In a statement released earlier today on BioWare’s blog, the studio announced that Anthem Next, the long-awaited update/overhaul of the disappointing live-service title Anthem, is not going to happen.

I doubt this comes as a shock to anyone who’s been following the game’s development, though it does suck for anyone who is actively still playing Anthem these days. The writing has been on the wall since the game first released back in February of 2019 — two whole years ago. And considering how badly bungled the game’s development cycle was reported to be, it’s no real surprise that the 2.0 reworking of Anthem would fare no better than the launch version.

In their blog post, BioWare puts all of the blame squarely on Covid-19, which at first glance seems like a convenient culprit. I’m sure it’s eaten plenty of kids’ homework last year also. But when I stop to think about it — if my from-home work ethic is anything of an indicator — it’s not too outlandish to imagine how working from home could greatly exacerbate the problems of an already-troubled product like Anthem.

It’s a shame for sure, especially for those that were actually counting on BioWare to turn things around for Anthem. Truth be told, the fundamentals were there already — they just need a No Man’s Sky-style comeback story, perhaps using some of that beloved BioWare magic, to deliver a solid looter-shooter that folks would be interested in playing in 2021 or 2022.

BioWare will still support Anthem as it currently exists, but I wouldn’t expect anything large-scale to shake things up in the future. The game’s current state is likely its future state as well.

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