It’s safe to say that Anthem has been a bit of a disaster for both BioWare and Electronic Arts since it launched back in February. The online RPG promised so much but delivered so little, picking up a mixed critical reception and failing to meet EA’s commercial expectations.
The game was boring, repetitive, riddled with bugs and loading screens, and featured completely underwhelming loot. In the months that followed, amid player backlash, reports surfaced about the games troubled and dysfunctional development, and then the release of key features were delayed as BioWare desperately tried to fix the core of the game, and just a few months ago they effectively abandoned all new content plans in favour of trying to implement long-term fixes. It’s a story of false promises and player frustrations.
Back in August, lead producer Ben Irving left BioWare, and he was followed in September by Chad Robertson, BioWare’s head of live services. These big name departures coupled with the abandonment of all future content plans has led many players to, understandably, speculate that Anthem was going to be allowed to slowly slip away into gaming folklore, like EA had said their last goodbyes, turned off the life support machine, and walked away.
But it appears that may not be the case, at least according to reports from Jason Schreier over at Kotaku. According to Schreier, who cites three sources close to the plans, BioWare and EA are currently working on a complete overhaul for Anthem. The overhaul is currently being worked on by developers at both BioWare Edmonton and BioWare Austin, and it is loosely named as both “Anthem 2.0” and “Anthem Next”.
While the actual details of the overhaul are still up in the air, Schreier reports that BioWare is looking at making changes to loot, quests, difficulty, progression, social aspects, and the world itself. According to one of his sources, BioWare are working on changing the game’s entire structure, possibly by separating the world map into segments rather than having one continuous world. There are also plans to completely change the ways that missions work to get rid of the need for players to revisit Fort Tarsis after every mission, which was a massive pain in the arse. It all strikes up memories of No Mans Sky, which was completely reinvigorated with it’s own NEXT update after its own disastrous launch
Exactly how or when this overhaul will happen is anybodies guess for now, as BioWare and EA are reportedly still trying to figure it all out themselves. There are talks over whether to release the changes in one massive update or whether to spread the changes out over a series of updates, and there’s even the possibility of EA releasing them as a completely new game, although it’s unlikely that they would charge Anthem players full price. Or would they? It is EA, after all.
This is all hearsay for now, of course, so we’ll have to wait for official word from the horses mouth before anything can be confirmed. Kotaku did try to get word from EA, but they declined to comment.