BioWare is reportedly working on a massive update for Anthem in the style, and on the scale, of No Man's Sky Next and Destiny: The Taken King. According to Kotaku, the overhaul has been called "Anthem 2.0" and "Anthem Next" internally, which is fitting given its alleged scope. The studio's reportedly reconsidering everything but the kitchen sink, from Anthem's loot and difficulty to its quest and world design - all the things that didn't stick the landing, in other words, which is quite a lot indeed.
Kotaku's report comes at a quiet and fairly dour time for Anthem. To its credit, the game's most recent updates have made solid forward progress on build and loot variety, but minor updates have done little to lift the spirits of many players. After major setbacks - a delayed roadmap, the underwhelming Cataclysm launch, buggy updates which failed to address fundamental problems, and the disconcerting departure of several lead developers, to name a few - some current and lapsed Anthem players have grown understandably beleaguered.
However, word is BioWare is hard at work on precisely the kind of bottom-up transformation that players have been hoping for practically since the game's launch. In fact, IGN reports that EA's enlisted the help of its broader development teams to help BioWare with the update's art, "ostensibly to free up time for the core team to do major things." Suffice it to say, the hatches have been battened down.
Anonymous sources close to the project maintain that Anthem will remain a shared-world action game starring souped-up mecha suits called Javelins, but damn near everything else seems to be up in the air. BioWare's apparently even considering turning Anthem Next into a standalone game, perhaps in a move to start fresh rather than spend more time and money salvaging the existing game. If the studio does take this route, rather than Destiny: The Taken King, Anthem Next would be more like Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn - a complete and utter do-over. Critically, Kotaku indicates that existing players likely won't be charged full price for Anthem Next, whatever form it takes.
BioWare and EA have yet to acknowledge or comment on the reports of Anthem Next, and again, the exact nature of the update and its release window are unclear. But if you're in the camp that's remained cautiously hopeful about Anthem, unconfirmed or not, this news may rekindle your optimism.
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