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EA BioWare refutes lack of planning for troubled Anthem demo

BioWare defends against accusation of "under-planned" VIP weekend, highlights "Fortnite-type" numbers on Twitch

EA BioWare has pushed back against the accusation that it had not adequately prepared for the Anthem VIP demo, after users faced myriad technical issues over the weekend.

"Yesterday was rocky," BioWare's head of live services Chad Robertson admitted in a blog post published on Saturday. Robertson said that Anthem had been tested for "several months," but the VIP weekend met "unexpected issues" common in real-world play.

However, while Anthem's problems have been aired by a host of players on social media, Robertson sought to "dispel" one common accusation.

"That we under-planned for server capacity," he highlighted. "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."

Robertson outlined three key issues that Anthem faced: platform connections, caused by a spike in players when the game first went live, and a problem that Robertson claimed EA had tested; the blocking of players with certain combinations of account flags, or "entitlements"; and infinite loads, which were believed to be a solved issue, but dogged players in the transition from Fort Tarsis to an expedition.

BioWare is now focused on resolving login and entitlement issues, improving server performance, and trying to fix "infinite loads" -- the last of which Robertson admitted is "a difficult one."

Robertson also made the point that many people had enjoyed Anthem over the weekend. BioWare recorded 300,000 concurrent viewers on Twitch, which was described as "Fortnite-type numbers."

Anthem is due to launch on February 22. You can read our interview with game director Jon Warner here.

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Matthew Handrahan avatar
Matthew Handrahan: Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.
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