BioWare made a name for its self with its Dungeons & Dragons games but it did have a few original IPs of its own even back then. The game dev studio made a big bang with its new properties Dragon Age and Mass Effect but, after three major games each, doubts started to rise whether BioWare still had what it takes to do something completely new. If Anthem was supposed to be its answer, it wasn’t a very good one, and the cancellation of its NEXT version will probably raise those doubts even higher.
Anthem came around the time of big sci-fi MMOs like Destiny and Titanfall but barely even made it out the door. When it did finally launch in 2019, it was flooded by complaints about buggy systems and lackluster content. To its credit, BioWare took those criticisms to heart and promised to rework the game in what it called Anthem NEXT. That, however, will never see the light of day.
Like many recently canned projects, products, and events, the blame was squarely laid on the COVID-19 pandemic. Although it was technically possible to work from home, some game development workflows just didn’t lend themselves completely well to remote processes. The company also said that they could have pushed for getting the results they originally wanted but it would come at the expense of the team’s welfare.
As such, the studio has decided to just scrap Anthem NEXT completely. That doesn’t mean the sci-fi MMO action RPG itself is going offline, just that the massive restructuring BioWare envisioned and promised will no longer come to pass. You’ll still be able to play Anthem, of course, but will have to settle for the minor improvements and new content that the developers will continue to push.
How long that will be the case, however, BioWare doesn’t say. In the meantime, it says it will be putting its focus on it existing games, including the Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO, and its original IPs Dragon Age and Mass Effect, the latter of which already has a sequel coming.