This isn’t a complete surprise after a report from Kotaku a few months back talked about “Anthem 2.0” and “Anthem Next,” both of which were said to be “bottom-up transofrmations.” Apparently, those reports were very accurate.
With the recent onslaught of crappy game releases (Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, The Division 2, and the PC Port of RDR2, we’re looking at out) it goes without saying that sometimes game makers miss the mark. That became clearly evident with BioWare’s Anthem, and General Manager, Casey Hudson, has confirmed that a “longer-term redesign” is, in fact, under way.
Over the last year, the team has worked hard to improve stability, performance and general quality of life while delivering three seasons of new content and features. We have also heard your feedback that Anthem needs a more satisfying loot experience, better long-term progression and a more fulfilling end game. So we recognize that there’s still more fundamental work to be done to bring out the full potential of the experience, and it will require a more substantial reinvention than an update or expansion.
The same blog post where the revamp was confirmed also discloses that BioWare is looking to “reinvent the core gameplay loop with clear goals, motivating challenges, and progression with meaningful rewards.”
The good news is that the company plans to keep Anthem as close to its original concept as much as possible in that it will always feature flying and fighting in massive science-fantasy setting. The truth is, however, that this isn’t going to come without a cost:
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.
If you’re not aware of what this last quote means, I’ll explain. Anthem was actually pieced together in about a year’s time after spending a few years in development hell. The long-term update will be worked on diligently “over the coming months,” but there’s no set expectation for when the game will go through the big update. The game won’t be going dark, but a good portion of the studio’s resources will be diverted from creating new content to recreating Anthem at its core. The usual events and store refreshes will still happen, but from the sound of it, new content will be put ont eh backburner for now.
Creating new worlds is central to our studio mission, but it’s not easy. Sometimes we get it right, sometimes we miss. What keeps us going is the support from players like you. Your feedback gives us guidance on how we can improve, and your passion inspires us with the courage to create. I look forward to working together with your involvement and feedback towards the best possible future for Anthem.