It turns out that the report last week that BioWare’s Anthem was getting delayed into 2019 turned out to be correct. Electronic Arts confirmed to the Wall Street Journal that the ambitious action role-playing game will not release in fall 2018 as previously announced, and will instead come out in “early 2019.” Despite just pushing back the game to next year, Electronic Arts’ finance chief Blake Jorgensen says that it’s “not a delay,” and that “people are trying to create a story.” Of course, there wouldn’t be much of a story if a company didn’t announce an ambitious release date so early. For what it’s worth, EA says that part of the totally not a delay was the decision to release a new Battlefield game in October.
Anxiety and expectation surrounding Anthem are high, Schreier’s report goes on to say. EA has faced an uphill battle in the face of such failures as Mass Effect: Andromeda (our biggest disappointment of 2017) and last year’s Star Wars Battlefront 2loot box controversy. That was all in addition to some high profile shuffling of BioWare staff at an executive level. Another thing of note has been Destiny fans’ recent dissatisfaction with Destiny 2. Anthem has regularly been compared to Bungie’s living world shooter, and some of the development team at BioWare worry that is putting them under undue pressure. There is concern that they won’t be able to meet lofty gamer expectations as Anthem faces its own growing pains early in life.
Schreier’s sources also note that BioWare employees are apprehensive about inflammatory remarks and toxicity in the gaming community that have painted publishers like EA as purely evil corporations. Schreier talks about this removing any nuance from the complicated machine that is corporate culture.
To people who work for EA, the publisher isn’t just a cold corporate master—it is a complicated machine that, yes, is concerned first and foremost with generating revenue for investors, but also supports thousands of people in many tangible and intangible ways. People close to BioWare, along with many other developers I’ve talked to in recent months, worry that commentary from some of YouTube’s loudest voices has eliminated nuance and made companies like EA seem like Disney villains.
Anthem will now release in early 2019 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
[Source: Wall Street Journal]