BioWare Apologizes For Day One VIP Demo Chaos

Unless you’ve been under a social media rock, you will have no doubt heard and seen that BioWare and EA have launched the highly anticipated VIP Demo for the upcoming title Anthem, but unfortunately, things haven’t gone quite to plan,  with a lot of gamers across platforms experiencing infinite loading screens, unable to access the game at all and left just staring at the loading screens.

Releasing today on the official Twitter feed, Bioware’s Head of Live Services Chad Robertson released an official apology to frustrated gamers:

Official statement:

“Yesterday was rocky. The first day of our VIP demo weekend did not go exactly as we planned, and I want to share what happened.

We’ve been testing the entire game and platform for several months, but there were a few things we missed; real-world play frequently leads to unexpected issues. Before I share details on this and what we’re still facing, I want to dispel one comment we’ve seen: that we under-planned for server capacity. To ensure stability, we intended to manage our servers to match the player population as it grew. Overall, we had excess capacity prepared for population increases, and continue to do so. That said, what’s important is that all parts of the game work as designed to meet players’ needs, and that did not happen in the opening hours.

While there are a number of issues we dealt with yesterday, the three primary areas were:

  1. Platform connections– this was caused by the spike in players entering the game when we opened up. Unfortunately, these issues did not present themselves during our internal testing. Investigations are ongoing, and we will continue to apply fixes throughout the weekend.
  2. Entitlements– these are account flags that grant players things like their pre-order incentives and demo access. During the demo weekend, we identified a bug where VIP players with a specific combination of entitlements were being blocked from accessing the demo. We believe we’ve resolved most of these, but have additional cases we are addressing.
  3. “Infinite loads”– this is occurring for some players, particularly when they transition from Fort Tarsis to an expedition. We saw this only in isolated cases during internal testing and believed it was resolved. Unfortunately, the problem is exacerbated in the real-world where differences with player’s ISPs and home networks introduce new behaviour.

Today, our top priorities are:

  1. Continue to resolve any reports of issues with login and entitlement problems.
  2. Implement fixes to address “infinite loads”. I want to be upfront that this is a difficult one, and something we may not resolve during this weekend — many players are not seeing this issue and the last thing we want to do is destabilize the experience for everyone.
  3. Improve server performance. We’ve heard reports of rubber-banding and other signs of server latency. We believe we can address this and will be conducting some small-scale experiments to confirm that. We may roll some fixes out this weekend or may wait for the open demo next weekend, depending on the level of risk to the overall service”

At least, it’s refreshing to see such an open and honest statement from developers.

Unfortunately, I have also been stuck behind the infinite loading screen but I hope to be on today. The VIP Demo runs from January 25th until January 27th. The full retail release drops February 22nd.

For more on Anthem, keep it here at The Loot Gaming!

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