, that tweet has disgruntled many fans who feel they shouldn’t have to consult a spreadsheet to figure out when they can access a game in the first place.
According to the tweet, everyone can test “Anthem” out during the open demo that starts on Feb. 1. Anyone with an Origin Access Premier subscription can log in and start playing the full game on Feb. 15, a full week ahead of the official launch. EA Access and Origin Access Basic members on Xbox One and PC get access to a Play First Trial on Feb. 15 that apparently lasts 10 hours. PlayStation 4 owners apparently get shafted when it comes to early access. They’ll have to wait for the official Feb. 22 launch.
If you’re starting to feel like the “Always Sunny” whiteboard meme just reading that, you’re not alone.
The process should be simple. You buy a game. You play said game when it launches. But that’s no longer the case as publishers look for more ways to get people to subscribe to their services and/or preorder bigger and more expensive editions, and many people in the gaming industry are now expressing their dismay about the “Anthem” spreadsheet on social media.
“‘Anthem’ looks amazing, many folks have worked hard on it, but hoo boy video game launches are broken,” said ArenaNet lead game designer Jennifer Scheurle. “I could really do with some simplicity here and I’m sure I’m not the only one. No more confusing charts please.”
“That ‘Anthem chart isn’t actually confusing,” said PC Gamer writer Morgan Park. “It’s pretty clear, people just don’t like multiple release dates for games which is very fair.”
Meanwhile, Eurogamer’s Tom Phillips helpfully “fixed” the chart for EA.
The “Anthem” spreadsheet comes days after a rocky demo filled with connectivity issues, “rubber-banding” during missions, an infinite loading screen bug that prevented people from fully launching the game, and more. BioWare said those issues are “being investigated.” Hopefully, many of them will be resolved before the open demo launches on Friday.