Hey, remember James Ohlen? You know, that long-time director at Bioware who left recently? No, not that one, the most recent one. Yeah, him. Well, he doesn’t think Anthem’s failure could be the death knell for Bioware.
In an interview with the Game Informer, Ohlen expressed good hope about Anthem and condemned “conspiracy theories” supposing that his departure was due to EA’s decision. He also expressed genuine faith in the studio and a belief that, even if Anthem underperforms, Bioware isn’t under any sort of existential threat.
“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.”
Now, it’s entirely true that Bioware is indeed very different from other aspects of EA’s business. But that’s not really reassuring given EA’s regular aspects of business.
One could ask, why would he say something like this if he genuinely had no faith in the project? And, well, all I’m gonna say is that it’s common and perfectly understandable practice for employees to sign NDAs which specifically forbid them from sharing confidential secrets about their work. I have one of those, I’m sure Ohlen does too.
But yeah, him saying that now doesn’t mean as much as you think it does.
Nevertheless, I’ll repeat the mantra that keeps us all sane: I hope Anthem is good.