Normally when a game hits the EA Access service, it's something of a victory lap – an opportunity for a well-received game to reach a new audience through the medium of a subscription service. But it's a different story for Anthem.
EA has announced that Bioware's looter shooter is headed to EA Access and the PC's Origin Access subscribers.
But rather than this representing an opportunity to wring the rag dry of any potential players, for Anthem it's perhaps a final opportunity to court a substantial audience of any kind.
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Kickstart the jetpacks
Anthem had showed great promise before launch, coming from the team behind the Mass Effect and Dragon Age games, and offering players the opportunity to team up on a hostile world, flying around with jetpacks to battle formidable foes.
But the game was ultimately criticised for its shallow end game content, weak story and problematic attempts at combining solo and multiplayer gameplay. As a result, despite making $100 million in digital revenue, it's struggled to find a consistent (or happy) audience – only a fraction of the $100 million has come from microtransaction purchases, the lifeblood of a "live" game billed to exist and evolve over many years.
And so to EA Access, where the game will be offered up for free alongside a raft of other titles for a monthly fee. Could it be where Anthem's fortunes turn around? We hope so, if only for the sake of Bioware, a developer with a rich heritage that deserves to be celebrated despite a recent string of disappointing titles.
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Gerald is Editor-in-Chief of iMore.com. Previously he was the Executive Editor for TechRadar, taking care of the site's home cinema, gaming, smart home, entertainment and audio output. He loves gaming, but don't expect him to play with you unless your console is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. Before TechRadar, Gerald was Editor of Gizmodo UK. He is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press.