In 2017 Bioware released the controversial, and often criticized “Mass Effect: Andromeda”, which released in March of 2017 and effectively became a dead game (with no DLC planned going forward) by October 2017. While the game was considered a “financial success”, it did more to damage the integrity of Bioware, as many said the game felt unfinished, the dialogue was terrible, and the gameplay felt like a step backwards. On top of this, the publisher of Anthem, “Electronics Arts”, was met with a brutal controversey over “loot boxes” earlier this year that had an adverse affect on their stock prices. With this in mind Bioware needed a heavy hitter to regain fans trust, and get some momentum again. Enter, Anthem, an open world game that kind of looks like what would happen if Mass Effect/Halo/Destiny all had a baby together.
Announced at E3 2017, Anthem was met with some skepticism by Bioware fans due to Bioware departing from their history of deep, single player, story driven games. Despite this, Anthem topped many publications “Most Anticipated Games from E3” lists. Originally the game was given a Fall 2018 release window. However, in the past week Bioware announced that they are delaying the game until early 2019. This news comes as members of the development team have shared with Kotaku that, even when it was announced, many felt that the original release window was unrealistic for such an undertaking.
“Anthem, which was announced at E3 2017, is now scheduled for release in early 2019, according to three people familiar with the project. The “fall 2018” window mentioned during that E3 announcement was “never realistic,” one source said. Exact dates remain in flux—and Anthem’s developers must also plan for a beta release, an EA Access launch, and an ongoing schedule of patches and updates—but it appears unlikely to developers that publisher EA will allow BioWare to delay the game any further than March 2019, when the company’s 2019 fiscal year comes to an end. (EA, like most publicly traded companies, uses the fiscal calendar as a basis for all of its decisions, as those dates determine how investors will behave.)” – Excerpt from Kotaku
In the same article, it was revelead that Bioware is pulling assets from other projects to increase the amount of productivity on the project. Hopefully with the added resources Bioware will be able to pull out a hail mary and deliver a unique, engaging experience that doesn’t fall flat in a sea of open world games. One piece of good news coming out of this whole thing, is that it has been confirmed in a tweet by “Mark Darrah”, the executive producer of “Dragon Age”, that Bioware is working on a new “Dragon Age” title. On top of this there was a follow up tweet by Casey Hudson, a game develper for Bioware giving a vague hint at the focus of the game.
Halfway through my trip to Barcelona!
I’m here showing Anthem internally to EA. I am EP of BOTH DA and Anthem working with @Bio_Warner as Game Director
Anthem’s up next but there are people hard at work on both franchises and I look forward to sharing more in the future
— Mark Darrah (@BioMarkDarrah) January 24, 2018
Reading lots of feedback regarding Dragon Age, and I think you’ll be relieved to see what the team is working on. Story & character focused.
Too early to talk details, but when we talk about “live” it just means designing a game for continued storytelling after the main story.
— Casey Hudson (@CaseyDHudson) January 25, 2018
Here’s hoping 2019 brings us a unique experience that blows the doors off the hinges when Anthem finally arrives.