BioWare has announced that it's permanently halting development on Anthem Next, which would've been a bottom-up transformation roughly on par with No Man's Sky Next and Destiny: The Taken King. Anthem servers will continue running as usual, BioWare has confirmed.
It's likely that a variety of factors contributed to BioWare's decision to end development on Anthem, but the COVID pandemic in particular and the pressures of working from home were mentioned in Wednesday's announcement (opens in new tab).
"2020 was a year unlike any other however and 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," wrote Anthem executive producer Christian Dailey.
In recent weeks, EA has reportedly been grappling with decisions around how to handle Anthem's future. Early last year, the studio committed to a complete overhaul of Anthem meant to provide "a more satisfying loot experience, better long-term progression, and a more fulfilling end game." But a recent Bloomberg (opens in new tab) report described a situation where EA wasn't sure whether to fund Anthem Next.
In today's announcement, Dailey said the decision to cancel Anthem Next was "not easy," but explained that the studio needed all of its resources to focus on its upcoming games. "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," Dailey said.
For everything on the horizon, don't miss our round-up of all the exciting new games of 2021 and beyond.