Anthem Delayed to 2019 as EA puts Studio, Bioware under Heavy Scrutiny
At E3 2017, the creators of 'KOTOR' and 'Mass Effect' took the Microsoft stage to announce their next game. Following the failure of 'Mass Effect: Andromeda,' Bioware was both under heavy scrutiny from gamers, and their parent company, EA.
Anthem looks to be another gear-grind action game, entering the space pioneered by Destiny and The Division.
Since 'Andromeda' was developed by a former support studio-turned ancillary Bioware shop, many felt that its poor performance didn't reflect the talent at the main studio. After all, their most recent title, 'Dragon Age: Inquisition,' was a critical and financial hit. But it appears this team was not immune to the spinoff's splash damage.
Anthem began development in 2012, lead by Casey Hudson. By 2014, though, he'd left the company to lead Microsoft's Holographic projects. He returned to Bioware last year, amidst reports that Anthem's development was experiencing severe turbulence.
Kotaku's Jason Schreier reported that the studio had issue's with EA's in-house Frostbite Engine, among other traditional challenges of game development. With a project as ambitious as Anthem's live RPG, this isn't surprising.
With the failure of EA's 'Star Wars: Battlefront II,' thought, it's not hard to imagine that the publisher is now far more reliant on Anthem's success.
Schreier further elaborates that Bioware has taken notice of Destiny 2's troubles, from the lack of communication to the game's shallow end-game. The space that Anthem is entering is filled with games that shared the same narratives of troubled development and controversial releases.
Ultimately, the decision to delay 'Anthem' to 2019 isn't wholly surprising. Even assuming optimal conditions, many doubted the game would hit its original Fall 2018 release date. Throw in a troubled development process, and gamers should expect to wait.
Perhaps it's for the best, with Red Dead Redemption and it's inevitable 'GTA: Online' style live component on the verge of launching sometime this year. It may be best just to stand outside its expected crater area.
The space Anthem is entering is no longer as empty as it was when Destiny first launched. And with Destiny 2's rapid downfall, it may no longer be as forgiving as the market that forgave the original Destiny.