The hype-building for BioWare and Electronic Arts' upcoming Anthem has not gone according to plan, with the launch of the so-called 'VIP Demo' being plagued with bugs for which the companies have apologised.
Designed, effectively, to be BioWare's answer to Bungie's Destiny franchise as well as a replacement for BioWare's own in-hibernation Mass Effect series, Anthem is a third-person shooter with role-playing elements set in what the company describes as 'a contiguous open world' environment. While not a full massively multiplayer online (MMO) title like Destiny, Anthem allows players to share this environment with up to three other players at a time. To help build hype, BioWare and parent company Electronic Arts recently launched a 'VIP Demo' open only to those who are paying subscribers to Origin Access Premier or who had pre-ordered the game from selected outlets - but those 'very important people' were left feeling less than important following serious bugs in the launch.
'Yesterday was rocky. The first day of our VIP demo weekend did not go exactly as we planned, and I want to share what happened,' admits BioWare head of live service Chad Robertson in an update published this weekend. 'We’ve been testing the entire game and platform for several months, but there were a few things we missed; real-world play frequently leads to unexpected issues. Before I share details on this and what we're still facing, I want to dispel one comment we’ve seen: that we under-planned for server capacity. To ensure stability, we intended to manage our servers to match the player population as it grew. Overall, we had excess capacity prepared for population increases, and continue to do so. That said, what's important is that all parts of the game work as designed to meet players' needs, and that did not happen in the opening hours.'
Robertson admits that there are three core areas in which the demo fell down: 'spikes' in player connections which left servers unusable, bugs which left players who should have qualified for the VIP Demo locked out, and another bug which leaves players stuck at an infinite loading screen. To address these, he promises improvements to server performances, swift resolutions to login and entitlement issues, and fixes for the infinite load bug - though the latter is described as 'a difficult one' which may take some time to resolve.
BioWare has also confirmed that support for the deep-learning super sampling (DLSS) and ray tracing (RT) functionality of Nvidia's RTX graphics card family won't be available at launch: In an interview with WCCF Tech, the company admitted that DLSS support will be a post-launch patch while ray tracing 'could be added later, but we don't currently have anything to announce in that space'.
Anthem launches on February 22nd for Windows, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.