Anthem released on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Windows on February 22, 2019. After two years on the market, and many plans to overhaul the game, Anthem NEXT (aka Anthem 2.0) has been officially canned.
BioWare executive producer Christian Dailey has stated how they will “continue to keep the Anthem live service running as it exists today.” However all new development on Anthem NEXT will be terminated.
The decision has been made so that the studio can look towards strengthening the development of the new Mass Effect and Dragon Age titles. Bailey emphasised that he understands there will be frustrations from the current fanbase and also said that “It’s also disappointing for the team who were doing brilliant work. And for me personally, Anthem is what brought me to BioWare, and the last two years have been some of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my career.”
The initial plan, which was announced in February 2020, was to overhaul the core gameplay of Anthem after it launched to unsatisfactory reviews from critics and public alike. Regardless of the stale response it still won two awards from Game Critics Awards and also had earned more than $100 million as of February 2019.
The issues came when the sales did not meet the expectations of Electronic Arts who wanted to see 6 million units sold by the end of March 2019. The game also received an average of 5.5/10 in most reviews and it sold two times less units that Mass Effect Andromeda which was itself considered a commercial failure.