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Anthem news from EA Investor Call, May 8th

by SofaJockeyUK
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Anthem news from EA Investor Call, May 8th

I thought it might be helpful to share these Anthem updates from EA's recent Investor Call (May 8th).

 

Source: EA investor Prepared Remarks, May 8th.
files.shareholder.com/downloads/ERTS/6237188595x0x979747/4A90989B-EA4D-4CE5-905C-7361784571BB/Q4_FY1...

"This year, we also plan to deliver two massive new games – our next Battlefield title, and our new IP, Anthem. Both of these experiences are introducing new dynamics that begin to change the way fans interact with their games, and with each other. "

"Later in the fiscal year, we will launch our stunning and ambitious new IP, Anthem. Every dimension of this game will offer something entirely new for a wide audience of players – from a new universe with unique stories that BioWare is creating, to the cooperative gameplay, to the epic and beautiful environment that constantly evolves around players. Anthem is a fundamentally social experience, and we will open new ways for fans to join the community and play early, enabling us to shape and refine the game with their input and feedback. We’re deeply excited to launch this brand new franchise, and equally excited to work with our players to make Anthem a game they can’t wait to play and share with their friends for years to come."

"Creativity is the central strand of everything we do at EA. Every experience begins with creating something new and unexpected. That’s why you’ll see new dynamics in gameplay, new social layers, and new ways to interact with the worlds we create in games like Anthem..."

Andrew Wilson, CEO


"As a result of the timing of launches, we expect this year [Fiscal Year 2018/19] to be more back-end loaded than fiscal 2018. We’re excited about how both Anthem and Battlefield are shaping up and we look forward to sharing more with you about them soon."

Blake Jorgensen, COO/CFO


[From Gamespot]: "During a Q&A with analysts today, EA CFO Blake Jorgensen said Anthem will launch during the last month of EA's fiscal year, which means March 2019. Previously, all we knew was that the game was due out in early 2019."

 

 

Nice to see things are on track, what do you think the 'feedback' refers to, the beta?

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I don't work for EA, but I adore BioWare's Mass Effect, Dragon Age & Anthem.
I can be found here on EA Answers HQ and on BSN forums: http://bsn.boards.net
Message 1 of 13 (731 Views)
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Re: Anthem news from EA Investor Call, May 8th

[ Edited ]
★★ Guide

 


@SofaJockeyUK wrote:

[snip]
"Anthem is a fundamentally social experience, and we will open new ways for fans to join the community and play early, enabling us to shape and refine the game with their input and feedback."
[snip]


 

My brain's translation:

 

"We care about the stock prices and the pre-orders, so we will have it released early with exclusive, shiny, pixelated eye candy in EA Early Access whether BW likes it or not."

 

Which will put even more pressure on the dev team, even harder crunch, and the first reviews will report of bugs that could've been weeded out if they were given some extra testing / polish time.

 

God, GOD I hope I'm wrong on this one.

In fact, I want them to prove me wrong. Wink

I want to believe!

Message 2 of 13 (720 Views)
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Re: Anthem news from EA Investor Call, May 8th

[ Edited ]

@V4rdyn wrote:

My brain's translation:

"We care about the stock prices and the pre-orders, so we will have it released early with exclusive, shiny, pixelated eye candy in EA Early Access whether BW likes it or not."Which will put even more pressure on the dev team, even harder crunch, and the first reviews will report of bugs that could've been weeded out if they were given some extra testing / polish time.

God, GOD I hope I'm wrong on this one.In fact, I want them to prove me wrong. Wink
I want to believe!

 

We know that Jonathan Warner has confirmed that there will be a beta.

So 'early access' will be more than 5 days of preview, but hopefully in a good way.

 

The second thing we know is that this game has been in development since 2012, so it's not as if it hasn't had time.

 

Whether we take the launch move to March at face value or not (EA saying it was 'delayed' to not foul Battlefield 2018) that's essentially an extra year Anthem has had from it's original 'end of Financial Year 2017/18 target.

 

Anthem was pushed back twice, once after the Mass Effect Andromeda launch, and again after the Battlefront II issues.

 

The way I'm reading that is EA going:

 

'Make sure that Anthem has the time to be polished because there's a lot riding on it...' a.k.a. 'don't muck it up!'

 

I'm not reading this 'early access' as anything other than the beta Jonathan mentioned, or even more than one.

 

I think BioWare have had enough recent market lessons (themselves or via 3rd parties) that a buggy mess or a predatory game economy won't fly.

My hope and anticipation then is that we'll see neither.

 

(fingers crossed)

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I don't work for EA, but I adore BioWare's Mass Effect, Dragon Age & Anthem.
I can be found here on EA Answers HQ and on BSN forums: http://bsn.boards.net
Message 3 of 13 (699 Views)
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Re: Anthem news from EA Investor Call, May 8th

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Well you seem to have missed the part where Blake Jorgensen spoke about Anthem getting live services, not on release, but after. This was also specifically mentioned to investors so it's about monetization.

 

Seems that EA wants to keep initial sales high so they'll ship Anthem without all their usual microtransactions and monetization only to slap it on there after everybody bought the game.

 

What do you think of that part I wonder?

Message 4 of 13 (644 Views)
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Re: Anthem news from EA Investor Call, May 8th

[ Edited ]

@EgoMania wrote:

Well you seem to have missed the part where Blake Jorgensen spoke about Anthem getting live services, not on release, but after. This was also specifically mentioned to investors so it's about monetization.

 

Seems that EA wants to keep initial sales high so they'll ship Anthem without all their usual microtransactions and monetization only to slap it on there after everybody bought the game.

 

What do you think of that part I wonder?


Seems like you have misunderstood what Blake said.

 

'Live Services' means a range of stuff from DLC to skins and customizations achieved by grind or microtransactions.

I'd expect the game economy to grow over time with more DLC and additional 'live services' added, but not done as a bait and switch, I think the game economy will be included and clear from the start.

 

The core of Blake Jorgenson's point in my view is that with the game launching right at the end of Fiscal 2019 (ending March 2019) the game will only have been out a few days before the year ends, so naturally most 'Live Services' (DLCs and whatever skins/collectibles) will roll out in Fiscal 2020 ending March 2020.

 

The same happened for Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age Inquisition with their Live Services rolling out in the subsequent fiscal year, so nothing new there.

And that also implies no 'Day One DLC' which is also good, yes?

 

EA would be as mad as a box of frogs after Battlefront II to include a 'surprise' predatory economy sometime after launch into Anthem, how would that help their long-term vision for the IP?

 

In any case, they flagged elsewhere in the prepared statement that revenue from Live Services would be mostly led by FIFA and Sims 4.

 

Finally, people were upset when Live Services were curtailed for Mass Effect Andromeda (no more additions to multiplayer and no DLC).

So why is highlighting that such DLC and additions will be rolled out for Anthem anything other than a good thing?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I don't work for EA, but I adore BioWare's Mass Effect, Dragon Age & Anthem.
I can be found here on EA Answers HQ and on BSN forums: http://bsn.boards.net
Message 5 of 13 (631 Views)
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Re: Anthem news from EA Investor Call, May 8th

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Oh I don't think I misunderstood at all but I think you are rather too generous to EA here, especially after BF2. Games these days don't normally delay their mtx, but get them right from the start. So why the change?

 

My first thought is that they want to avoid the controversy that they created themselves with BF2 in particular. Now I'm the kind of person who has no problem with DLC as in extra content like story DLC but I do not want to see loot boxes or cosmetics having the cash shop as their primary source. For example in SWTOR that balance is waaaaaay off. Almost all cosmetics come from the cash shop there and that is a detriment to in-game reward systems.

 

My wish is to understand what sort of mtx they are going to implement because I find some of it acceptable and some of it not. 

 

And live services haven't been cut off from Andromeda for the multi-player. They cut off story DLC because they saw the game as a loss after the criticism they got and the mp stuff is easy to make and sell. So that comparison makes no sense.

 

You see the problem is that live services can mean a lot of things but with EA they've crossed the line multiple times and I just want to know what sort of live services they are going to implement before I throw any money in their direction.

 

In the end it's not that there will be live services but the question is what kind ... I really don't trust EA any further than I can throw them and well, I can't really throw them at all can I?

Message 6 of 13 (613 Views)
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Re: Anthem news from EA Investor Call, May 8th

I've seen nothing that suggests they are going to delay their game economy (or it's announcement) until sometime later.

 

Certainly, we need to know how it's going to work and know it well in advance of launch.

 

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I don't work for EA, but I adore BioWare's Mass Effect, Dragon Age & Anthem.
I can be found here on EA Answers HQ and on BSN forums: http://bsn.boards.net
Message 7 of 13 (603 Views)
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Re: Anthem news from EA Investor Call, May 8th

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@SofaJockeyUK wrote:

I've seen nothing that suggests they are going to delay their game economy (or it's announcement) until sometime later.

 

Certainly, we need to know how it's going to work and know it well in advance of launch.

 

 


Blake Jorgensen said:

"We're careful not to put too large of a forecast in there," Jorgensen said at their quarterly financial briefing, "and clearly [Anthem] will impact this year as well as next year as we not only continue to sell more into the next year but as we start rolling out the live services associated with that game."

 

Now, that sounds to me that they are first going to release the game and then start rolling out the live services after. Does it not sound like that to you?

 

And considering they didn't really announce what they were going to do with BF2 and it just came out before release, I'm see no reason to assume they will explain it well ahead of time...but I will be pleasantly surprised if they do.

Message 8 of 13 (591 Views)
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Re: Anthem news from EA Investor Call, May 8th

I think it's simply a wording issue given that the game may drop only a week before the end of the fiscal year.

This is a speech to investors. They needed to know that any revenue from 'live services' would not fall into the current year.

My expectation is optimistic that the economy won't be predatory.
That's based on how dumb it would be if it was, given the current climate.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I don't work for EA, but I adore BioWare's Mass Effect, Dragon Age & Anthem.
I can be found here on EA Answers HQ and on BSN forums: http://bsn.boards.net
Message 9 of 13 (584 Views)
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Re: Anthem news from EA Investor Call, May 8th

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@SofaJockeyUK wrote:
I think it's simply a wording issue given that the game may drop only a week before the end of the fiscal year.

This is a speech to investors. They needed to know that any revenue from 'live services' would not fall into the current year.

My expectation is optimistic that the economy won't be predatory.
That's based on how dumb it would be if it was, given the current climate.


Well the reality is that EA has done a lot of things that are predatory to the point that they have gotten regulatory offices and politicians involved so I would find your expecation a bit naive.

 

What you seem to forget is that EA already spoke out this year that they are continuing on with lootboxes and even though BF2 was hurt considerably, their share values were back up after a couple of months and they still sold over 8 million copies of the game in that same period.


What I'm saying with that is that yes, it caused quite a ripple but they are still seeking the edges of what they can get away with. I'm not going to try to convince you here and you are certainly welcome to your optimistic view but from where I'm sitting I could only be that optimistic if I ignored reality.

 

That's why they're not turning around but getting smarter about how to do lootboxes or other predatory practices. They learn from mistakes but that doesn't mean they learn to be more customer friendly, just smarter at how to take our money. I mean, you cannot deny that adding microtransactions some time after release rather than on release is the smart thing to do in this current climate as you put it.

 

Now I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, but EA certainly doesn't fall in the trustworthy category for me. I mean loot boxes that you pay money for for random results are much like a lottery or slot machines. The principles behind it are exactly the same, but because of the format they currently fall outside the legan descriptions. But EA still insists, even recently that they don't see it as gambling at all. To me that's moral bankruptcy when you are basing your morals on the letter of the law.

 

Agree or disagree, those are the reasons why I can no longer give EA the benefit of the doubt. Now if they play it cool, that's great, but where you and I differ is that I expect them to see how far they can go without creating another crapstorm and not to be fair. They don't care about fair, they care about where the line is where most people will accept it, then hit that line and then slowly edge over it once people are used to it. The mistake they made with BF2 was that they edged over it too far and made the game literally pay2win.

 

But I fully expect them to explore how far they can go. Lucky for me there are governements that are taking action now in the EU against this sort of thing. So by the time Anthem comes out they may indeed be forced to a tighter line. That's the only hope I have of reigning in their unbridled capitalism. And mind you, I don't have a problem with capitalism, but as with pretty much anything I do have a problem with the unbridled version thereof.

 

I think though that my point and reasons are clear enough. I do not require you to agree with me at all and I also don't want this to become a fight or just regurgitation. So I thank you for the civil exchange but I think I best leave the topic for what it is because I'm not here to convert anyone....maybe something to think about, but that's everybody's own decision. I know where I stand and what that means for when I learn more about the game.

 

As a final note, I do hope you are right...I just don't expect it Wink

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