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Report: BioWare doubling down on Anthem, might bring it back as ‘Anthem 2.0’

Rumors of the loot shooter’s demise are premature, developers say

a hangar with a giant mech in Anthem BioWare/Electronic Arts
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

BioWare is working to overhaul and redeploy Anthempotentially as an all-new product on shelves — according to a Kotaku report quoting anonymous sources at the studio. EA itself declined to comment on the story.

The salvage operation hints at the present state of the multiplayer loot-shooter, which has seen big-name project managers depart recently, and was dumped into the EA Access catalog seven months after its February launch.

Still, “Anthem 2.0,” or “Anthem Next,” as it is reportedly being informally referred to, will deliver a “drastically” changed game, involving the mission structure, loot and world itself, according to Kotaku’s Jason Schreier.

Anthem launched in almost complete dysfunction, with performance problems and a bland design that failed to deliver on the game’s marketing hype. Kotaku also detailed the manifold problems in Anthem’s conception and development back in April, which drew a very defensive reply from BioWare and Electronic Arts.

Not soon after, BioWare began backtracking on an ambitious 90-day roadmap of post-launch support that developers had drawn up. That delayed, by three months, the release of Cataclysm, end-game content that is a staple of the open-world, massively multiplayer loot shooters that Anthem was meant to compete with. Cataclysm finally arrived in August, but failed to energize the game’s remaining player base.

Kotaku’s report cautions that “many of the details are still in flux, and there’s no clear timeline” for Anthem’s makeover, whatever it entails. Developers are considering a series of updates similar to what was seen with No Man’s Sky, which struggled during its launch in 2016, but recovered in 2018 with a comprehensive update called No Man’s Sky Next.

BioWare could also release “Anthem 2.0” as an entirely new game, Kotaku reported, though it’s unlikely that original Anthem owners would be forced to purchase the game again.

Still “It’s safe to say that Anthem won’t suddenly transform into a brand-new franchise,” Kotaku says. “BioWare’s plan is to zoom out and overhaul the gameplay systems that most have agreed don’t work.”

Kotaku, of course, has a lot more detail; you should check it out.

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