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EA sees Bioware's Anthem on "seven to ten year cycle"

CEO Andrew Wilson admits the publisher "might not invest further" if players were not compelled by the experience

Despite a rocky start, EA is still ready to commit to Bioware's Anthem for as much as a decade, CEO Andrew Wilson has said.

Speaking to GameDaily, Wilson claimed that the publisher "might not invest further" if it saw no evidence that Anthem's world, characters and gameplay mechanics, "weren't compelling for people."

"IP lives for generations, and runs in these seven to ten year cycles," Wilson added. "So, if I think about Anthem on a seven to ten year cycle, it may not have had the start that many of us wanted, including our players.

"I feel like that team is really going to get there with something special and something great, because they've demonstrated that they can."

EA had reasonably high expectations for Anthem, forecasting six million sales in its first six weeks. However, Bioware's game did not rescue a disappointing fourth quarter commercially, and critics were less than impressed with the experience at launch.

The game was widely seen as a departure for Bioware, a factor that may have contributed to the quality of the game in its early life. However, Wilson's comments suggest that the studio will continue to push beyond the RPGs for which it is best known.

"What the Bioware teams are thinking about is that we're going to build a lot of different types of games," he said. "We're going to have our core Bioware audience that's been with us for a really long time. There are kids today who are 12 years old, who weren't around when Bioware started making games... and they have different expectations of what a Bioware game should be in the context of the world they've grown up in.

"As a result of that, Bioware has to evolve and has to expand and has to test the elasticity of that brand. The teams at Bioware will continue to come to work every day and listen to their players old and new, and seek to deliver on the promises they've made to those players. That's what you're seeing with Anthem today."

Bioware has admitted that Anthem has a long road to travel before it becomes the game it was created to be. In April, a number of new features were delayed, as the developer worked to improve the core experience.

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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.