We recently received reports that BioWare and EA would be analyzing the progress made on the planned overhaul of their 2019 looter shooter Anthem, dubbed “Anthem Next“, and then make a final decision on whether or not to keep development going. That decision has arrived, and to little surprise, BioWare have confirmed that Anthem Next has been cancelled.
Following Anthem’s disastrous launch in early 2019, BioWare failed to provide enough post-launch content to maintain a healthy playerbase for the game, failing to stick to their planned post-launch roadmap for it on multiple occasions. In early 2020, the studio announced that it would instead be shifting focus to a larger, long-term overhaul of the entire game, and a couple of months after that, it was confirmed that a small incubation team was experimenting with ideas on how to do just that. Even as recently as December, it was confirmed that work on the overhaul was still underway.
As per Christian Dailey, who is the head of BioWare Austin and recently took the helm of Dragon Age 4’s development team, having to work from home due to COVID-19 since the beginning of 2020 has affected the Anthem Next team’s productivity, and they are not where they thought where they would be right now, in terms of progress made with the game.
“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,” Dailey writes.
“Game development is hard,” he writes. “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.”
Though plans for Anthem Next have been abandoned, BioWare will “continue to keep the Anthem live service running as it exists today” – which means the game’s online servers will remain active, should you decide to jump in and play the game.