'Anthem' Players Are Boycotting the Game to Bring Back a Bug that Made It Better

A bug brought a "lootshower" to 'Anthem,' and now players plan to boycott a game they already bought to bring it back.

Mar 11 2019, 7:09pm

Image: EA/BioWare

For a brief moment this weekend, Anthem players were happy.

Just before a patch aimed at fixing numerous bugs landed on March 9, BioWare’s online mech shooter—which has had a rocky launch, including an issue that caused PlayStation 4 consoles to crash—began to spew rare and powerful loot at a rate that players loved.

Anthem is all about acquiring masterwork and legendary weapons and upgrades, which requires hours of grinding. Just before Friday’s patch, Anthem started dropping good loot at a high rate. It turned out the generous loot was a bug, and developer Bioware quickly patched it out.

Now, the nascent Anthem community is organizing a boycott of the game to let BioWare know they’re upset. Yes, a boycott of a game that they’ve already purchased.

“Bring back the Bug and let us taste the Lootshower,” Redditor “Afinda” said in a post on Anthem’s subreddit, which currently has more than 10,000 upvotes. Afinda’s post suggested that players refrain from playing the game for the rest of the week to put pressure on the developers. “Stop playing the game for a whole week...to show BioWare that all it'd take for us to really enjoy the game, is to receive loot,” Afinda’s post reads.

Read More: 'Anthem' Is a Hot Mess

Anthem had a troubled launch—an earlier patch also briefly resulted in some generous loot-dropping—and it’s problems aren’t over. Bugs still plague the game, cutscenes frequently interrupt gameplay, and, as the latest episode suggests, BioWare can’t seem to adjust the loot drops in a way that satisfies players.

This is bad, because Anthem is a looter-shooter designed to keep players hooked over the course of its life, grinding for better gear. For that to work, the treadmill of loot drops has to be carefully tuned. Right now, there’s not enough for players to do at the higher levels and—when the game is working properly at least—the nice gear doesn’t drop enough.

This means players who want nice gear have to spend their time in Anthem replaying a handful of missions over and over again. Worse, players recently discovered that the game’s starting gun is more powerful than top tier loot earned after hours of playing thanks to a bug. It’s unclear if the recent patch fixed this bug.

This is demoralizing and so, when the game showered loot onto players for a few hours before a recent patch, there was jubilation. The game was dropping so much masterwork and legendary loot that players were sure it was a mistake, and they begged Bioware not to fix it. But fix it they did, as part of the large patch on March 9.

“We appreciate all the feedback from the community on the game,” Chad Robertson, head of live services at Bioware, said in a tweet. “We love the passion and share it. We’re not yet fully happy with the game’s loot behavior either … in the next few months, we’re expecting to make significant changes, but we’re starting with some incremental ones so we can better navigate that evolution.”

Anthem had a rough launch, but live service games with a dependence on loot are hard to get right. Diablo III almost wrecked its economy with an auction house backed by real money before shuttering it. Developer Bungie spent the better part of a year tweaking Destiny 2 and its loot table after launch. BioWare will likely do the same thing with Anthem, and no amount of protests or boycotts from the community will change that.

It’s unclear if the boycott will gain traction, or amount to anything—if a player is boycotting a paid game in their library, then publisher EA already has all the loot it needs.

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