A couple of days ago, Anthem’s executive producer, Mark Darrah tweeted a not-so-subtle hint that he would be stepping away from Anthem to work on Dragon Age 4
We aren't working on Dragon Age 3
We aren't working on Dragon Age 5
I guess that's that.
— Mark Darrah (@BioMarkDarrah) May 1, 2019
And he’s not the only one. Two other major pieces of the development team–lead producer Michael Gamble and lead director Jonathan Warner–have also announced that they will be stepping away from the ever-growing debacle that is Anthem. Gamble announced on Twitter that the project is being taken over by Ben Irving and Chad Robertson of Bioware Austin. It should be noted that many reports indicate that Warner had to step away due to family issues, but the other two have not given any indication why they left the project.
Perhaps the most interesting piece of this story is that Gamble stated on Twitter that Bioware’s commitment to Anthem “HAS. NOT. CHANGED.”:
There's been a lot of (incorrect) speculation on this. The studio's support and commitment to anthem HAS. NOT. CHANGED. https://t.co/uxwY3ADPRO
— Michael Gamble (@GambleMike) May 3, 2019
Except that’s quite literally not true. Not only did three principle developers leave the project, but Bioware just announced about a week ago that the roadmap for Anthem has been delayed indefinitely. With most games, the roadmap is kind of a big deal. But when you’re dealing with an online loot-based RPG like Anthem, the roadmap is the game. Without the constant updates provided by a solid roadmap, Anthem is dead in the water.
Anthem released on February 22nd, 2019 to mixed reviews. Many critics have praised the action and gameplay elements, but almost unanimously complain about the extensive load screens that all but halt any momentum the game had going. It’s also been criticized for what seemed like a rushed and disjointed rollout.
Do you think the new development team will be able to salvage anything out of Anthem? Could anyone salvage what has, up to now, been a 3-month train wreck in slow motion? How would you try to fix it? Let us know in the comments!
Billy is a freelance writer living in Indianapolis with his dog, BoJack. He enjoys TED talks, video games, sunny days, football, and the salty tears of his enemies.