EA pulls plug on Anthem Next, but will keep original game live

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Anthem suffered from serious failure to launch back in 2019, but developers BioWare and publisher EA have stuck with the project… until now. This as Anthem Next, which was designed to be a retooled version of the game, has seemingly been cancelled.

“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,” wrote executive producer, Christian Dailey, in an official announcement.

“During the development we’ve provided updates revealing some of the team’s work through blog posts and conversations with you on social media and it’s been inspiring for us to see the positive reactions and feedback. I’ve been incredibly proud of the work the team has been doing, and excited to see and play each new build of the experience,” he added.

Like many industries though, the global pandemic was cited as a key reason for why BioWare could not continue with the development of Anthem Next.

“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,” Dailey explained.

According to a report by Bloomberg, executives at EA held a meeting earlier this week to discuss the fate of the game, and given the costs associated with a revamp, as well as the mess that followed its launch in early 2019, it was viewed as being too great a liability.

While we hate to see highly anticipated gaming titles crash and burn, given Anthem’s troubles to date, perhaps it is for best. How long EA chooses to keep it live, is still unclear at this stage. From BioWare’s perspective, it looks like the studio is focusing on other upcoming titles instead.

“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,” Dailey concluded.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.

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