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RIP Anthem

BioWare has made the decision to end the redevelopment of its action RPG Anthem after a tumultuous year that included leadership turnover. The studio broke the news in a blog post from its executive producer, Christian Dailey, on Feb. 24. Dailey cited the COVID-19 pandemic and productivity issues with working from home as a major hindrance to all of BioWare's projects.


"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," he wrote. "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."

The Anthem live service will continue as is, but BioWare will refocus its efforts on its other titles. "Game development is hard," Dailey wrote. "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 launched in February 2019 and was considered one of the biggest releases of that year. But the game did not live up to the hype. In addition to a rocky start, it drew criticism for being too grindy, among other issues.

Responding to feedback, BioWare decided to restructure the game, including its builds and systems, with an overhaul dubbed Anthem Next less than a year after the title's original release. BioWare continued to provide updates to the game as well as updates via blog posts. But late last year, two senior members of BioWare's team left, leaving a gap in the studio's leadership. A few weeks ago, a rumor began spreading that EA might shelve the project altogether.

"To the Anthem community, thank you for your passion and creativity," Dailey concluded. "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."

Following today's announcement, EA chief studios officer Laura Miele said in an interview with IGN: "Anthem was a creative risk and its challenges have taught us a lot about game design and even how we can improve our development process. This not only benefits developers, but players as well."