“Back in 2012 when we first conceived of Anthem (then codenamed DYLAN), we wanted to create a whole new fictional universe, full of BioWare quality story and character,” wrote Hudson. “We also wanted it to be an experience you could share with friends, and to have a story that doesn’t just come to an end, but takes place in a world where things are happening right now.”
Hudson went on to discuss the challenges attached to releasing “Anthem,” acknowledging fans’ reactions and skepticism to a possible narrative in an online game, as “the nature” of online multiplayer titles ends up fighting “story agency” as well as the interpersonal relationships between characters. Hudson admitted that the team designed “Anthem” in an attempt to address these specific challenges by trying new and different things, integrating multiplayer missions and single-player story and character into a “connective narrative experience.”
The game is set to launch with “a ton of content,” the general manager mused, but the key ingredient is how it performs with players added into the mix. Hudson and the BioWare team will actively seek out commentary and suggestions for “Anthem” as it is “the beginning of an ongoing story.”
“If there’s something you want more of, we can build it. If something isn’t right, let us know. And the story itself will unfold over time based on how you play the game. Soon, we will reveal more about our plans for how we intend to support that ongoing stream of content and features,” he explained.
“Anthem” fans can try out a VIP demo if they pre-ordered the game or subscribe to EA Access as of Jan. 25. On Feb. 1, the open demo goes live, when everyone will be able to play through the weekend. Anyone with Origin Access Premier can begin playing the full game through Early Access on Feb. 15, and on the same day the Play First Trial will allow players to enjoy up to 10 hours of the game. The “Anthem” worldwide launch date is Feb. 22. It will be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.