BioWare's newly announced IP Anthem will be a "science fantasy" like Star Wars or the Marvel Universe, rather than a "science fiction" title like its Mass Effect series, the studio's head has revealed. In an interview with CBC, BioWare general manager Aaryn Flynn shed some light on the genre of the upcoming, multiplayer action game.
"It's in a genre we call science fantasy," Flynn told CBC. "Very much like Star Wars, very much like the Marvel Universe where you see a lot of amazing things happening, but we don't worry too much about what they are happening or how they're happening; the science of it.
"Mass Effect is more our real hardcore science fiction IP. This one is much more about just having fun in a game world that is lush and exotic and really sucks you in."
Flynn also described the game as a shooter with role-playing elements, but noted that it does have cooperative gameplay as the studio's "first game in a long time that you're going to play with your friends."
Flynn said the team had been working on the game for "close to five years" so far since the idea for it was conceived.
"It's something you have to incubate and nurture and change and adjust, so it's a very creative process that our teams go through to do that. But I'm honestly so proud of them for having the courage and the fortitude to keep this idea going and building it and improving it.
"The reception we got at E3 was amazing," Flynn said. "We were named one of the top games of the entire show by many outlets and so it's just really, really encouraging, after so long, to get kind of reception when you put your ideas out there."
Flynn said his interest in creating a game like Anthem stemmed from his desire to be able to play with his two sons - a "life situation" that many of his studio colleagues also face.
"It's sort of an evolution of the studio," Flynn said. "As we all get a little older, a little more mature, this represents a chance for a lot of us to build that game we can play with our families."
Officially unveiled at E3 2017 with visually stunning gameplay footage, Anthem is being developed by BioWare Edmonton and has been in production since 2012 and was previously known by its codename "Dylan." The development team began working on the title after working on the studio's original Mass Effect trilogy.
Set in a vast post-apocalyptic, open world filled with sprawling lush jungles and massive monsters, Anthem features a human colony within a walled city on an alien planet. Players take on the role of Freelancers, a group that use customisable exo-suits called "Javelins" with "superhuman capabilities" to explore the expansive landscape and protect humanity.
EA has previously said that the game would focus on cooperative gameplay and would be built "around a live service", similar to Destiny and Tom Clancy's The Division.
Anthem is scheduled to release in Autumn 2018 for PS4, Xbox One and PC.