Anthem NEXT is now officially dead, as confirmed by Bioware Austin studio director Christian Dailey. He notes that COVID-19 and work from home impacted their productivity, among other reasons.
Anthem is one of the many live service games of the past five years. Before it came out in 2019, it was among the most highly-anticipated titles among its peers. The problems started coming, however, once it came out.
Many players saw the generic nature of the game, with a bland atmosphere and bad gameplay mechanics. It didn’t help that there are other better, similar games like Destiny and even Warframe.
Anthem has been a tragedy ever since but Bioware vowed to redesign the game. Now, the game studio seems to have given up, looking to put their focus somewhere else.
“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),” said Dailey in an update. “We will, however, continue to keep the Anthem live service running as it exists today.”
“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.”
Anthem NEXT would have been a great improvement into the otherwise mediocre game we have right now. Even then, it seems that the game is much more of a pain than it should be to develop.
“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.”
In 2019, EA CEO Andrew Wilson gave his full support to the project. He noted that the IP still had a “7 to 10-year journey” in it. He also notes that EA, Bioware’s parent company, will likely perform soft launches for similar online-focused titles.
So far, Anthem NEXT is in the dumpster and Anthem will likely stay as it is, with more content in the future. There’s also a possibility that this is the slow demise of a tragic game.
Featured image courtesy of Anthem Game/Youtube Screenshot
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