Surfacing at the tail end of last week was the news that multiple former BioWare devs who’d all contributed heavily to Star Wars The Old Republic at one point or another in their careers were moving on to a new studio called FogBank to work on unnamed narrative-centric games. The Fogbank roster includes Daniel Erickson and Alexander Freed, both of whom left BioWare and SWTOR years ago. But it also includes renowned storyteller Drew Karpyshyn, who’d returned to BioWare specifically to work on Anthem, which certainly cast some doubt on the state of that game, which has been delayed at least once (though EA denies it).
On Saturday, Anthem studio boss Casey Hudson address growing player concern on Twitter, suggesting rather ambiguously that Karpyshyn had simply finished his work on the game and was moving on as part of the natural course of development. “Story will always be an important part of every BioWare game,” he wrote. “Drew has wrapped up his work on the project, but Anthem’s Lead Writers and their teams continue to do amazing work developing the world, story, and characters.”
But YouTubers Laymen Gaming have claimed that yet another writer has left the Anthem team. According to their tipster, Lead Studio Writer Hall Hood – i.e., Karpyshyn’s former boss – is also leaving. To be clear, this is still in the rumor stage, as apparently Hall isn’t publicizing it yet (and his Linkedin still lists him working on SWTOR). But that rumor, even unconfirmed, coupled with Karpyshyn’s departure, is already sparking concern about what’s going on with the game. The video speculates on crunch, on EA’s oversight, and additional delays. “It’s the worst-kept secret in the industry that Anthem is really struggling,” they posit.