BioWare commissions a 17-acre corn maze to promote ‘Anthem’

At E3 2017, BioWare unveiled a new IP dubbed Anthem, which seeks to offer a similar experience to character-based online RPGs like Destiny and The Division. The game is a big priority for the developer and its publisher, EA, and now we’re seeing the follow-up to last month’s big reveal — a themed corn maze in rural Canada.

While other studios might resort to television ad campaigns or brain-teasing ARGs to promote their games, BioWare is opting for a day out the whole family can enjoy. A 17-acre field has been transformed into an enormous labyrinth based on the design of the exosuits worn by characters in the game.

The layout of the maze was the work of Neil Thompson, a BioWare veteran who serves as the director of art and animation on Anthem. “Never before had I worked with a medium as temperamental and as challenging as corn,” reflects Thompson in a video released by the studio detailing the project.

The concept apparently came from the game’s director, Jon Warner, who apparently “really had his heart set” on the idea of a corn maze. BioWare approached the nearby Edmonton Corn Maze, currently entering into its 17th year of operation, and offered to pay for rights to this year’s design.

“It’s a world where you can become lost with your friends,” said Warner of the maze’s relation to Anthem, quoted in a blog post on the BioWare website. “Sort of like getting lost in this maze. I mean, what better way to celebrate the growth of our new game than through corn, which also grows?”

The studio has stated that the corn maze may not be indicative of the gameplay at the core of Anthem. While the footage we saw at E3 may have made this obvious, the game’s focus is squarely on fighting aliens, rather than getting lost in an agricultural labyrinth.

It’s not quite an open beta, but the corn maze is currently the best option for anyone looking to experience Anthem firsthand ahead of the game’s release in 2018. The corn maze is now open, and will continue to welcome explorers until October 24, 2017.