Anthem's days may be numbered as EA will reportedly decide on its fate this week

(Image credit: EA, BioWare)

It's been two years since the launch of the third-person shooter Anthem, and just a little over one year since we first heard that BioWare was working on a complete overhaul, referred to internally as Anthem 2.0 or Anthem Next. A small number of updates have dropped since then, but there's been very little in the way of specifics shared publicly. Instead, it's been vague promises of more and better loot, more "satisfying" Javelin builds, and concept art for pirates.

Whether the efforts to resurrect the game will continue will be decided later this week, according to a Bloomberg report, which says that executives at BioWare parent Electronic Arts will review the status of the game and decide whether to expand the team working on it, which in May 2020 totaled about 30 people, or pull the plug.

Anthem's proposed overhaul would be a major undertaking—essentially a complete do-over—and EA hasn't publicly commented on whether it's actually willing to commit to BioWare's proposed plan to "reinvent" the game, whatever it may turn out to be. And there's no guarantee it will succeed: As we said a few months after it came out, Anthem felt "hopeless," not because of bugs or performance issues that can be patched out, but because it's "unimaginative and underwhelming ... In four months BioWare has only managed to address some of Anthem's most broken designs, but we're still left with a shooter that is woefully boring and sparse."

It may also be telling that BioWare Austin studio director Christian Dailey, who announced the formation of a small "incubation team" at BioWare dedicated to figuring out where Anthem went wrong, took the reins on Dragon Age 4 in December 2020, following the departures of Casey Hudson and Mark Darrah—a job that I imagine will occupy a pretty big chunk of his time and attention.

An Electronic Arts representative declined to comment on the report, saying that the company does not comment on rumors or speculation. 

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.