Destiny fans might find themselves thanking Bioware for Anthem.
Is There a Fight Ahead?
Competition is the mother of innovation and the driving force behind continuous improvement. Since 2014, Bungie hasn’t had a direct competitor for its mega MMO first-person space shooter – some would argue that it shows too. While good at listening to its player base (sometimes to the wrong voices), Bungie is also serving to a largely captive audience since they already have their money. If you really want to send a message, you have to make an impact that investors will feel. The danger to Bungie is the free reign they have enjoyed these last several years. They need competition. It appears that Bioware is throwing down the gauntlet.
Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery
It’s hard to miss the similarities between Destiny and Anthem. The Anthem trailer at E3 gave us our first look, and comparisons are easily made. Still, we know very little about Anthem, but we know plenty about Bioware. We also have three years of Destiny – its weaknesses are well documented. Developers at Bioware would have to be stupid not to exploit Destiny’s weak spots. Bungie would be stupid not to look at their own game from Bioware’s point of view.
Destiny’s Weak Spot
Arguably, the story driven narrative is Biowares cornerstone. Arguably, the inability to tell a story is Destiny’s Achilles’ Heel. If Bioware can deliver a good story to a player base that doesn’t like long cut scenes or lots of dialogue boxes, yet appeal to their traditional player base (namely those devoted Mass Effect Fans), they may be able to win over some of the Destiny devoted. Bioware’s latest, Mass Effect: Andromeda failed to hit its mark. Rumor has it that’s because their veteran Mass Effect team has been working on Anthem. I hope this is true, and not because I want to see Destiny fail – not at all. On the contrary, I want Anthem to be a success. If it is successful then it will provide Bungie with the competition it needs to see that Destiny reaches its full potential.
Leg Up or Down
Bungie probably has another year on Bioware with Destiny 2 releasing in September. We already know some big changes are coming with it, but I am one who questions if they are big enough. Bioware can use the next year to hone the tip of the spear so-to-speak. They will be poised to strike at Bungie/Destiny in the middle of its proposed ten year cycle.
One last thing: I have seen Tom Clancy’s The Division being thrown around in the great comparison debate. I saw few realistic comparisons, and as far as being the “The Great Destiny Killer,” well… We know how that turned out.
What are your thoughts on Anthem and its similarities with Destiny? Will Bioware’s new IP light a fire under the cozy throne of Bungie, inspiring innovation on both sides? Or, do you think these games will be nothing alike? Sound off in the comments below!