*Sigh* Perhaps this news isn’t really going to come as a surprise. And I know there will be those out there who welcome this move as a good thing. But personally, I’m incredibly disappointed. Anthem Next which we first heard about November 2019 is no more. The plug has officially been pulled.
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.‘Anthem Update‘ – Christian Dailey, Anthem Blog (2021)
Rumblings emerged a few weeks ago that the decision point on Anthem’s future was coming. It was leaked that a presentation was due to the EA exec to determine whether the team working on Anthem Next would be scaled up… Or stopped.
We have our answer now, at least.
The promise to keep the service running as it is now is an interesting. On my recent return visit, I noted there had been no updates for the better part of a year. In fact- it would be a year today since the last update.
The literal reading of what was said is that this should continue. I wonder whether whatever resources left to them, once tied up with Next, will now go back to work on current Anthem content? Whether some small part of the Next vision might still come in a piecemeal fashion?
It might be a nice thought, but I think not. In fact, I’m going to make a prediction: The end of the Anthem will be announced before this year is out.
It also seems that the voices out there clambering for BioWare to ditch this in the name of ‘just focusing on Dragon Age and Mass Effect’ were heard and were specifically given a callout in the blog post.
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.‘Anthem Update‘ – Christian Dailey, Anthem Blog (2021)
To be any more than a soundbyte to appease the Anthem naysayers, I would imagine the team working on Anthem currently will have to be repurposed to one of these other divisions. Which does make it harder to reconcile with any vision of the future that includes anything more for Anthem than keeping the lights on.
Still- I do hope this also means that these developers will be repurposed rather than laid off.