|Fans and game experts think that BioWare has left its most recent game, Anthem, in the dust after losing some of its important personnel and the silence from the company / Photo by: steamXO via Flickr|
Fans and game experts think that BioWare has left its most recent game, Anthem, in the dust after losing some of its important personnel and the silence from the company. Big plans were also left hanging and a major seasonal event announced earlier this month also failed to create some buzz.
However, it seems like BioWare and parent company Electronic Arts (EA) have other plans in mind. Reports say the game developers are looking to completely overhaul the game to a point that some call it "Anthem 2.0" or "Anthem Next."
Anthem Is Not Dead
The report that BioWare is working to overhaul first came from Kotaku, a news and opinion site focused on games and "things serious gamers care about," following statements from people with knowledge of the plan.
Most of the details are still subject to changes and a timeline has yet to be established for the overhaul project as BioWare developers haven't decided on how to distribute the game yet. The company is still figuring out if they should release the update all at once or one at a time, the video game site reports.
There are so many aspects that developers could work with: Overhauling the game through patches like No Man's Sky, a game-changing expansion similar to Taken King, and even significantly change the game's overall structure.
Kotaku adds that the company is also thinking of releasing Anthem Next as a brand new game "although those who work on the project said that could take a lot of forms (and it’s unlikely they’ll charge full-price to Anthem players)."
|Most of the details are still subject to changes and a timeline has yet to be established for the overhaul project as BioWare developers haven't decided on how to distribute the game yet / Photo by: steamXO via Flickr|
The only solid ground for Anthem now is that it isn't dead (even with the influx of people saying so). A person working on the project told Kotaku that they've spent a lot of time "just tearing down and figuring out what needed to change fundamentally (a lot)." They added that they have since been rebuilding the game for another few months.
Another person told the video game that they were still working on a bunch of testing and experimentation but still don't have anything solid as of present.
"With so much in the air, it’s impossible to know what will and won’t change, but it’s safe to say that Anthem won’t suddenly transform into a brand new franchise," Kotaku says, noting that they still expect all of the core ideas Anthem has previously established.
"BioWare’s plan is to zoom out and overhaul the gameplay systems that most players have agreed don’t work," it adds. "How and when this plan will come to fruition remains to be seen."
A Fundamentally Terrible Idea
BioWare's Edmonton and Austin offices were the first offices to work on Anthem, but the original plan was to pass the game from Edmonton to Austin following the release. Sources said this has been slowly happening and it's exciting to the members of BioWare Austin who believe they can improve the game.
As of now, people from the two offices are working on Anthem Next.
While everything about Anthem Next remains fluid, what's important right now is that EA and BioWare seem to be keen on pushing through with the project. A lot of things are needed to be done but they aren't as impossible as it may seem.
However, there is still that possibility of releasing something bigger—and hopefully, better—and having no one pay attention to it at all. Paul Tassi, a video game reviewer for Forbes, an American business magazine, says that’s an "enormous gamble BioWare and EA are taking here.
"To me, this strikes me as a fundamentally terrible idea, throwing good money after bad, the sunk cost fallacy. Anthem is not Mass Effect, it does not have a fan base it built for a decade across three good games who are willing to overlook a bad outing (Andromeda) in the hopes the series can rise again (and the Kotaku story confirms a new Mass Effect game is being made, led by Andromeda vet Mike Gamble)."
|While everything about Anthem Next remains fluid, what's important right now is that EA and BioWare seem to be keen on pushing through with the project / Photo by: Richard Cabrera via Wikimedia Commons|
Instead, Tassi says Anthem is a new IP that never took off and struggled more than other "early issues" such as Destiny 1 and 2 or Diablo 3. He adds that the video game community, for the most part, couldn't give its interest in the game.
While he believes that Anthem has a lot of its features that are great—its combat and loot that begin to shape up over time—it's still hard to imagine for the game to make a grand return.
"Yes, a total overhaul is what is potentially needed, and that seems like what it’s getting, but it would need to be something truly groundbreaking and fantastic to have a prayer of saving the IP," Tassi explains.
"Another issue is the possible notion that anyone will be asked to pay anything for new content attached to Anthem, whether it’s an expansion or a sequel, given how slighted many fans feel by the broken launch and anemic content to date."