Oh, Anthem. A disaster before it was even released in January 2019, the game faltered out of the door when fans hyped up by explosive and detailed E3 Trailers were instead met by a buggy mess of a game. A game that required a total overhaul.
No problem, said BioWare, the lead developers behind the project. We’ll handle it. So began the Anthem NEXT program, a series of updates and serious overhauls and to bring the back in-line with the community’s expectations.
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Fast forward to today, and that development has been canceled. The game with a supposed “10-year lifecycle” has fallen a little short of that hurdle.
An update on Anthem from Christian Dailey: https://t.co/twmWXAXj3B
— BioWare (@bioware) February 24, 2021
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In a blog post from Christian Dalley, the BioWare Austin executive producer, it was announced that there would be no further development on Anthem. The live service will continue for the game – so whoever wants to play Anthem still can – but there will be other updates.
The studio will instead focus on the upcoming Dragon Age and Mass Effect titles. Dalley blames Covid-19 for the failure of the studio in 2020, and sure, it was a hard year, but I think the rot underneath Anthem went much deeper than WFH problems during a pandemic.
This is setting a worrying trend for BioWare and EA. First, their title Andromeda was abandoned to focus development on Anthem, and now Anthem has been abandoned to focus development on Mass Effect. Starting to notice a trend?
Fans are obviously upset. Despite the game’s shortcomings, there are many who still enjoyed the world of Anthem, and invested their time and money into the game.
Those fans have been now been faced with the nasty truth that they have once again been left behind by the BioWare developers. Calls for refunds are rife, but the game is two-years-old, and EA just doesn’t care.
At the same time, there’s the other side, diehard fans of BioWare and their history of excellent games. Two failed projects in a row might stick around the short memory-span of gamers, but there is still hope for the success of Dragon Age IV and a new Mass Effect title.
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There’s only one thing to remember – do not pre-order. Anthem did have some potential with the NEXT project. Fans were hopeful that the game would get the update it deserved. In the end, it was an empty promise, something becoming more common from the mouths of game developers.