It may have taken EA years to see the writing on the wall, but it’s official: Anthem is dead.
Two years ago, EA and BioWare launched a game that on the surface, had everything going for it. A massive world to explore, highly customisable mech Javelin suits to pilot around dangerous biomes, and action-packed gameplay all made for what should have been the next big thing in live service games. A month later, Anthem was flopping harder than a beached whale, bleeding players, and buggered on all sides by a number of technical problems that exposed a game with no real direction.
Plans to bring the game back from the brink of that demise involved a small team of BioWare developers working day and night on concepts for “Anthem NEXT”, but with the coronavirus pandemic throwing several spanners into this plan, EA has pulled the plug on its ambitious Destiny-killer. “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,” BioWare Austin studio head Christian Dailey said in an update.
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.
Earlier this month, EA assembled its legion of potential doom to decide on whether or not to continue dedicating resources to Anthem or to call it a day on the game. The decision to finally end a lacklustre and expensive experiment was made, although EA has confirmed that for now, the servers will remain on for those people who still play Anthem.
“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,” Dailey concluded.
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.
It’s the end of a very weird era, but EA won’t be losing too much sleep. Having recently spent a casual $1.2 billion on acquiring Codemasters, it’s ready to buckle down and roll out a number of racing games. As for BioWare, it’s knee-deep in development on a new Mass Effect.
Last Updated: February 25, 2021