As Bioware increases its focus on its new open-world role-playing game, Anthem, the title’s release is reportedly being delayed to 2019. The news comes amidst reports of the studio’s shifting of resources and personnel to the game’s development as pressure mounts to deliver a hit.
First reported by Kotaku, Bioware is almost singularly focusing staff at both its Edmonton and Austin studios to improve and finish the title as they attempt to right the ship after Mass Effect: Andromeda’s failure. Outside of small teams focusing on maintaining Star Wars: The Old Republic and building the beginnings of a new Dragon Age title, Bioware’s entire development force is working on Anthem as it is increasingly being viewed as a “make-or-break” game for the heralded studio.
debuted as the highlight of EA’s offerings at E3 2017, and was positioned as the publisher’s answer to the persistent online shooter Destiny, but the announced fall 2018 release window was “never realistic.” One month later, Bioware general manager Aaryn Flynn resigned and was replaced by Casey Hudson. Further complications from the fallout of Mass Effect: Andromeda and implementation of EA’s Frostbite engine burdened the game’s development. Many within the studio feel that Bioware “will look very different” if Anthem doesn’t live up to expectations, casting an anxious cloud over the studio.
The game will more than likely release by March 2019, as EA rarely lets large titles such as Anthem come out after the end of the fiscal year. That could also prove worrisome, as that impetus to push games out before the end of the fiscal year contributed to the underwhelming performance of Mass Effect: Andromeda last year. That game’s performance led to the closing of Bioware’s Montreal studio late last year, so the worries about Bioware’s future being dependent on Anthem’s performance are not unwarranted.
EA did not offer comment on the reports of the delay.