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BioWare wants to experiment more with smaller scale titles

Anthem is set to continue BioWare’s trend of expansive triple-A titles, carrying the torch from Mass Effect, Dragon Age and even the original Baldur’s Gate. Moving forward, the studio has now expressed interest in using its experience to develop smaller-scale titles, pushing the boat out to be more experimental.

BioWare general manager, Casey Hudson, and Anthem’s executive producer, Mark Darrah, shed some light on the developer’s future beyond the upcoming open world third-person shooter in an interview with Game Informer.

“I would like to get to a place where, yes, we’re doing our big next thing, but maybe we’re also kind of doing a few experiments,” explains Hudson. “I want to get to where we can kind of do the equivalent of getting short films out there to people and saying, ‘Hey, we got a bunch of things we want—creative ideas we want to get out. And so try this piece and have a look at this thing.’ And kind of see what people like.”

Luckily, Hudson is confident that EA’s direction within the industry will afford BioWare the opportunity to think outside the box more often. Darrah is similarly enthusiastic about experimentation, stating that he thinks “there’s opportunity going forward for triple-A publishers to maybe start diversifying the scale of their games, start making big things, huge experiences, but also maybe starting to deliver some smaller experiences that are intended to be consumed more quickly.”

While this initially prompts thoughts of indie titles, Darrah notes of the emerging phenomenon of ‘triple-A indie’ titles, also dubbed “independent AAA,” which combine a “high production value” attained by experience and experimentation in a much “smaller scale” on a “smaller budget.” Similarly, Hudson elaborates on his comparison to short films, stating that the proposed smaller games could be directed by fan input from the conceptual stage, with the chance of it expanding into a full-fledged expansive title if all goes well.

Hudson and Darrah seem set on the future of BioWare and its ability to change the gaming landscape with more consistent, experimental releases, however the studio must first ensure that Anthem is as big of a success as EA is hoping when the title launches February 22nd 2019.

KitGuru Says: More releases sure would make the wait for the next Dragon Age, Mass Effect or, fingers crossed, Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic a lot more bearable. Would you like to see BioWare branch out a little?

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