It more looks like opinions to me.
Good article but the subject is all too common, just another development hell. Maybe surprising that bioware can fuck things up so badly, but really nobody is immune to that.
Oh it’s worse than that - As EA wants to use Frostbite for everything, it’s internal studios are facing major hurdles due to the engine not being fit for general game development. For one it’s lacking the extensive documentation that usually comes with 3rd party engines, but it’s also lacking the code libraries for stuff like inventories etc. And the iteration time for altering game levels is bottlenecked by the lighting system that at minimum takes 24hrs to bake in lighting. Which has lead to Bioware staff saying Frostbite’s basically a ball of razor blades.
All in all, making games in Frostbite takes far longer than it would in Unreal, likely costing more in the process than a licensing deal for Unreal and screwing with game development further by making it a massive hassle to prototype new gameplay stuff without having to resort to hacks and workarounds. Leading to major and often difficult to fix bugs that will hit the product that ships. Along with burning out experienced staff and thus loosing extremely valuable institutional knowledge to do with good game design and handling Frostbite’s razors.
Of course it’s not like EA corporate is known for making smart choices, since it’s staffed with business school grads who have no actual experience with game development or realistic takes on the game market. So instead they make very obvious bad choices in an attempt to make as much money as possible in the short term And in the process only end up burning up good IP’s and studios in an effort to chase trends and so only f*ck themselves in the long term vis market share. Because EA have to have all the money. Now.
And this is all from only having read 1/2 of the Kotaku article. I’m sure it’s only going to get worse and more facedesk.gif worthy as I go on. Per the story of how Andromeda’s development went.
TL: DR - EA are greedy, stupid and inept morons, short-sightedly forcing their studios to use an in house game engine that isn’t fit for purpose for games it was never designed for, all to save the relatively cheap Unreal license fees. Costing developer health and sanity in the process.
Almost exactly like Andromeda, Anthem was basically made in the last 18 months. From reading the article, during pre-production it seems nobody wanted to step up and give directions on where the game was going.
Not really, Andromeda actually had strong leadership and definite plans, but they didn’t survive contact with Frostbite’s razors. Combined with the lack of time and resources it was a recipe for not making the best of games. Despite it all Andromeda could be pretty fun, if a bit stupid story wise [insert hard-sci-fi grumbles here], but it was extremely obvious it was undercooked.
Where as Anthem’s game design was nebulous, lacking in firm ideas the lost the leadership to get stuff done. Which when it hit the razors of Frostbite was a recipe for a massive fck-up. Frankly, it should have been in the cooker for another 1.5-2 years and fck the consequences to EA’s stockprices. With that extra time they could have hammered out the worst of the razor blades and iterated to a good spot and launched an actually good game that could compete with Destiny 2, Warframe and Division 2, but instead will likely shutdown or go free-2-play.
And now I’ve finished the Kotaku piece - holly fckingshtballs what a mess, a mess that makes the debacle that was Sword of the Stars 2 look good development f*ck up’s wise. Which the cliff notes is: TL: DR - Kerberos bit off more than they could handle and tech debt + bugs with the new engine set game development back a year+, time they didn’t have under their contract with Paradox. Leading the disasterous release of what was basically an alpha version as the full game. Cue angry fans, steam introducing Early Access to avoid this in future and Kerberos downsizing as a result. Only getting back into 3d games this year with The Pit: Infinity after a stretch of 2D sprite games.
Anyhow - This is because Anthem’s development basically cost Bioware a huge amount of veterans, loosing in the process 10’000’s of man hours of institutional knowledge. The sort of knowledge that takes a career in game development etc to build, and is never as portable as HR fallaciously consider it to be. They also lost Laidlaw when the cancelled the DA4 preproduction to shift people on it to Anthem, a massive mistake since Laidlaw was one of the key staff that helped make Bioware games as good as they were by providing leadership and developing good ideas and concepts for game and story with other staff. And will likely lead to the new DA4 being a bit sh*t, if not cursed by EA’s insistence on “live services” and micro-transactions.
Which EA have prior-fcking-form for per the micro-transaction sht in Dead Space 3.
As for what this means for Starfield, the next game from Bioware, f*ck knows, because we still don’t have any info on it despite the fact it’s meant to come out near the end of this year. Which frankly doesn’t bode well at all.
Also, EA was only saved from Anthem tanking their stock price via the release of Apex Legends. Which has (hopefully) likely granted it’s devs Respawn Entertainment the goodwill to do Titanfall 3 with a single player campaign. Incidently, AL was pretty much stealth released, but has now eclipsed the heavily marketed Anthem due to simply being a better game. And is only blighted by the lootbox economy and micro-transaction bs vis how hard it is to grind access to new characters.
Umm pretty sure that’s a Bethesda game not a Bioware one (not that Bethesda’s recent track record is any better)
Derp. That can be firmly blamed on me having 2hrly night sweats most of last night while I was trying to to sleep. I might be awake due to skipping taking nortriptyline until tonight (hope change of dosage time reduces the night sweats), but I sure as fluff ain’t firing on all cylinders brain wise