After putting a pin in short-term updates and expansions to focus on a “longer-term redesign” of the game, EA announced today that it will be canceling its planned revamp of the game Anthem, called Anthem Next. But the company plans to keep Anthem’s live service running “as it exists today.”
“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),” BioWare executive producer Christian Dailey said in a recent blog post. “We will, however, continue to keep the Anthem live service running as it exists today.”
BioWare does have other projects in the works, including Dragon Age 4. According to Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, the small team that was working on Anthem’s redesign will now be working on the sequel to Dragon Age.
Anthem launched nearly two years ago and was met with poor reviews, with the main criticism stemming from a lack of content, subpar story, and repetitive gameplay. A year following its release, BioWare said it was invested in improving the game with seasonal updates. But last year, then-general manager Casey Hudson said that it would pause short-term updates to reinvent the entire game. It was reported last May that an incubation team of about 30 people was tasked with reworking Anthem.
With support for Anthem ending, BioWare’s open-world shooter will not receive a second chance. It's quite common for games to struggle at launch, but several have turned things around thanks to frequent updates, which was the case for Final Fantasy XIV and No Man’s Sky.