To say that diehard fans of Anthem have been through a lot is an understatement, and the recent announcement by BioWare is more than likely to pile on to the disappointment, though some may consider the news to be a step in the right direction.
Chad Robertson, the head of live service at BioWare, recently posted an update, beginning with a message directly to fans who are still working towards seeing improvements over time:
“First, I’m proud of our team for creating a fun new experience for our players. It represents the largest post-launch update that we’ve delivered so far," he wrote. "We were humbly excited by the increase in player engagement we’ve seen with the Cataclysm. The team and I appreciate the response and support [sic] — it is what keeps us motivated to continue to improve Anthem.”
With an emphasis placed on response and support, it is hard not to feel for those tasked with working on a game that needs a significant amount of development to approach what was initially envisioned during the lead up to its launch.
With the patch for Cataclysm released in August, a small amount of new content was added to the game, but its core problems remained unaddressed since launch. The announcement by Robertson stated two things; he and the team were looking forward to listening to feedback from fans, but new content is basically on hold while the team works to address core issues with the game.
On the one hand, this contradicts the promise to continue adding content to a game that feels bare-bones as it is, but on the other hand fixing issues that have persisted since the release of the game is also important. Due to the resources needed to accomplish these goals, Robertson states:
“In order to address these long-range plans, we are moving away from the Acts structure for updates. Instead, we have additional seasonal updates planned for this year that we think players will enjoy. These events will deliver challenges and chases similar to what you’ve seen, and are built around some fun themes we’re bringing to the game.”
The term “seasonal” event is certainly sparse in terms of details, but that is likely all that Robertson can say for now about a game that has an uncertain future. If we consider Mass Effect: Andromeda’s poor reception and eventual cancellation, and the alleged inability to maintain developers, there is no reason to believe that Anthem would be exempt from simply shutting down with little notice.
For now, all we can do is watch and see what lies ahead for Anthem.