Anthem was forced out in just 15 months, says former BioWare developer
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Featured Image Credit: BioWare/EA
Anthem was forced out in just 15 months of production, says a former BioWare developer.
When you consider that Anthem was developed by the studio that brought us legendary RPG franchises such as Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Baldur’s Gate, Mass Effect and Dragon Age, it was a colossal flop, to say the least.
Announced during E3 2017 with a cinematic reveal trailer, Anthem looked to be BioWare’s next big hit which seemingly blended intense third-person action, an RPG-level of customisation and epic Iron Man-inspired mech suits known as Javelins.
However, when Anthem was released in February 2019, it was far from the game that EA and BioWare had led us to believe. Sure, the game looked gorgeous, but a lack of meaningful content, an underwhelming gameplay loop and egregious microtransaction doomed the game to fail from the get-go.
Two years later in February 2021, EA and BioWare announced that it was pulling the support for Anthem, cementing its place as one of the biggest flops in video game history. Though to be fair, Anthem is still playable today with its online servers on life-support for those that still wish to indulge in its single player and multiplayer offering.
So, why for a game that promised so much following its E3 2017 reveal did Anthem flop so hard? As reported by PlayStation Lifestyle, according to a former developer at BioWare, Anthem was pushed out for release in just 15 months during a heavy working schedule of crunch hours.
In a series of tweets, developer Ian Saterdalen claimed that Anthem was pushed out before it was ready to be released and decisions were made above his pay grade. Developers were reportedly made to work 90-hour weeks during its 15 months of production. Sadly, Saterdalen revealed that this intense work schedule and pressure cost him his marriage and led him to therapy.
I learned a lot on this project. We knew it wasn't ready, as this game was literally created in 15 months. Which is unheard of for a game that scope. Anthem 2 would have been great! https://t.co/HHK29rpVbr pic.twitter.com/JJkpUf9DqX— Ian Saterdalen (@Vekyo) May 28, 2023
Following its disastrous launch, the decision was made to essentially reboot Anthem, giving it a complete overhaul and perhaps directing the game to one that was promised during its E3 reveal. Unfortunately, Saterdalen believed that “Anthem 2.0” was on the right track before that project was later cancelled.