EA cancels Anthem’s big revamp but will keep the game running

Anthem Next, the retooled version of BioWare’s jetpack-fueled sci-fi action game, has been canceled. BioWare will continue running the Anthem live service as it stands.

“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,” executive producer Christian Dailey wrote in the blog post announcing the cancelation.

BioWare does have other projects in the works, including Dragon Age 4. According to Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, the small team that was working on Anthem’s redesign will now be working on the sequel to Dragon Age.

Anthem came out in February 2019 and was widely regarded as a mess. As a new online sci-fi universe from Mass Effect studio BioWare, fans had high expectations for Anthem, but at launch it was riddled with game-breaking glitches and inconsistencies. Years of mismanagement, a rotating door of developers, and a brutal crunch period marred the game’s development process, as Kotaku reported in April 2019. Anthem, when it finally shipped, felt like it was still in alpha.

A year after launch, veteran BioWare boss Casey Hudson outlined a plan to fix the game. That was Anthem Next.

With support for Anthem ending, BioWare’s open-world shooter will not receive a second chance. It’s quite common for games to struggle at launch, but several have turned things around thanks to frequent updates, which was the case for Final Fantasy XIV and No Man’s Sky.

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