E3 2019 - EA says it needs to have longer alpha periods following Anthem's disastrous launch

E3 2019 - EA says it needs to have longer alpha periods following Anthem's disastrous launch

The chief studios officer (CSO) at EA Laura Miele has said that the publishing giant needs to have games ready to play long before launch in the wake of Anthem's release.

Speaking to GamesBeat, the exec - who was promoted to the CSO role in April 2018 - was asked about the launches of both free-to-play battle royale title Apex Legends and BioWare's online sci-fi MMO Anthem. Miele said that the latter came together much later in the day than it should have - confirming what a Kotaku exposé said earlier this year - and that moving forward, she'd like its games to have longer alpha periods.

"We should have had that game stood up and playable a year before we came to market, and we didn’t," she said.

"That’s been one of the most significant pieces of learning for me, in that we’re going to have longer alpha periods. We’re probably going to start bringing players in sooner. One of the other complexities around a game the size and scale and scope of Anthem is that it’s comprised of systems, and when you need a volume of players, a million players to come in and test these systems to understand the implications and outcomes of the combination of these systems, you’re not going to get to that in a closed environment with a QA group internally.

"You’ll see us start going out for betas—remember MMOs, that would have the beta and then launch? We’ll start rolling out programs like that, so we can test these systems and get to the scale of testing we need to polish and respond and better perfect the gameplay. A couple of really critical learnings, and some things that we learned as we had the success of Apex, some things we learned as we went to market.

"The marketplace is changing. The interesting thing right now is we go out with brand new games against games that have been in live service for years. They have a tremendous amount of content. They’ve been polished and perfected and responding to players. Getting the benefit of that from a community through our development cycle is something we’re going to launch and kick off."

This echoes what CEO Andrew Wilson told investors during EA's fiscal year 18/19 call in May.


PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.