According to some recent reports, soon EA would be deciding the fate of BioWare’s beleaguered live service action-RPG Anthem, and today the decision came out – the “Anthem Next” project is now officially canceled. BioWare has announced their objectives to “reinvent” Anthem back in early 2020 and since then, we have received some scattered progress updates, but it doesn’t seem that much development was being made. Via the cancellation announcement, BioWare has partially blamed the COVID-19 for preventing their approaches to save Anthem and informs that they will now focus on Dragon Age and Mass Effect.
You can read the statement of Christian Dailey, the BioWare executive producer, below:
“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). We will, however, continue to keep the Anthem live service running as it exists today. Since Anthem’s launch, the team has been working hard to continually improve the game, releasing multiple updates that brought with them a variety of improvements and introduced new content to play. Towards the end of 2019 we expanded on that effort and started working on a more fundamental restructure of the game.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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. 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.”
Jason Schreier from Bloomberg, who revealed the original story about Anthem’s possible cancellation, assumes that the developers who are working on the game will shift on to Dragon Age 4.
BioWare informs the game will continue to be playable even after the development cease. Anthem is now available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.