In brief: The promised major overhaul of Anthem has been officially cancelled a year later by BioWare. We may never know exactly why EA decided to pull the plug, but this will free up the developer team to work on the next Mass Effect and Dragon Age titles.
We had already heard that EA would soon decide the future of its overhyped and not-so-successful third-person shooter/RPG. Many Anthem fans held hopes of a No Man's Sky-style overhaul, but while that was previously the plan, it looks like it just wasn't meant to be.
When Anthem arrived two years ago, it was riddled with technical issues and didn't manage to live up to the hype EA had created around it. Still, some players gave it a chance, hoping that all of the issues would gradually be solved through continuous patches and content updates. For once, it wasn't EA's fault that development on a game it published went so wrong. While BioWare acknowledged the problem, its subsequent promise that it would magically solve everything by going back to the drawing board turned out to be all smoke and mirrors.
The studio has now officially stopped development on Anthem Next, which will undoubtedly leave some fans more than unsatisfied. Executive producer Christian Dailey explained that 2020 was a hard year and working from home has had an impact on the productivity of the team. This made it unfeasible for the undersized team of 30 developers to work on a complete remaster of Anthem while also maintaining the current game.
BioWare will keep Anthem servers alive for the foreseeable future, even if it means players will have to accept it as-is, warts and all. Dailey says that moving forward, the studio will be "laser-focused" on delivering the next Dragon Age and Mass Effect titles -- including the remastered Legendary Edition -- as well as pushing "quality updates" for Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Overall, it looks like BioWare is yet again scrapping development on a game that it failed to launch in good shape, which is becoming a worrying trend. Let's hope the studio can redeem itself with its next release.