Once upon a time, Anthem was one of the most anticipated games of 2019. It felt well short of the mark. This week BioWare General Manager Casey Hudson confirms they are reworking and redesigning the game. From the official blog post:
We have also heard your feedback that Anthem needs a more satisfying loot experience, better long-term progression and a more fulfilling end game. So we recognize that there’s still more fundamental work to be done to bring out the full potential of the experience, and it will require a more substantial reinvention than an update or expansion. Over the coming months we will be focusing on a longer-term redesign of the experience, specifically working to reinvent the core gameplay loop with clear goals, motivating challenges and progression with meaningful rewards – while preserving the fun of flying and fighting in a vast science-fantasy setting. And to do that properly we’ll be doing something we’d like to have done more of the first time around – giving a focused team the time to test and iterate, focusing on gameplay first.
Anthem is a Destiny-like, online cooperative third-person action game. Players travel and battle in special Iron Man-like suits called Javelins, which have limited flight and can equip different weapons. Critics and fans were not impressed with the lame weapons, forgettable story, and repetitive missions, leading to poor sales and few updates.
Hudson promises to continue to support the current iteration of Anthem with some events, but will “move away from full seasons as the team works towards the future of Anthem.”
It’s not unheard of for large but mediocre games to go through major redesigns and improvements. Notable examples include Final Fantasy 14 (which took three years) and Destiny’s highly lauded third expansion (which took one year). Hopefully Anthem (and BioWare) can find its way again with a new, improved Anthem 2.0.