In a new status report on Anthem (opens in new tab)'s overhaul, BioWare affirmed that while progress on the update is ongoing, it's still very far away.
Former live service development director Christian Dailey, now studio director at BioWare Austin where Anthem 2.0 is in the works, addressed the state of the game in a new blog post (opens in new tab). This is the first time anyone at BioWare has officially commented on Anthem since February 2020 (opens in new tab), when the studio set the stage for a year of thin updates while the team focuses on fundamental changes.
"The Anthem incubation team has kicked off and we are starting to validate our design hypotheses," Dailey says. "Incubation is a term we use internally – it essentially means we are going back and experimenting/prototyping to improve on the areas where we believe we fell short and to leverage everything that you love currently about Anthem. We are a small team – about 30-ish, earning our way forward as we set out to hit our first major milestone goals. Spoiler – this is going to be a longer process. And yes, the team is small but the whole point of this is to take our time and go back to the drawing board. And a small team gives us the agility a larger one can’t afford."
The size of the overhaul team is a surprise, but Dailey's explanation lines up with previous comments from BioWare general manager Casey Hudson, who said that the studio's goal with Anthem 2.0 is "giving a focused team the time to test and iterate, focusing on gameplay first" in order to reinvent Anthem's flawed core without skimping on its identity. He also touched on the experimental nature of Anthem 2.0, and how much of it is subject to change.
"The reality is you will see things that look awesome but end up on the cutting room floor or things that you might think suck that you feel we are spending too much time on – but in the spirit of experimentation this is all OK," Dailey says. "We really want to provide you all the transparency we can because of your passion and interest in Anthem. But, with that comes seeing how the sausage is made – which is not always pretty by the way."
The good news is that BioWare is looking to "start putting together some regular comms out to everyone to show and talk about these changes and our progress." Hopefully we won't need to wait another three months for the next status report, and perhaps BioWare will have more concrete details to share soon.
The most recent Anthem patch notes (opens in new tab) outline a regular rotation of challenges that will essentially keep the game on life support.