When Anthem was officially unveiled at the 2018 E3, it got a lot of people very excited, and how could they not be? The initial gameplay reveal looked beautiful and it seemed like something with a lot of potential. When the game finally came out, it was just a shell of what BioWare originally promised. There were all sorts of downgrades from graphics to the world depth and such, but even beneath that, the core gameplay felt hollow and there was absolutely nothing to keep players engaged. Obviously EA got a ton of backlash and plans were soon drawn to turn things around and hopefully deliver something close to the original vision.
Although the writing was on the wall for Anthem, the game was fundamentally flawed as EA tried hard to mimic Destiny’s success. Finally BioWare has folded on Anthem and has announced the decision to stop any new development. This means the game will get no further updates.
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). We will, however, continue to keep the Anthem live service running as it exists today.
Since Anthem’s launch, the team has been working hard to continually improve the game, releasing multiple updates that brought with them a variety of improvements and introduced new content to play. Towards the end of 2019 we expanded on that effort and started working on a more fundamental restructure of the game.
During the development we’ve provided updates revealing some of the team’s work through blog posts and conversations with you on social media and it’s been inspiring for us to see the positive reactions and feedback. I’ve been incredibly proud of the work the team has been doing, and excited to see and play each new build of the experience.
2020 was a year unlike any other however and while we continue to make progress against all our game projects at BioWare, working from home during the pandemic has had an impact on our productivity and not everything we had planned as a studio before COVID-19 can be accomplished without putting undue stress on our teams.
I know this will be disappointing to the community of Anthem players who have been excited to see the improvements we’ve been working on. It’s also disappointing for the team who were doing brilliant work. And for me personally, Anthem is what brought me to BioWare, and the last two years have been some of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my career.
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.
To the Anthem community, thank you for your passion and creativity. Your feedback and suggestions most certainly help shape the team’s direction, and on a personal note, your kindness and encouragement were much needed last year.
Please stay safe and be kind to each other. Strong alone, stronger together.
– Christian Dailey, Executive Producer, Bioware Austin
This was bound to happen at some point as Anthem would never achieve what gamers originally envisioned for the game. Hopefully BioWare learns a lesson or two from the Anthem debacle and focus on setting honest expectations for their games going forward.