Wednesday, February 24th 2021

BioWare & EA Cancel Development of Anthem NEXT

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. Since Anthem's launch, the team has been working hard to continually improve the game, releasing multiple updates that brought with them a variety of improvements and introduced new content to play. Towards the end of 2019 we expanded on that effort and started working on a more fundamental restructure of the game.

During the development we've provided updates revealing some of the team's work through blog posts and conversations with you on social media and it's been inspiring for us to see the positive reactions and feedback. I've been incredibly proud of the work the team has been doing, and excited to see and play each new build of the experience.
2020 was a year unlike any other however and while we continue to make progress against all our game projects at BioWare, 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.

I know this will be disappointing to the community of Anthem players who have been excited to see the improvements we've been working on. It's also disappointing for the team who were doing brilliant work. And for me personally, Anthem is what brought me to BioWare, and the last two years have been some of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my career.

Game development is hard. Decisions like these are not easy. 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.

To the Anthem community, thank you for your passion and creativity. 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.
Source: Bioware
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39 Comments on BioWare & EA Cancel Development of Anthem NEXT

#1
DonKnotts
Well I guess I know what Jim Sterling's next video will be about.
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#2
TechLurker
So much for being a Destiny-killer. What updates? The game hardly got any of them. It's deader than ever the last time I logged on. While it had potential, it's probably better served being iced like Mass Effect, until they can really get a proper and dedicated team to actually do justice with the concept. The most unintentionally hilarious bit about Anthem is that all of the lore about the World Tuners just abandoning their creation (the world of Anthem) effectively represent the game devs, even if it doesn't seem intentional.
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#3
Tomorrow
Good move. Better put resoures to DA and ME. You know - titles people actually want.
Anthems idea was not bad but the execution was horrible.
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#4
Searing
TechLurkerSo much for being a Destiny-killer. What updates? The game hardly got any of them. It's deader than ever the last time I logged on. While it had potential, it's probably better served being iced like Mass Effect, until they can really get a proper and dedicated team to actually do justice with the concept. The most unintentionally hilarious bit about Anthem is that all of the lore about the World Tuners just abandoning their creation (the world of Anthem) effectively represent the game devs, even if it doesn't seem intentional.
The problem is the 2.0 team didn't even release any updates at all within a year. If you can't fix your game at all in 12 months, time to give up. Switch to Unreal 5 and make a Mass Effect game instead. Frostbite seems to have been a disaster for Bioware.
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#5
ZoneDymo
it is pretty sad when big companies like this cant get something to work
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#6
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
ZoneDymoit is pretty sad when big companies like this cant get something to work
Being big makes it harder to get it working (whatever that means).
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#8
FreedomEclipse
~Technological Technocrat~
SearingFrostbite seems to have been a disaster for Bioware.
Im sure it was management at EA who were pushing them to use it, I mean thats how we got broken games like ME: Andromeda and some of the FIFA games where players on the pitch are all glitching out.
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#9
TriCyclops
Not that I will miss the game, EA just sucks balls.
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#10
Ravenmaster
TomorrowGood move. Better put resoures to DA and ME. You know - titles people actually want.
Anthems idea was not bad but the execution was horrible.
Agreed.
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#11
THU31
EA was one of the worst gaming companies of the last decade, and they are starting the new decade with a bang. There will come a day when they will only publish games like FIFA and Sims, because that is where the money is.

The sad thing is that it is the investors who ruin everything. They only care about making more money, they have zero interest in creating anything. What is the point of making money just to make it? Is this the equivalent of sleeping with every woman you possibly can? Why are there so few passionate rich people who actually want to bring something into this world, and not just into their pockets? The world is so sad.
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#12
DonKnotts
FreedomEclipseI mean thats how we got broken games like ME: Andromeda
To be honest, even if ME Andromeda didn't have a single bug in it, it still would have been an awful game because the story and characters were awful. That game just never should have happened.
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#13
Vayra86
TomorrowGood move. Better put resoures to DA and ME. You know - titles people actually want.
Anthems idea was not bad but the execution was horrible.
Arent those deceased and reanimated as skeleton franchises already?

Id say they are.
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#14
Chrispy_
Vayra86Arent those deceased and reanimated as skeleton franchises already?

Id say they are.
Andromeda wasn't bad, it just suffered from EA's heavy-handed, ruin-everything-it-touches forced release schedule. Bioware had to cut it down massively from their original plan with several races from the Milky Way omitted and plenty of unfinished content just being cut altogether. The launch bugs didn't help, but I only played it last year after all the patches had fixed the worst of the glitches.

I enjoyed Andromeda for what it was, and in a relatively bug-free state I just wish they'd had a larger team and more time to release they game they actually wanted to rather than the half-baked, half-sized game that EA made them push out the door.
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#15
Easo
I love how they basically lied for more than a year about the reboot.
In the meantime at least there is this post which was timed incredibly horribly, so we can have a bit of a laugh - AnthemTheGame/comments/lrktpj
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#16
Lomskij
Considering all the excitement caused by Cavill's instagram post, I hope they're moving the resources into the ME now. I'd love to see this franchise revived.
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#17
Vayra86
Chrispy_Andromeda wasn't bad, it just suffered from EA's heavy-handed, ruin-everything-it-touches forced release schedule. Bioware had to cut it down massively from their original plan with several races from the Milky Way omitted and plenty of unfinished content just being cut altogether. The launch bugs didn't help, but I only played it last year after all the patches had fixed the worst of the glitches.

I enjoyed Andromeda for what it was, and in a relatively bug-free state I just wish they'd had a larger team and more time to release they game they actually wanted to rather than the half-baked, half-sized game that EA made them push out the door.
Andromeda was filler content from beginning to end. 'Enjoyable' sure. But Mass Effect trilogy wasn't just enjoyable, it rivalled a great movie trilogy in narrative, character development, etc. Andromeda has none of that. Its just filler.

So basically Andromeda contains nothing except the artwork and skins/assets from the Mass Effect series, its not even remotely a serious entry.

The same goes for Dragon Age beyond part 1 really. Bioware was looking to refine the format and managed to clusterfuck it to death.
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#18
GLeader
can't fix game = covid
lazy to go to work = covid
why you get a speed ticket = covid
why i am salty = covid

"insert problem here" = "excuse = covid"
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#19
Lomskij
Vayra86Andromeda was filler content from beginning to end. 'Enjoyable' sure. But Mass Effect trilogy wasn't just enjoyable, it rivalled a great movie trilogy in narrative, character development, etc. Andromeda has none of that. Its just filler.

So basically Andromeda contains nothing except the artwork and skins/assets from the Mass Effect series, its not even remotely a serious entry.

The same goes for Dragon Age beyond part 1 really. Bioware was looking to refine the format and managed to clusterfuck it to death.
It's a good comparison actually: if the original trilogy were a Hollywood movie, then Andromeda had a distinct TV-series spin-off feel to it :cool:
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#20
dirtyferret
Vayra86Arent those deceased and reanimated as skeleton franchises already?

Id say they are.
I would say that's more Bioware as a whole since EA bought them and everybody left
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#21
sam_86314
Not surprised in the slightest. So much for a ten-year journey.

Of course, we all know EA will learn jack shit from this. They'll force another live service disaster out from another dev, be shocked when it inevitably fails, then rinse and repeat.
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#22
Vayra86
LomskijIt's a good comparison actually: if the original trilogy were a Hollywood movie, then Andromeda had a distinct TV-series spin-off feel to it :cool:
This comparison works for almost every new installment of old classics.

A vast majority is soulless, zero talent in writing, its all ultra cliché 'guaranteed success' blandness. Everything got mainstreamed to death basically. The games you remember are the strange ones, the ones that surprise, the ones that offer depth in gameplay or writing, something to really discover beyond just walking up to a marker and minmaxing your three quasi-RPG stats to somehow provide an impression you're doing something substantial. You're really not, you're just walking the path of fake choice. That's Bioware content in a nutshell for a while now. They say they're making RPGs, but they're really not. They make action games with an identity crisis.

With the diversity discussion on top not only is the content bland, but the visuals are also now the eternal 'must have people types'. Everyone walked straight out of an Instagram shot and looks like a Hollywood actor. Disgusting. And oh yeah, we have one each of Asian, Caucasian, Black... male and female in a near-perfect 50% split... yawnfest. There is no basis for any of it, no writing to support it. Its just there because it must be done.
sam_86314Not surprised in the slightest. So much for a ten-year journey.
Destiny was a ten-year journey too remember. They abandoned that idea since year two, but never mind that, in the EA board room, that's the buzz line that stuck with them.

Copy copy copy with no idea of what good gaming is.
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#23
Chrispy_
dirtyferretI would say that's more Bioware as a whole since EA bought them and everybody left
ME2 was the best of the trilogy IMO and that happened under EA. Not because of EA, but before EA really restructured the company. RIP another great studio. Losing the original Bioware team was as significant as losing Bullfrog, Maxis, or Westwood.
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#24
lexluthermiester
Yay! EA rubs two brain-cells together and kills off a project no one cares about. Now let's see if they can make a really smart move and start releasing more of their franchise titles(Command & Conquer for example) on GOG... The Bioshock series was an amazing success for them on GOG! Let's hope they learn...
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#25
Tomorrow
Vayra86Arent those deceased and reanimated as skeleton franchises already?

Id say they are.
I think they are not. Both are still very much relevant. ME3 multiplayer still has a dedicated community. One would think a tacked on horde mode in a predominantly singleplayer game from 10 years ago would have died off long ago. Buit it has not. And there are still people playing ME for the first time.

It's not the IP that's the problem with BioWare. Its writing and management/execution. They have good ideas but if the writing sucks and management is rife with undecisive people then what you get is a poorly executed release with unintresting characters. Bugs can be fixed. Bad writing stays after the release.
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