BioWare and EA have canceled the planned reboot of Anthem. In a blog post, executive producer Christian Dailey announced the cancellation, partially due to the ongoing COVID pandemic, and that the development team is moving to BioWare’s next upcoming game, Dragon Age 4.
“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.
“[…] 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. 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.”
BioWare has been in a rough patch the last few years, weighed down by major flops Mass Effect: Andromeda and Anthem. Anthem was released in 2019 as a Destiny-like co-op action-shooter with Iron Man-like suits. But the gameplay was shallow and repetitive, and was never able to resonate with the gamers looking for an online-service game.
In 2020, BioWare ended seasonal updates for Anthem as they looked to reboot the core game. February 2021 was the cutoff to evaluate if Anthem had a future. The result is a thumbs down. The good news, the staff is being transitioned into other upcoming BioWare titles, like the fourth Dragon Age game.
According to Jason Schreier at Bloomberg News, BioWare is removing planned multiplayer and online services from the upcoming Dragon Age game, keeping it as a single player RPG. It’s a result of Anthem’s failure and the semi-recent success of single-player action game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
Anthem is still available on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox. It’s rated T for Teen.