(BioWare has confirmed that development on Anthem began well before Destiny, but that it still was definitely influenced by the Bungie loot-’n-shooter.
But both can really trace their roots back to Borderlands. Just sayin’.
Anthem has been in development for a long time. Like, a really long time. BioWare started on this one just after Mass Effect 3, which was way back in 2012. Granted back then everything was very much the early planning stages, but that’s still a very long time for something to be under development.
Things didn’t get started for realsies until after Mass Effect: Andromeda back in 2017. That’s when BioWare put all hands on deck pumping out Anthem like their lives depended on it (which it kinda does, but that's a story for another day).
The very first Destiny game came out in 2014. So it’s very weird when gamers point at Anthem and just say it’s a Destiny clone made by BioWare. Anthem’s lead producer, Michael Gamble, certainly agrees that Destiny had some influence, but Anthem still came first.
“It’s interesting because Anthem has been in development since before Destiny even came out,” Gamble told French gamer site Jesus Videos. “Games these days are influenced by the games out in the market to a certain degree.”
So far we don’t know everything about BioWare’s upcoming multiplayer shooter, but we do know that Anthem will have tons of RPG elements and also a loot-and-shoot system very similar to Destiny. We also know that loot boxes won’t be a thing, but you gotta be careful: BioWare is still owned by EA, and you know their corporate overlords would be itching to monetize Anthem to within an inch of its life.
Many could argue that excessive monetization is what prevented Destiny 2 from being a smash hit. Critics agreed that Destiny 2 had a much better plot, but Activision forced developer Bungie to include microtransactions at almost every level. For that reason, Bungie announced their separation from Activision and that they were taking Destiny with them.
We’ll see how Anthem stacks up when the game releases on February 22nd for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.