Announced through the official Bioware blog by Anthem’s Executive Producer Christian Dailey, the reasoning for the cancellation is linked to Bioware’s productivity in the face of the global coronavirus pandemic.
“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,” Christian said in a statement.
Bioware planned to release Anthem Next as a complete overhaul to the original game, and would have released it in a series of updates.
While there is very little official information on what the updates would have involved, Dailey did regularly provide screenshots and snippets of information through his Twitter account.
Lots of good discussion around our Pirate friends and new factions. We want to share more on factions and the part they play in the future. One common question though is "where do the Pirates live?" Here of course …. Happy Friday all. pic.twitter.com/dhfFvNXGdy
— Christian Dailey (@ChristianDailey) July 17, 2020
The concept art dubbed “Skull Valley” by fans shows the team were working on new areas and had planned to introduce new factions to Anthem.
Anthem released two years ago to mixed reviews from fans and critics. The PC version of the title currently holds an average Metacritic rating of 59, and other platforms hold a similar average.
Bioware were quick to address issues after launch, improving a number of issues, including the long loading times and fixing the many bugs that plagued the game.
The outlook seemed to improve last year when Bioware announced it would take Anthem back to the drawing board and focus on the ways it could overhaul the project and “improve the areas where the game falls short and leverage everything that fans love currently about Anthem”.
This overhaul became Anthem Next, the same project cancelled today, less than a year after its announcement.
Dailey ended today’s announcement on a thankful note, and showed his appreciation to the Anthem community: “Your feedback and suggestions most certainly help shape the team’s direction, and on a personal note, your kindness and encouragement were much needed last year.”
Late last week, EA also confirmed the acquisition of Codemasters, but the developer will continue to operate as an ‘independent group’.