What Can Anthem Learn From Other Online Games?

Despite Anthem’s confusing release schedule and rocky demo last weekend, it’s got potential to go toe-to-toe with the growing selection of games that want to keep you around for a long time. But what’s it going to take for Anthem to start strong?


On this week’s Viewpoints, I talked with Kotaku’s Ethan Gach, who also played the game last weekend, to figure out our own histories with service games and what we hope Anthem can learn from its predecessors. At least for me, with Overwatch pretty much out of rotation, can this be my new “forever game?”

Watch the latest episode or read an excerpt here:

Paul: I remember the Call of Duty or the Battlefield series, for me, being one of the first times I remember getting map packs or new weapons. It extends the lifetime of this one game where presumably I don’t have to spend another 60 bucks every year to get the latest thing.

Ethan: Presumably!

Paul: Yeah we still see that happen. But for me, Fortnite was the first time I can recall signing up for a Battle Pass, because it gave you an incentive to play the same damn game over and over again. But I’ve played Destiny, Destiny 2, Division—and this is just a personal issue, this is not a statement about service games in general. But for me, being someone who plays [one game] occasionally and not being able to keep up with your friends who are playing it all the time—

Ethan: Destiny’s biggest problem is balancing a game for the long term. The people who are playing every week or almost every day feel like there is a reason to do that and that they are being rewarded for that, versus the people who you want to bring back every few months when there’s a new DLC or major new update.

Video Producer, Kotaku. Fluent in Spanglish. Tetris Master. Streamer. Host of The Optional Podcast.



Holy shit I just popped into the ‘demo’ on PC for the first time, and this is the most garbage feeling game I’ve touched from a AAA dev in a very long time. Flying is like playing the first Kingdom Hearts but they mapped the right analog stick to your mouse. Gun play is mind numbing and enemy AI is terrible, they’re just bullet sponges. This is an alpha at best, and this game needed at least another 6 months in the oven minimum. I hope for Bioware’s sake they have some huge improvements in store, cause right now this is just a generic sci-fi hard drive filler. At least Destiny felt good, despite all its missteps along the way. This is embarrassing.