It’s no shock that Anthem didn’t have the strongest of launches this year. The game sputtered out onto retail shelves and digital e-tailers with about as much spark as a single pop cap going off on the front lawn while a 4th of July fireworks display takes place in the sky. That is to say, it was rather insignificant. Many gamers assumed that this meant the end of BioWare, but Anthem’s lead producer has corrected those assumptions.
GameRant picked up the news from a tweet made by lead producer Michael Gamble, who was responding to a gamer that expressed fears that Electronic Arts would end up shutting down BioWare. Gamble responded by saying that a lot of folks are playing the game and that they have a live-service plan in place to receive great support. On February 25th, 2019 Gamble posted the following comment.
Lots of folks are playing Anthem, and we’ve announced our live service plans. Don’t worry about that, we are getting great support.
— Michael Gamble (@GambleMike) February 25, 2019
There are no hard figures on the sales data, and trying to find info on Anthem’s rough sales estimates aren’t easy, but there are definitely some conflicting reports out there. Comicbook.com did a report indicating that the game had a rough first week on the market both in North America and the U.K., and that it was followed by a 15% off discount on Amazon, bringing the game’s price down to $51 just a week after it launched digitally and physically for the Xbox One, PS4, and PC.
GamesIndustry.biz had an opposite story to report, writing…
”Not only did Anthem top UK charts in its debut week, it also saw similar success in the rest of Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa (EMEAA) as it debuted at No.1 for the collective regions.”
A list of the software sales, including the digital and physical sales, within the EMEAA ending on February 24th showed Anthem at the top spot.
2 Far Cry New Dawn
3 FIFA 19
4 Metro Exodus
4 Red Dead Redemption 2
6 Jump Force
7 New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
8 Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege
9 Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
10 Grand Theft Auto V
Electronic Arts supposedly wanted to move 6 million copies before the end of the fiscal year, which means that they had plans on moving 6 million copies in six weeks, which means that they’ll need to move upwards of 1 million copies each week since release. EA did manage to move 7.3 million copies of Battlefield V by heavily discounting the game directly after release, as reported by VGChartz. But it still ended up failing to meet projected expectations, and under-sold at the suggested $60 retail price, costing EA more than $350 million, netting it a spot on the Get Woke; Go Broke Master List.
While BioWare may be safe for now, according to Gamble, one must wonder how long EA will continue to support BioWare if Anthem really isn’t doing that great on the market? The last big BioWare project that failed, Mass Effect: Andromeda, resulted in BioWare Montreal shutting down while remaining staff were moved off to the EA Motive Studio. This time around it will be interesting to see what sort of cost-cutting measures EA might employ to mitigate damage if Anthem continues to make news for all the wrong reasons, and how it will affect the development of the upcoming Dragon Age: Dread Wolf Rises.
(Thanks for the news tip king_6225)