A Bloomberg report earlier this month said that executives from Electronic Arts were preparing to analyze the current state of the reboot of Anthem and determine whether to proceed with the process or pull the plug. The findings of this analysis were released today and BioWare has announced it has stopped its work on Anthem Next.

It made a lot of people very happy when Anthem was officially released at the 2018 E3, and how could they not be? The initial revelation of the gameplay looks beautiful and it felt like something with a lot of potentials. When the game was eventually released, it was just a shell of what BioWare promised. There were all sorts of downgrades from graphics to the depths of the world, and so on, but even beyond that, the main gameplay felt empty, and there was simply nothing to keep players involved. EA clearly got a lot of criticism and plans were quickly drawn out to turn it around and eventually produce something similar to the original vision.

While writing was on the wall for Anthem, the game was profoundly flawed as EA tried hard to emulate Destiny’s performance. BioWare eventually folded on Anthem and declared the decision to postpone all further innovations. That means that the game won’t be updated further.

“2020 was a year unlike any other however and while we continue to make progress against all our game projects at BioWare, working from home during the pandemic has had an impact on our productivity and not everything we had planned as a studio before COVID-19 can be accomplished without putting undue stress on our teams,” BioWare Austin studio director Christian Dailey wrote.

“I know this will be disappointing to the community of Anthem players who have been excited to see the improvements we’ve been working on. It’s also disappointing for the team who were doing brilliant work. And for me personally, Anthem is what brought me to BioWare, and the last two years have been some of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my career.”

The end of Anthem’s development does not mean the end of the game, however: Dailey said BioWare will continue to keep Anthem running “as it exists today.”

For some die-hard supporters, as frustrating as it may be, the end of Anthem’s production really comes as no surprise. Dailey took over Dragon Age 4 late last year after Mark Darrah’s sudden exit, and that’s clearly a much bigger priority for BioWare than the far-fetched Anthem revival. The studio is now deep into a widely awaited new Mass Effect game, an equally significant undertaking.

Dailey reported that BioWare gives priority to these two games, adding that “we need to laser focus our efforts as a studio and strengthen the next Dragon Age, and Mass Effect titles while continuing to provide quality updates to Star Wars: The Old Republic.”

“To the Anthem community, thank you for your passion and creativity,” he said. “Your feedback and suggestions most certainly help shape the team’s direction, and on a personal note, your kindness and encouragement were much needed last year.”

This was expected to happen at some stage, as Anthem would never have accomplished what gamers had initially envisioned for the game. Let’s hope BioWare takes a lesson or two from the Anthem Debacle and works on setting honest goals for their games to come.