Well, pour one out for the future of Anthem because BioWare and EA have given up on developing the overhauled version of the game.
The news comes by way of a post on the BioWare blog by executive producer Christian Dailey. “In the spirit of transparency and closure we wanted to share that we’ve made the difficult decision to stop our new development work on Anthem (aka Anthem NEXT).” he said.
Anthem Next, forever just a dream
This update comes over two weeks after EA sat down to discuss the game’s future. To briefly sum it up, Anthem launched to a resounding and continuous “Eh” back in 2019. It received a few tweaks, a small handful of patches, but nothing that really impressed players. EA realised it would take more than a few updates to save a game rapidly losing the ability to captivate when it was meant to be a longstanding multiplayer title. The company decided they would need to overhaul it entirely, and this second take was dubbed Anthem Next.
So much for that, then. Dailey, in his post, goes on to explain that COVID-19 was a big reason why the Anthem Next team couldn’t accomplish everything they wanted to. “2020 was a year unlike any other,” he said. “…not everything we had planned as a studio before COVID-19 can be accomplished without putting undue stress on our teams.” Which is understandable considering how much work goes into redesigning a game from the ground up while still keeping its core premise intact.
“Game development is hard. Decisions like these are not easy. Moving forward, we need to laser focus our efforts as a studio and strengthen the next Dragon Age, and Mass Effect titles while continuing to provide quality updates to Star Wars: The Old Republic.” said Dailey.
The game isn’t gone. The original title will remain available to players, as EA will “continue to keep the Anthem live service running as it exists today.” Though if by “as it exists today” Dailey means there aren’t any more updates, even small ones, down the pipeline, it’s hard to imagine it retaining a high player count. If there are still improvements inbound, there may be life in Anthem‘s veins yet. Time will tell.