BioWare's upcoming online action game Anthem just had its first public outing with their VIP Demo weekend, and the results were largely good for the new title, despite some rocky segments.
The VIP Demo, which was mostly exclusive to those who pre-ordered the game, drew in over 9 million hours of playtime in 2.5 days, according to Chad Robertson, BioWare's head of live service.
Robertson also pointed out some other stats, including over a million completions of the game's only optional stronghold mission, and nearly 2 million kills recorded for one of the indigenous wildlife creatures found in Anthem, the now unofficial mascot of the game (according to social media) the grabbit.
The VIP demo did suffer a rocky start, something Robertson admitted in his first blog post on Saturday. Many players were hit with unexpected bugs and technical issues, the most notorious being an infinite loading screen, where the game would refuse to load into an expedition from Fort Tarsis, instead hanging around the 95% completion point on the loading bar. BioWare thought they resolved the issue before the demo, but it has resurfaced as being a major point of criticism over the weekend.
Other bugs were also reported on and mapped out, including the loss of entitlement rewards, such as unlocking new javelins, platform connections, and overall server performance.
Robertson stated that the next demo, the open demo coming this weekend, will be much more stable than the VIP demo, with BioWare's teams in both Edmonton and Austin working overtime to address or fix up any further issues. Most of the minor complains over Anthem were already addressed by the team for their main game, which has gone gold a month ahead of its release date.
As a token of apology for the more unstable aspects of the demo, BioWare gave away a free vinyl for all players who participated in the VIP demo and has also unlocked all of the games javelins yesterday for players to try out the four different exo suits. All progress saved from the VIP demo will carry over to the open demo this friday.
"Overall, we remain humbled by the response from players and appreciate the support from the community," said Robertson. "One of my favorite experiences from the weekend was checking out all your fantastic screenshots, video clips, streams, and other amazing content – and that’s in addition to all your direct feedback. Thank you."
Anthem is scheduled for release on February 22nd for the Xbox One, PC and PlayStation 4.
While I am on the fence regarding how much I will stick with Anthem, I can say that the games overall controls during the demo were pretty solid, and despite some reservations, I had fun with what I got to play. Bugs aside, which are practically unavoidable when a game launches with online servers like this, Anthem is a game that should be tried out for those on the fence, and it is good that BioWare is doing everything in their power to not only be transparent over any mistakes or problems but addressing them as soon as possible.
Hopefully, the public demo will be more stable, I guess we shall see next week.
What are your thoughts on Anthem? Leave your comments below.