Anthem Next, the retooled version of BioWare's jetpack-fueled sci-fi action game, has been canceled. BioWare will continue running the Anthem live service as it stands.
"While we continue to make progress against all our game projects at BioWare, working from home during the pandemic has had an impact on our productivity and not everything we had planned as a studio before COVID-19 can be accomplished without putting undue stress on our teams," executive producer Christian Dailey wrote in the blog post announcing the cancelation.
EA executives met this week to review the game and decide whether to continue development, according to Bloomberg. Apparently, they decided it wasn't worth the effort.
Anthem came out in February 2019 and was widely regarded as a mess. As a new online sci-fi universe from Mass Effect studio BioWare, fans had high expectations for Anthem, but at launch it was riddled with game-breaking glitches and inconsistencies. Years of mismanagement, a rotating door of developers, and a brutal crunch period marred the game's development process, as Kotaku reported in April 2019. Anthem, when it finally shipped, felt like it was still in alpha.
A year after launch, veteran BioWare boss Casey Hudson outlined a plan to fix the game. That was Anthem Next.
Hudson ended up leaving BioWare at the end of 2020, alongside Dragon Age executive producer Mark Darrah. Dailey assumed Darrah's role, and took the lead on Anthem Next.
"Game development is hard," Dailey wrote in today's blog post. "Decisions like these are not easy. Moving forward, we need to laser focus our efforts as a studio and strengthen the next Dragon Age and Mass Effect titles while continuing to provide quality updates to Star Wars: The Old Republic."