Anthem Underperforming Won’t Mean the End of BioWare, Says James Ohlen

Anthem Underperforming Won’t Mean the End of BioWare, Says James Ohlen

Former BioWare Designer and Creative Director James Ohlen said he doesn't think BioWare will be shuttered if Anthem doesn't end up doing well.

Some notable staff have left BioWare during the development of Anthem. Most recently, Senior Designer James Ohlen left after being with the company through thick and thin for over 22 years. While some are worried about BioWare and think that EA will close it if Anthem doesn’t do amazing, especially after the disappointment of Mass Effect Andromeda, James Ohlen doesn’t think that’s the case.

In a recent interview with GameInformer after his departure, Ohlen touched on both his new tabletop game, Odyssey: The Dragon Lords, and BioWare’s Anthem. While he does still say that BioWare and EA want Anthem to be successful, he doesn’t believe that EA will shut the studio down if it underperforms as they see BioWare as a “long-term part of the company.” If Anthem doesn’t do great, James Ohlen says BioWare will just learn from its mistakes and apply it to their next title:

“No. The more success that a studio has, the more freedom and resources that it has, so obviously BioWare wants to have success with Anthem because that will be good for the studio as a whole. However, I think EA is looking for BioWare to be a long-term part of the company. 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.”

He also had the following kind words to say about how Anthem plays and how people will be surprised by it:

“Just for those people worried, I know that Anthem is looking amazing. I think people will be very surprised when Anthem comes out next year at what they’ve been able to do with that game. It’s got some incredibly talented people working on it, and it’s going to be a great experience.”

Anthem is currently set to release for PC, PS4 and Xbox One on February 22, 2019, and you can pre-order it on Amazon. For more Anthem content, check out our preview from E3 2018, list of five reasons why Anthem isn’t an average shared-world shooter, and how we think the game can have a great story if it pulls from Star Wars: The Old Republic.


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