One of the biggest flops of 2019 was BioWare's living sci-fi game Anthem. While it received middling review scores based on the content available at launch, it quickly became apparent the development team did not have sufficient long-term content or gameplay-evolution plans in place to sustain a dedicated community the way a living game needs to in the current landscape. Many Anthem players have felt abandoned by the development team's lack of meaningful new content in the year since its launch. Today, BioWare general manager Casey Hudson announced plans for the future of Anthem.
In a post on the BioWare Blog, Hudson says the last year has seen the team focused on improving "stability, performance and general quality of life while delivering three seasons of new content and features." Many players have been dissatisfied with not only the quantity of content released by BioWare, but the pace at which is has come to the game as well. In the post, Hudson says he understands that players yearn for "a more satisfying loot experience, better long-term progression and a more fulfilling end game."
To address these concerns, Hudson says Anthem will receive a "more substantial reinvention than an update or expansion."
"Over the coming months we will be focusing on a longer-term redesign of the experience, specifically working to reinvent the core gameplay loop with clear goals, motivating challenges and progression with meaningful rewards – while preserving the fun of flying and fighting in a vast science-fantasy setting. And to do that properly we’ll be doing something we’d like to have done more of the first time around – giving a focused team the time to test and iterate, focusing on gameplay first."
Unfortunately, it sounds as though the future will continue to come at the cost of the present. Hudson says the team will continue to run the "current version of Anthem, but move away from full seasons as the team works towards the future of Anthem." Hudson promises to keep the game active through in-game events, store refreshes, and past seasonal and cataclysm content in the meantime, including an anniversary event this month. You can read the full blog post here.
While it's nice to know BioWare is committed to the future of Anthem, I'm curious for more details on what the actual redesign and reworkings will entail. For now, it's just a glimmer of hope that the future of this game can live up to the promise it had prior to launch. For more on Anthem, check out our review of the base game or our exclusive behind-the-scenes look at development in our coverage hub.