Anthem had voor EA dé tegenhanger van Destiny moeten zijn, maar het verliep op z’n zachtst gezegd niet al te best. De game stelde teleur bij de release vanwege een hele hoop redenen en al snel kwam BioWare met een verklaring dat ze de beloftes niet waar hebben kunnen maken. Een jaar later beloofde de ontwikkelaar dat ze terug naar de tekentafel zouden gaan en de game opnieuw zouden gaan maken. Dit zou dan ‘Anthem NEXT’ worden en hierbij gaven ze stellig aan dat ze alsnog op hun beloftes wilden leveren.

Maar ook dat blijkt nu een loze belofte, want via een algemene verklaring heeft executive producer Christian Dailey laten weten dat BioWare Austin en EA besloten hebben de game te annuleren. Daarmee is Anthem NEXT officieel van de baan. We moeten het dus met de matige game van begin 2019 doen en er zal nooit een alternatief of betere editie uitkomen. Wel belooft BioWare dat ze de service draaiend blijven houden. Oftewel, Anthem zal online te spelen blijven voor de komende tijd.

Hieronder de complete verklaring van Dailey:

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.

Please stay safe and be kind to each other. Strong alone, stronger together.