More competition means players won't always stay for DLC, warns Anthem dev
"If you look at Dragon Age or Mass Effect you'd have to wait three, four, five, six months sometimes between big updates. We don't have to abide by that anymore. We can actually, week-over-week, trickle out content.”
- Anthem executive producer Mark Darrah discusses the evolution of live games and DLC plans
BioWare’s upcoming online game Anthem is a departure from the more single player RPG titles the company has long been known for, and the same can be said for how the developer plans to handle post-launch content for the title.
In an extensive interview with USgamer, BioWare’s Mark Darrah spoke on how the studio’s own post-launch support plans have changed from the good ol’ Mass Effect days, and what lessons the team has learned from observing other games in the modern ‘live service game’ space.
Darrah notes that, prior to this last year, more games would launch “relatively incomplete” then flesh out with additional content in the months that followed, but that approach hasn’t worked out for some games that have launched recently.
“People came in and they went, 'there's not enough here' and they left. So, I think it's partially because the competition in the space has gotten harder people are less willing to just kind of hang out and hope that stuff is going to come along. There are other things for them to do,” Darrah told USgamer. “So, I think for me a big lesson has been that... it's that you need to have enough on the first day so that there's a reason to stay. And when more is coming then that's great. That's amazing. But I'm not just going to hang out and wait for the game to become complete. It has to be complete from day one.”
Darrah explains that, in order to capture an audience’s attention, games need to launch with enough content to justify the “60 dollars–or for whatever a game [costs] these days” price tag, and then drip-feed players new content post-launch.
He explains that this is something Anthem aims to accomplish as well: "So, I think it's an excellent value right off the start. You know, four Exosuits, a complete story. So, both I think it's a complete package but it's also the starting line of an experience as well."