Remember when you could get a video game back in the day, and that was it? Aside from the occasional expansion that came in its own bulky box that looked aesthetically pleasing when lined up on a shelf with others of its ilk, what you bought was what you got. I ‘member! Hit the fast-forward button on the time travel machine, and the current video game market is very different.
Sure, you get a game that’s usually complete, albeit it won’t be on launch day. Instead, you’ll have to wait at least a year until said game is available in its complete package, touting a “game of the year edition” label that includes all of the cosmetic and more substantial DLC that supported the title for the year after it was released.
What of the people who go all in on the first week of a game launch? There’ll be content available for the differently-patient if you’re prepared to pony up some extra cash that is. It’s one of the more annoying aspects of video games these days, with plenty of people taking bets on just how much content was held back from the final release of certain games, so that publishers could make a few dollars extra after launch.
It’s something you won’t see in Bioware’s Anthem game…kind of. While Anthem will have post-launch content, said content shouldn’t cost you anything extra. “For storytelling we don’t want to divide the audience, we want people to be able to experience the same stories so none of that is going to be locked,” executive producer Mark Darrah explained during a panel at PAX West via VG247.
Instead, Bioware is banking on players being willing to spend extra cash on cosmetic goods, with which to customise their Javelin warsuits. If that’s making you fear the dreaded L-word (Don’t worry, it’s not “Logan 2: Post-Mortem Boogaloo”), fret not. Bioware at the very least, knows exactly what fans don’t want. “First, so, no loot boxes,” Darrah said.
There will be some cosmetic stock that you can pay for but it will always be earnable.
That stock will come from the endgame stronghold activity according to lead producer Mike Gamble, big four-player events that’ll test your mettle and your Javelin metal. Will it reward you with some cool cosmetics? Absolutely. Will you be able to purchase some of those same cosmetics from outside the Stronghold event? You betcha!
“From a cosmetic perspective, yes,” Gamble said when he was asked if they’d be up for sale.
But obviously gear and weapons you’ll have to earn. You can grind for those. But there will be some content that will be locked behind challenges. Strongholds will give certain things.
I’m fine with that. If Anthem can take a page from Warframe’s book on extra content as opposed to Destiny 2’s method for new story content, then more power to Bioware. If that approach makes you want to spend cash on a virtual avatar, then who am I to stop you? Not that I plan to whip out my credit card and buy myself golden gleaming armour that makes me better than the prepubscent peasants who haven’t figured out how to steal their parent’s bank card…yet.
Perish the thought. Now avert your gaze, as it tarnishes the beauty of my shining Javelin which was earned with the most deadly grind of all: A monthly salary. I’d pay for the kickass soundtrack though (or a renewal on my Spotify account).
Last Updated: September 3, 2018