BioWare cancels plans for Anthem rework, shifts focus to Dragon Age and Mass Effect

EA and BioWare have called off its Anthem 2.0 project, canceling plans for what was meant to be a revitalizing rework of BioWare’s failed 2019 online shooter Anthem.

This comes straight from BioWare, who published a blog post on the decision this afternoon with the note that Anthem, as it exists today, will stay online for the foreseeable future.

“It’s also disappointing for the team who were doing brilliant work,” reads a statement from BioWare Austin studio director Christian Dailey. In the full post, Dailey adds that the COVID-19 pandemic has complicated development for many of the studio’s projects, including the already precarious Anthem.

“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,” writes Dailey.

Planned as its own take on a persistent online shooter like Bungie’s Destiny, Anthem launched in early 2019 with a myriad of issues and sales well below EA’s expectations. Shortly after launch, reports of severe crunch at the studio emerged along with other details that painted a troubling picture of Anthem‘s pre-release development.

Despite its reception, EA CEO said at the time that the company wasn’t yet ready to cut its losses with Anthem and by early 2020 BioWare paused its seasonal update plans to instead work on a full overhaul of the game, the now ill fated Anthem 2.0 or Anthem Next.

Earlier this month, a report from Bloomberg leaked that EA would soon make a decision on if the Anthem 2.0 project should proceed. Following today’s news, Bloomberg separately reports that according to its sources Anthem 2.0‘s small team of devs is headed to the Dragon Age team.

“Game development is hard. Decisions like these are not easy,” reads Dailey’s post on the BioWare blog. “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.”

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