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EA's Destiny-like 'Anthem' delayed until 2019 [updated]

Update May 9, 2018: According to recent earnings call, EA said that it expects Anthem to launch in March 2019.

Update January 30, 2018: Following EA's latest earnings call, Anthem has indeed been delayed to Q1 2019 (via IGN). But don't call it a delay, apparently. Original story follows.

If true, you can file this under "u" for "unsurprising." According to a report (via GameIndustry.biz) sources from within EA's BioWare studio have claimed that Anthem has been pushed back to 2019, after being announced as a fall 2018 title.

The same report claims that BioWare is feeling intense pressure due to events revolving around Mass Effect Andromeda and Star Wars Battlefront II, both of which were notorious for disappointment.

Mass Effect Andromeda launched in a semi-playable state owing to various bugs viciously impacting its gameplay and storytelling. Mass Effect is a legendary series, known for its branching narrative, impactful story decisions, and rich sci-fi worlds. While Andromeda did have really great combat mechanics, the story delivery was underwhelming, and the overall quality felt like a step backward when compared to previous efforts. The studio handling Andromeda was eventually shut down, and folded into other EA studios.

And of course, EA hit the negative headlines again with Star Wars Battlefront II due to its aggressive and predatory loot crate mechanics that rewarded richer players with more power in competitive multiplayer modes. The backlash led to the removal of the crates, but the controversy has had a chilling effect on the whole notion of loot crates in games, which has shone a spotlight on Anthem.

At least a couple of sources are reported to have expressed concern about how YouTubers and other gaming personalities have cast EA as a "villain" due to the publisher's handling of Battlefront II, and that it heaps extra pressure on the team. Some sources have concerns BioWare could even be restructured in its entirety if Anthem fails, too.

Anthem undoubtedly has a huge cross hairs on it after EA's behavior, but if it leads to a better game, so be it. EA has rightfully earned itself a pile of bad will throughout 2017, and if it even vaguely wants to win back any trust, or even cares, they will ensure Anthem launches in a truly great, pro-consumer state. Otherwise, BioWare will probably be the next studio on EA's chopping block, following Visceral.

As with most rumors, take it with a pinch of salt, but this one in particular is probably true. Hopefully, EA will confirm one way or the other soon.

Jez Corden is a Senior Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

27 Comments
  • Well, crap! That was right at the top of my list of awaited games this year. The bright side however is that, hopefully, EA has learned something from the Battlefront debacle. Anyway will give me more time with Sea of Thieves.
  • Excited for Anthem. A focused Bioware are a force to be reckoned within the industry. This could be special!
  • I read Destiny-like and my anticipation has gone down now
  • Was it that bad?
  • More like... That boring.
  • Good, that way people can save money for loot crates.
  • Nooooooo -_- i had planned to spend multiple hours on this game this year now what am i going to do?
  • I can't wait until we stop with phrases like "X is a such and such killer".
  • EA apparently referred to it as a Destiny killer internally lolz.
  • Personally I could so without calling games "Dark Souls-lite" or something. For any game which has unnecessarily punishing difficulty, which is another trend I dislike and was probably created to wake up millennials bored by the burden of having hundreds of amazing games to play.
  • True, e.g. Cuphead (but CH has no cheap death, above average hard but no cheap death)
  • Lol it'll be a LONG time before Bioware got on their chopping block even after the last game didn't do so well.
  • TOO bad but hopefully they get it right :)
  • PLEASE let it be delayed to remove LootCrates!
  • Their faces are too tired to get the game out on time. It's going to end up like The Division where the early footage made special for EA is going to look twice as good as what we actually get. Game development is hard but these people back themselves into corners by constantly over promising on fidelity while 8 bit "crap" like Minecraft rakes in billions. EA needs to change their culture and embrace a new core value... Fun First.
  • Eh, maybe they'll use that time to actually make the game look interesting.
  • Why blame BioWare? It's EA who imposes the revenue model? What about making a 60 dollar game that doesn't have progress tied to loot crates and just plays like games used to? They can have DLC or whatever. I'm glad SWBF2 bombed, this way publishers will think twice before implementing stupid systems like these.
  • Just an example... Traditionally we kill monsters for loots <- no prob at all. Don't alter the rarity drop ratio, let's simulate 10 kills / drops and put those loots in the town shop for in-game-currency <- no prob too. Hey, let's put the shop in the menu for quick access! <- no prob? How about... make it so user can ALSO buy loots in the menu store with real world currency? <- problem? Nuclear's not the devil tho.
  • Problem is that grinding and the amount of rarity drop ratio can be changed to encourage paying real money. So those not willing to pay will possibly have to do more grinding or more unnecessary work and everyone will be subjected to tempted. This is something you always try to avoid but here is the thing. How many gamers actually like or want microtransactions? We've had study that says 1.3% actually like them.
  • Got to make sure that the loot crates are up to date
  • Good news! I hope they take as long as they need to fix it up and make it great.
  • It's because Microsoft bought EA and hasn't announced it yet and they don't want Athem to compete with another Xbox exclusive this Christmas (Halo 6) /s
  • it sounds like wtf but I was thinking the same. lol
  • lol I can't tell if you're serious or not. Either way funny post. :)
  • they need more time to design in additional microtransactions.
    every time you fire your gun it costs 1 in-game currency
    every time you take a step it costs 2 in-game currency
    every time you move the camera it costs 5 in-game currency
    $10.49 gets you 4500 in-game currency
  • Don't give them ideas... lol
  • Like I always say it's always better to release a game when it's ready and not release an unfinished game and promise future updates. Btw talking about EA and their numbers is this site going to make an article about EA's numbers about the number of XB1 sold or is it too embarrassing (like the recent NPD numbers)?