Former BioWare dev: if Anthem fails, that doesn’t mean the studio will close

By Marshall Lemon, Wednesday, 25 July 2018 14:40 GMT

Former BioWare designer James Ohlen suspects rumors surrounding the Anthem studio are simply “conspiracy theories”.

Anthem is shaping up to be a solid game so far, but it is a marked departure from BioWare’s work on Dragon Age and Mass Effect. This has prompted fears that Electronic Arts is interfering in the studio’s work, or worse – that BioWare may be shut down if Anthem fails to generate enough sales.

One person who doesn’t share these concerns is former BioWare designer James Ohlen. During an interview with Game Informer (via GamesIndustry.biz, Ohlen dismissed worries that this project would be BioWare’s final game.

“I think EA is looking for BioWare to be a long-term part of the company,” Ohlen said. “I think EA really respects what BioWare brings to it. BioWare is a lot different than all the other aspects of its business, so even if Anthem doesn’t do as well – and I think it’s going to be great – but if it doesn’t do gangbusters I don’t think that’s the end of BioWare. I think it will simply be a chance for BioWare to learn some lessons and apply it to the next game that comes out.”

Ohlen added that Anthem is “driven by BioWare itself”, and that rumors of EA interference are “conspiracy theories”. Instead, this project is simply BioWare’s attempt to try something new. “That’s never been the case. BioWare’s always had a lot of control over the kind of games it makes.”

Of course, this may not address underlying concerns of how EA has treated its studios in the past. But considering Ohlen no longer works with BioWare, it does lend his words a little more weight.

Anthem launches for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on February 22, 2019.

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