Anthem's 'Launch Pad' is a multiplayer social hub for up to 16 players

BioWare's upcoming third-person shooter Anthem will mix shared-world shooting for up to four players, across missions and open-world exploration, with a single-player story that unfolds in Fort Tarsis, the home base of the Freelancers. But producer Mike Gamble revealed today that it will also offer a multiplayer hub called the Launch Bay, where as many as 16 players can get together to prep for new missions or just hang out and be social. 

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A proper multiplayer social space is a pretty big thing: I dig BioWare's commitment to single-player, but Anthem gameplay leans heavily into multiplayer and it always struck me as a bit odd that you wouldn't be able to interact with your fellow Freelancers in places where enemies weren't actively trying to kill you. 

The obvious analog is Destiny 2's Tower, which doesn't offer much in the way of gameplay but enables fireteams to stick together when they need to take a break. It also greatly enhances the shared world experience: NPCs are great for dealing out missions and dialog, but nothing says, "Hey, there are other people here" like other people actually being there.   

Unfortunately, Gamble said in a separate tweet that the Launch Bay will not be available in the demo, which will also be different from the full release in several other ways. Find out when you can play it right here.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.