Speaking in EA's Q4 FY2019 financial results conference call, the company's CEO Andrew Wilson said that the experience and failed expectations around Anthem have made them realise that it's time to handle major launches differently.
Wilson thinks that creating large scale open-world games like Anthem is an industry-wide challenge, one they haven't met in full with Anthem .
He thinks the goalposts have practically been moved, because 40-80 hours of offline play is no longer enough, and must be supplemented with up to 300 hours of online play with others.
Apparently, EA is now all about managing expectations and they're looking to take cues from Asian gaming companies, which prefer soft launches and community testing before going live, as opposed to the hype-right-into-the-launch approach.
"As games have gotten bigger that system isn't working as well as it has done in years gone by. So what you should expect from us is that it's not just about changing the development processes in the game, it's not just about changing the QA process in the game - although both of those things are being changed dramatically inside our organization right now - but it also comes down to changing how we launch games", Wilson said.
Even though it was never the intention, the launch of Respawn's Apex Legends shone an even brighter light on Bioware's incompetence, as here you had a free-to-play game that wasn't hyped for years. And the game worked flawlessly, unlike Anthem.
All this has apparently prompted EA to rethink their launch strategy, and their overall strategy as well.
"You should expect that we'll start to test things like soft launches - the same things that you see in the mobile space right now. And it also comes down to changing how we communicate with players. Our entire marketing organization now is moving out of presentation mode and into conversation mode", he added.
Well, we'd sure love to see what EA's conversation mode looks like, but we're not sure they'll like everything that's conversed back at them.