Anthem was a new IP from the legendary developer behind the Mass Effect and Dragon Age franchises. With incredible flight, an expansive world, and promises for future support, audiences were instantly curious to learn more about Bioware’s ambitions with the game.
Unfortunately, Bioware was never able to fully realize this ambition. While it is clear that Anthem did not have the smoothest development, a recent tweet from a former developer on the project explains much of what went wrong with the game.
According to Ian Saterdalen, Anthem was created in just 15 months.
Why it matters: Game development is challenging and takes several years, in the case of AAA titles. As such, it is shocking that Bioware was given less than two full years to create the game.
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
The developer further revealed that much of the team was working overtime in the year leading up to the launch. According to Ian Saterdalen’s tweet, he and many other developers often worked as much as 90 hours a week.
Despite its promising setting and exceptional flight mechanics, Anthem failed to deliver on many fronts. The game launched in a buggy state and lacked content for an online-focused title intended to keep players engaged for as long as possible.
Following Anthem’s release, it was reported that Bioware struggled to work with the Frostbite engine. Despite the engine’s technical capabilities, it proved a hurdle for the team and Anthem in the long run.
With the poor reception and criticism, Bioware planned to overhaul the game to finally realize the full potential of the world and gameplay systems. However, this overhaul was later abandoned in the wake of the pandemic, and the developer shifted focus to future projects.
Unfortunately, Anthem was not a rare case of time constraints and crunch. Recent AAA releases have also been plagued with various issues, further highlighted by the growing number of development studios apologizing days after games are released.
Nonetheless, it is impressive that the team managed to ship the game at all in 15 months. Even at its worst, Anthem’s animations and flight mechanics were commendable, and many fans hope these systems do not go to waste.
EA Motive is currently working on an open-world Iron Man game, and many are hoping that Anthem’s flight mechanics are used as a solid base for the game to utilize Bioware’s best work on Anthem.
Avinash is currently pursuing a Business degree in Australia. For more than three years, he has been working as a gaming journalist, utilizing his writing skills and love for gaming to report on the latest updates in the industry. Avinash loves to play action games like Devil May Cry and has also been mentioned on highly regarded websites, such as IGN, GamesRadar, GameRant, Dualshockers, CBR, and Gamespot.