For weeks now the Anthem community has been waiting with bated breath to hear about the outcome of the game and whether it had any future. Yesterday, BioWare dropped the news many didn’t want to hear…Anthem Next is no more and will not receive the update it was promised.
To put it in a nutshell, a pandemic happened. This pandemic has hit us all hard and when I say all I mean every single person in the world and this includes game developers. For the past year now developers have been taken from their studios to work at home and let’s be honest, that is never gonna be as easy as working in a studio…constant game delays recently have proven this. Christian Dailey (who was providing updates for Anthem 2.0) addressed the community yesterday in a blog confirming that all work on Anthem would cease.
In the spirit of transparency and closure we wanted to share that we’ve made the difficult decision to stop our new development work on Anthem (aka Anthem NEXT). We will, however, continue to keep the Anthem live service running as it exists today.
As of now the current small team who was working on Anthem 2.0 has now been moved to the Dragon Age and Mass Effect teams, with the studio wanting the sole focus to be on both of these franchises along with Star Wars: The Old Republic. Bioware hopes that moving all focus onto these projects will ensure that we get stronger games from it.
A community’s response
There have been mixed responses from the community. A lot of us had already come to terms with the fact that it was unlikely BioWare would carry on with Anthem, a wall that we had built so that when the time would come we would either be pleasantly surprised or more accepting of its fate. The fact is as much as we may have been expecting it doesn’t mean it didn’t hurt hard. For others, they had such high hopes and investment in the game that when it was announced it was almost like a crushing blow to the gut, however for some the announcement has been met with some anger and displeasure, anger that the game had shipped unfinished and that despite this the game would never be complete.
One of the shining lights that come from this is the many friendships that have been formed, it’s always been a tight-knit community and one that has always stuck together. These people have flown for hours with new friends, met them at conventions, and formed new friendships that will last a lifetime, which only added to yesterday’s sadness. A melancholy of sorts as people who’ve played the game looked back on just how much they’ve gained from this one game. That’s not forgetting the members of the community who sunk hours into creating content, from videos to streams to fan art and so much more, people gave to this game and that came from a great fondness of it.
For the past two years, I’ve played a big role in the Anthem community, something that I never asked for or was expecting but rather was given by the players and I worked hard within that role. I spent many hours of my day thinking of ways to keep the community engaged, to keep spirits up at times, dealt with abuse thrown my way due to my support for the game, and more importantly I created a positive space for freelancers to come to.
Yesterday was a sad day for me and it felt like it had all come to an end, I was sad for myself, for the community, and of course for that small team in Austin who worked tirelessly on how they could improve the game. Part of me feels disappointed that so much could have been done with it – it could have been something amazing, but I have also come to terms with the fact that it is not going to be happening. Rest assured that this will never take away the love I have for the game and the community.
I have met so many people and gained friendships with devs and players alike. That is something no-one can take away from me or anyone else in the same position.
Just remember freelancers, this isn’t goodbye, it’s see you later because even though we have reached the end of the road we’re taking amazing friends and memories with us.
We’re always Stronger Together.