Anthem Managed To Sell 5 Million Units Despite Poor Launch

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Sold 2 Million Copies In 1st Week!

Story Highlights
  • Anthem, released in 2019, was one of the most anticipated games from BioWare.
  • The game was expected to sell 6 million copies by Match 2019.
  • Anthem sold 2 million copies in its first week, but it has only sold 5 million copies in total. 

Anthem was one of the most exciting reveals at E3 in 2018. With BioWare working on the game and the first preview immediately impressing, the stage was set for the studio to release another incredible IP.

Following the success of past Mass Effect games, Anthem was poised to spearhead a live service approach for BioWare. However, it only sold 5 million units.

Why it matters: AAA game budgets are much higher than they used to be, requiring developers to pursue high sales targets to break even or generate a profit.

The 5 million sales, while appearing good for a game that became infamous for its problems, didn’t meet expectations at all since EA expected Anthem to sell 6 million copies by March 2019.

The game undersold by quite a significant margin. However, this was to be expected since it was created in just 15 months when most AAA titles require far longer for a polished release.

Despite the issues, Anthem sold 2 million copies in the first week. Following the promising launch, cracks soon became apparent, with BioWare offering a shell of what was promised in the earlier promotions.

The game lacked content, launched with worse graphics, and while the gameplay loop was interesting, the world around it did not incentivize players to continue engaging with the excellent flight system.

The developers spent as many as 90 hours a week trying to complete the game, resulting in a massive disaster for EA.


Five million sales for a smaller game would be considered quite an achievement, but EA’s expectations and BioWare’s legacy meant this was ultimately a disappointing outcome.

Perhaps giving the game away through subscriptions like PlayStation Plus would have helped boost sales. Anthem desperately needed a revamp and more exposure by late 2019, but this never happened.

The title received a negative reception not only from the fans but also from the critics since nobody saw such a broken release coming.

At the very least, we hope BioWare’s work on the thrilling flight mechanics is salvaged and reworked for EA Motive’s upcoming Iron Man game based on Unreal Engine 5. This would be the silver lining for an otherwise devastating project.

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