Wednesday, 31 January 2018

BioWare's Anthem delayed until 2019



The release of Anthem, BioWare's answer to Bungie's beleaguered Destiny, is being pushed back to 2019. Publisher EA has released a statement suggesting the game is deep into development and the delay is due to the as-yet-untitled Battlefront this holiday season.

"We've chosen to launch Anthem in [tax year] Q4 and the date is really determined by portfolio of balancing consideration not for product readiness reasons. It's tracking well on its development milestones. We are really confident of its ship date," said EA boss Andrew Wilson during a company investors call.

"We are really excited by the way the next Battlefield is shaping up and it probably doesn't make sense to launch Anthem right up next to it. And when you think about Anthem as a brand new IP, we also believe it make sense to give it its own launch window so that we can give us a focus and attention that it deserve and give it some free air."

Evidently, EA doesn't want to repeat the mistake of releasing two tentpole franchises within a week of each other. Battlefront I overshadowed the critically-acclaimed Titanfall 2 in 2016.

The publisher has received flak from the gaming community. From a bungled launch of Mass Effect: Andromeda to a loot box revolt for Star Wars Battlefront II. BioWare is doubling down on the development of Anthem whilst speculation surrounds a takeover of EA. Microsoft and Disney have been cited as potential buyers.

Frankly, I assumed Anthem wouldn't be released until late 2019 or 2020. That said, Anthem is being overseen by Casey Hudson who directed the original Mass Effect trilogy. So, I'm hopeful it'll bring character-driven storytelling into the looter shooter space.