Hey! Kind of like Destiny
When it comes to Anthem, let’s get the whole Destiny comparison out of the way first.
When Destiny was announced, Activision explained that they had a “10 year plan” to work with Bungie on the game, which led people to erroneously believe that Destiny, that one game, would be supported for that long. Well, if it was on PC and they could make major infrastructure changes, push patches instantly without dealing with platform holders, and upgrade the visuals over time (just like an MMO), that could probably happen. But on consoles? That’s a pretty rare thing (even Square Enix is working around it by dropping PS3 support for FFXIV and leveraging the PS4 Pro for more power). No, that “10 year” thing was more of an outline for their partnership, which includes at least four games.
Anthem, revealed at E3, is probably the same for BioWare (except they’re fully owned by EA, so they have to do whatever they tell them to). It was explained last week that they sort of have the same arrangement, and when Anthem hits next year on PC, PS4 and Xbox One, it’ll be part of a long term haul — so get ready for more Anthem. More specifically, EA VP Patrick Soderlund stated, “I think it’ll be the start of a ten-year journey for us.” However in this day and age, isn’t that putting the cart before the horse just a ‘lil bit?
Just look at Universal’s The Mummy, which isn’t expected to turn a profit given the monumental marketing costs and the low international box office take. They announced at least six films (!) in its “Dark Universe” before Mummy even debuted, and they even retconned (what might be the more successful) Dracula Untold out of it!
IP holders are so intent on MCU-ing everything with cross-media franchises, but the massive risk-reward factor is intense — like, studio ruining intense. Let’s see if BioWare can pull this off after their recent low with Mass Effect: Andromeda. Wouldn’t it be killer if they were the first game to announce cross-platform play with Xbox One and PS4?