EA could kill Anthem once and for all and free up BioWare devs

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EA may soon lay Anthem to rest once and for all and scrap its plans for a big revival.

EA will soon decide whether Anthem lives or dies. Sources tell Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier that EA is currently weighing the decision carefully. The overall cost will be the deciding factor, both in capital spending and developer investment–the latter of which is in precious supply. The current Anthem revival team consists of roughly 30 developers, but BioWare will need at least 90 devs for Anthem Next, sources tell Bloomberg.

Right now, BioWare is working on a number of projects including Dragon Age 4, a game that’s been in planning phases of development since 2016, and a new Mass Effect game. Both of these properties are guaranteed hits and take priority, whereas Anthem, a fledgling new IP, isn’t as important sales-wise.

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Working on too many projects at once has already gotten BioWare into lots of trouble. The studio was endemic with stress, mental breakdowns, and massive overwork, leading to departures of many executives who had been with the company for 20+ years.

Scrapping Anthem altogether would free up the team to assist on big money-making franchises and leave the IP once and for all.

Noteworthy BioWare Departures

  • Drew Karpyshyn, lead writer on Mass Effect and Anthem, left in 2012, and then again in 2018
  • David Gaider, lead writer of Dragon Age series, left in 2016
  • Chris Schlerf, writer on Mass Effect: Andromeda, left in 2016
  • Ian Frazier, Lead Designer of Mass Effect: Andromeda, shifted from BioWare to EA Motive in 2017
  • Aaron Flynn, ex-General Manager, left in July 2017, shortly after Mass Effect: Andromeda’s launch and after 17 years with BioWare (replaced by Casey Hudson, who previously had left in 2014)
  • Mike Laidlaw, ex-Dragon Age creative director, left in October 2017 after 14 years with BioWare
  • James Ohlen, lead designer on Baldur’s Gate, Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, and Dragon Age: Origins, leaves BioWare in July 2018 after 22 years
  • Ben Irving, lead producer on Anthem, left August 2019 after 8 years with the company
  • Fernando Melo, producer on Mass Effect Andromeda, Dragon Age Origins, Dragon Age 2, senior producer on Dragon Age 4, left August 2019 after 12 years with company
  • Mark Darrah, executive producer on Dragon Age, Anthem, Mass Effect Andromeda, left BioWare in 2020 after 23 years with the company
  • Casey Hudson, general manager, rejoined BioWare in 2017 to lead as GM and left in 2020, spent nearly 20 years with the studio

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