Rumor: EA is debating the future of the beleaguered Anthem Next

    
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It goes clicky.

If you thought Anthem Next was in the clear following EA’s Andrew Wilson telling investors that he was confident in BioWare in spite of the fact that multiple key devs have bailed on the game in the last year, maybe revisit that premature sigh of relief. A new Bloomberg report cites unnamed sources inside EA who’ve said the company leadership plans to meet this week to hash out whether or not the Anthem reboot is still happening at all. Here’s the meat of the story, which EA apparently refused to comment on:

“This week, EA executives will review the latest version of Anthem Next and decide whether to expand the team or abandon the project, said the people, who asked not to be named discussing private information. The Anthem Next team includes about 30 people, BioWare said last year. People familiar with the project said it will need to expand to at least triple that in order to produce new content and continue attempting to overhaul the game. EA has not yet indicated whether it’s willing to commit that kind of budget to revive a maligned game.”

Readers will recall that Anthem as launched was riddled with issues, including a lacking storyline and endgame, to the point that a year ago BioWare announced it was abandoning its planned seasonal content schedule in favor of a major redesign of the live game. But the multiplayer shooter-RPG has since lost piles of core developers and big names, including the reboot’s studio director, BioWare’s general manager, and executive producer, putting the future of the title in doubt. Now, it appears EA will have to decide whether to double-down on its longshot bet or cut its losses entirely.

Get caught up on Anthem’s ordeal:

Source: Bloomberg
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Hareikan

Idk I think it’s a lost cause. It was… Okay when I tried it, shortly after release. Just kind of bland, and there was nothing there to attract me over more easily accessible games like Warframe. If they were gonna fix it, they should have already done it. Put it one big effort the way FFXIV and No Man’s Sky did, but it felt more like they were just trying to slap bandaids on it and hope that kept it together. And at this point I feel like it’s too late to consider trying to revive it.

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Jack Pipsam

At this point it’ll be best to write the entire game off as a bad job and throw it into maintenance mode honestly.

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EmberStar

I’m not sure what’s left to debate at this point. I’m not completely sure Anthem has even gotten a hotfix in months. Many senior staff have bailed out (far more than seems normal for a project still allegedly seeing “active development.”) And it’s apparently not even a secret that the remaining staff is only a fraction of what would be needed to actually construct a full relaunch.

Like Schlag’s picture: She’s dead, Jim.

*Edit* And there’s the equally important “hype” factor. This isn’t Final Fantasy, beloved IP that fans will cling to even through horrible games. (Looking at you, linear corridor starring “Least Interesting Protaganist in the series” Lightning.) This is a standalone IP, and based on what I saw of the lore they were literally just making it up on the spot. Is it sci-fi or fantasy? Yes. Are humans native to that world, or colonists from somewhere else? Maybe. Did the devs even have a clear idea of what they wanted the “Anthem” to be, or did they just fling buzzword magnets at a fridge? Magic Eight Ball says: Check back later.

Barely anyone is playing it now. They’d be pouring time and resources into it, and rolling the dice that they’d somehow be able to pull in an audience for a relaunch. From where I’m watching, it’s basically the problem Wildstar had when it finally remembered that there it needed more players than just two guilds of hardcore raiders who never shut up on the forums. By the time it changed direction, no one cared. Most players had moved on, and either given up on it entirely or found something “close enough” to fill their needs. And Anthem has at least three major competitors that are all doing *much* better. (Warframe, Destiny 2 and Division 2. Depending on how much someone is there for power armor, weird sci-fi, or just shooting stuff in the face.)

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treehuggerhannah

At this point it just seems too late. They might have been able to course correct if they’d developed a clear plan immediately and started making coherent progress right away.

But two years after launch and they still don’t know what they’re doing… if anything? And then the time it would take to actually do the development?

I just don’t think their audience is there anymore.

I know they still have their fans, but I just don’t know that there are enough people still invested in this game to make relaunching a commercial success.

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Anstalt

Honestly, Anthem was doomed from the start.

I mean, did anything really think that Bioware, a company known for it’s storytelling single player experiences, was really qualified to making an online multiplayer looter shooter? Especially after being taken over by EA?

I have no problem with the core idea for the game, but really, wrong tool for the job.

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Richard de Leon III

Peronal opinion: Kill it but migrate its armor gameplay into the next mass effect. Thats prety much the only good thing the game has so that part shouldnt die.

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jealouspirate

Once upon a time Bioware meant something as a studio, but those days have long since past.

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Ironwu

Who that has not already bought it (and would get the update free) could possibly consider paying $60+ dollars for this?

There are just to many other games available that are similar to this that are much more secure and supported.

The only chance it would have, I think, is if it launched fully free to play for both client and game play. Then, maybe if it was any good folks would support it. Maybe.

Is ‘maybe’ enough for continued sunk cost expenditures on this game? Probably not.

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Coldin Torrence

While I would actually really like to see Anthem rise and be a good game, it’s been far too long. And far too little investment. No Mans Sky did it by investing resources into the project, constantly adding new patches. FFXIV did it by putting in a lot of man power, and was still putting out small story updates in between. Anthem hasn’t done any of that, and hasn’t even been showing any kind of progress behind the scenes. The hype is done, and EA is not known for trying to maintain a failing product.

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Hikari Kenzaki

Star Wars fans watching Anthem fans who hope EA won’t cancel a partially finished game (over and over…)
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Maybe they could sell Anthem to the people who keep remaking Bless?