BioWare cancels Anthem development and reboot plans
Studio will focus efforts on Dragon Age, Mass Effect and Star Wars: The Old Republic
BioWare has cancelled plans to reboot Anthem, the troubled live service game released in February 2019.
“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),” Bioware Austin studio director Christian Dailey said in an update on Wednesday.
“We will, however, continue to keep the Anthem live service running as it exists today.”
A year after the game launched with a host of problems, BioWare announced that it was redesigning Anthem.
Several months later in May 2020, Dailey revealed that a team of about 30 people was working on Anthem’s revamp, but he said today that things failed to go to plan.
“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.” he explained.
“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.”
Going forward, BioWare will focus its efforts on the new Dragon Age game, upcoming Mass Effect titles and Star Wars: The Old Republic
“Game development is hard,” Dailey said. “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.”
EA CEO Andrew Wilson backed BioWare to turn Anthem’s fortunes around in June 2019, stating that its parent company still had faith in the IP, which he said was on a 7-10-year journey.
He has also said EA was likely to adopt soft launches for future online-focused games like Anthem in order to try and ensure there are less issues when titles are rolled out to a wider audience.
BioWare released the first full trailer for the new Dragon Age game in December 2020. The title is not expected to arrive before EA’s fiscal year 2023, which begins in April 2022.
The first Mass Effect 4 teaser trailer was also released last December. Mass Effect Legendary Edition, a three-game remaster collection, is set to release for PS4, Xbox One and PC on May 14, 2021.