When Anthem was announced at E3 2017, I was ecstatic to see a title with such promise being developed for 2018. More so because of the company, BioWare, the video game developer known for titles such as Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Dragon Age Origins, and the Mass Effect trilogy, that was developing it. Having made similar games before (Mass Effect), I was curious to see what would become of Anthem, their latest project. But the pressure is mounting, as BioWare’s future may rest entirely in the hands of their new title and how it performs (fiscally and critically) in the eyes of EA, the publisher that bought them out back in 2007.
When Mass Effect: Andromeda was released almost a year ago, the game was met with disappointment from both fans and critics alike. In response, EA completely absorbed BioWare Montreal, the studio that developed Andromeda, into EA Motive. There’s a lot of rumors going around from a variety of sources (see Kotaku’s article on the matter for more details) saying that if BioWare doesn’t deliver with Anthem, then the company will look a lot different after the game’s release date. And that’s partially due to EA disbanding the entire Montreal branch because of the disappointment surrounding Andromeda. So it should come as no surprise that BioWare has pushed back the release date of Anthem from the projected fall 2018 time period to early 2019.
With the pressure mounting from EA, BioWare wants to ensure that their newest game is ready to be launched. They clearly will not be satisfied with anything less than a resounding success, and I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. With both BioWare teams–those in Edmonton and Austin–working on Anthem now, there’s a lot of promise for the project. With the controversy surrounding loot boxes and micros transactions–and EA being at the heart of the issue with Star Wars Battlefront II–BioWare is faced with a growing list of issues (i.e. they’re having trouble with their engine, Frostbite) that could force the game to suffer. Look at No Man’s Sky: a game that wasn’t ready to be released but was anyways. Now look at Anthem’s development: BioWare is aware that the game needs more time and has taken the necessary steps in ensuring that it gets all of the attention it needs.
Whether or not you have faith in BioWare’s latest venture, the signs that the final product will be worth the wait are all there. BioWare’s Creative Director, Brenon Holmes, has been sharing details on the game too and answering questions from those following the game’s progress on Reddit. What you can take from all of this is that BioWare really wants it to be an amazing game, and, even with the pressure nipping at their heels, they aren’t folding. But the fact remains: EA is adamant about Anthem being released before the end of their fiscal year come March 2019. This, in turn, leaves us with one important question: Will the game be ready by then? Check back at The Nerd Stash for more news on the progress of the game as it unfolds.