Although I didn't leave a dry thread on Anthem, the game was still in my console's memory. Her icon in the main PS4 menu was a symbol of naive hope. Maybe someday it will be better? However, half a year passed and the captain of the damaged ship just jumped into the lifeboat. Ben Irving leaves BioWare.
The list of known and honorable names in BioWare has become very short. RPG veterans left the company after the premiere of Mass Effect 3 or during work on Dragon Age Inquisition. The studio still enjoyed the reputation built at the time of Baldur’s Gate and Neverwinter Nights, but it was no longer the people who developed that reputation. BioWare created a completely new generation of artists aware of the studio's close links with the Electronic Arts publisher.
Ben Irving found himself perfectly in the new situation of BioWare.
Ben began his adventure with BioWare in 2011 as a release manager. The company planned to launch the MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Irving helped in issues related to the debut of the project. Star Wars turned out to be the key to the career of a man who had no experience in creating games or programming. In 2012, Ben already worked as a development manager, and in 2015 – Lead Development Director.
From that moment Irving had a direct and decisive influence on the shape of SW: TOR. It was under his name that such game extensions as Knights of the Eternal Throne or Knights of the Fallen Empire were produced. Irving was supposed to climb the career ladder for efficiency. Maybe he didn't have developer experience, but he was able to manage the team, use resources and close projects on time. These are features that have become increasingly rare in the "new" BioWare.
Apparently it was Irving's effectiveness that made it possible to put Anthem together.
When we saw the game in action for the first time during E3 2017, the project was still in a deep design phase. Its creators still did not know what the final game would look like, what the story would be and what opportunities they would give to the player. The situation was hopeless, which is perfectly described by the investigation of editor Kotaku. At EA, it was seriously feared that the ghost project had been paid for 5 years. Only Irving was able to collect the puzzles and put them together. Whatever she was.
Ben Irving doesn't have many fans. Neither among employees nor among players. He is a dirty man who goes where others fail. Then he implements the minimum plan, satisfying the publisher as much as he can. That's why we won't find any masterpieces signed with his name. He is a corporate craftsman who knows how to force his team to work effectively and intensively.
Now Ben Irving leaves the Anthem team and leaves BioWare.
This means that a handful of people who have still not been redirected to work on Dragon Age 4 have lost their strong leadership again. This is terrible news. Especially considering the state of Anthem. In order for this game to survive, you need a big and expensive reset to suit Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. However, it is obvious that the studio has neither the resources nor the skills to perform such a time-consuming operation.
A few days ago, the free Cataclysm extension – the biggest content update since the game's release – went into production. Along with her, a new area appeared in Anthem, a new type of mission and a handful of new story quests. The whole, however, is so boring and tiring that it is not able to rehabilitate developers. Quite the opposite – Cataclysm only convinced me that Anthem would never be better. The current team simply CANNOT create a better game.
I just chose the "Delete" option.