An In-Game Message Discovered In Anthem May Point To Game’s Troubled Development

Lore found in-game may have been clue all along of the game's rough foundations.
  • Playstation 4
  • Windows
  • Xbox One
  • Action
  • Open World
Anthem Poster
The controversies regarding EA/Bioware's latest title continue. EA/Bioware

Anthem, without a doubt, had one of the poorest launches in EA’s long history of poor launches. A recent report from Kotaku seemingly has compounded this, going so far as to confirm that issues stretched far beyond technical problems. Troubled development aside, it seems to be the norm for its developer Bioware these days, especially after its previous game, Mass Effect Andromeda, also faced considerable backlash due to its unpolished state at launch.

It appears that these problems might have been voiced much earlier, even before the Kotaku article. It's possible a developer hid a message in the form of a collectible Cortex item.

“I asked the Arcanists what the meaning of the world was, and they couldn’t tell me. They had a lot of theories. A lot of ideas. A lot of hot air. The truth is: nobody really knows. Shouldn’t that worry people? Whenever I bring it up, they just shrug. How can they not care? How can so many people be asleep?”

Anthem In-Game Message
The in-game message in question. Photo: EA/Bioware

Anthem players found this Cortex item called “What Does It All Mean?” on the very northern edge of the map, and while initially it was brushed off as just a piece of in-game lore, it is now difficult to read it without alluding to the overall state of the game as Bioware’s development progressed. One of the key issues reported with regards to the troubled development is how the game spent much of its time in limbo, without any clear direction on where the game was going to go, or what the developers were even supposed to do. According to the Kotaku report, any concerns brought up by developers to the game leads and directors were shrugged off, and the Cortex in-game item seems to fully reflect this sentiment.

Despite the looming prospect of a subpar launch, the game was reportedly rushed out in order to meet EA’s fiscal year, as hinted by Aaron Flynn himself, general manager of Bioware. The bulk of the game, meanwhile, had to be developed in the span of just 18 months, with the narrative reportedly taking a hit due to being developed very late in this time span.

“Doesn’t it bother them that our whole world is unexplained after thousands of years of living in it?”

The cortex item ends with this sentence. Whether or not the whole thing was truly a stab at trying to express disillusionment at the game’s development, or just another piece of lore, we’ll probably never confirm. However, developments where everything goes right and the video game succeeds is something all of us can hope for Bioware in the near future.

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