Is it worth expanding the team? Or is time to dump the game altogether?
By Imogen Beckhelling, Rock Paper Shotgun
Oh Anthem. The only BioWare game even I can’t defend. BioWare’s attempt at a Destiny-style online multiplayer game crashed and burned when it launched back in 2019, and the developers have made an effort to reboot and improve it ever since. In May last year, they announced Anthem Next, which sounds like its biggest overhaul yet. But now even Next’s future is uncertain. A new report claims BioWare’s parent company, Electronic Arts, will decide this week whether or not it’s worth trying to revive Anthem at all.
According to Bloomberg, EA will hold a meeting this week to determine the game’s fate. They say EA executives will review the latest version of Anthem Next, and decide if it’s worth expanding the team, or dumping the project altogether.
Anthem Next’s dev team consists of about 30 people, though Bloomberg’s sources say they need “at least triple” the amount of devs to properly overhaul the game. They add that Next will make major changes to Anthem’s “core systems and user interface” (which BioWare have shown a bit of already), though they don’t know when or if players will see these changes in the current live game.
“Anthem is a lovely enough place to action your way around. ‘Ooh, look at that nice waterfall, those giant toadstool rock formations.’ But there are so many frustrations to fight through! So many little annoyances that add up to you getting cross whenever anything happens!” Alice Bee said in her Anthem review. “It needs more than the world map to change a bit, or have seasons, or better social interaction. It needs changes to how it actually works, which is a lot to ask.”
Just last week, EA said they felt “very, very confident” about BioWare’s future, and we’re left wondering if that future still has a place for Anthem – their statement very much seemed to be talking about Mass Effect and Dragon Age. For what it’s worth, I’m cautiously confident about those two game series as well (mostly Dragon Age though, I’m just looking forward to exploring the new setting).
If you want to be slightly more confident in something BioWare are putting out, they gave everyone a first glimpse at the Mass Effect trilogy remasters last week. I think they look very nice indeed, lens flares and all. They’re also making a new Mass Effect that could very well have Liara in it.