EA delay BioWare’s Anthem to 2019, say it’s not a delay

As rumours predicted, Electronic Arts have delayed BioWare’s sci-fi online shooter doodad Anthem into 2019. It was previously slated for autumn of this year. Anthem is BioWare’s shiny new persistent-world multiplayer shooter which… given how little they’ve shown and said about it, let’s say it resembles Destiny but with Iron Man armour and more spacejungle. Despite the delay, EA say Anthem is not delayed. It’s just that they’re holding it back to space it apart from the yet-unannounced new Battlefield game they’ll release this year, okay?

During their quarterly earnings conference call last night for investors–which obviously has a very business-y slant–EA said that Anthem would arrive in “Q4 FY19”, which in human speak means in 2019 by the end of March.

“It’s not a delay,” EA’s chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen told the Wall Street Journal later. “People are trying to create a story.”

I do something similar myself sometimes. “I’m not crying,” I’ll insist. “There’s simply water streaming from my eyes as I fall wailing to my knees, tear up fistfuls of turf, beat upon my breast, and howl curses to the sky. You need to stop being so dramatic.”

Let’s hop back to the conference call, where CEO Andrew Wilson said that the notdelay is “determined by portfolio balancing considerations, not for product readiness reasons.” Bear in mind that this is a conference call for investors, so this is an answer intended to assure that everything is fine and this notdelay is good for their investment.

Wilson says that while Anthem is “tracking well on its development milestones” and EA are “really confident” about hitting the game’s new notdelayed launch window, “it probably doesn’t make sense to launch Anthem right up next to” the mysterious new Battlefield. I’d agree with that. Releasing Titanfall 2 one week after Battlefield 1 last year was damned stupid, and I’m still a bit annoyed that such an obvious misstep might sour my chances of seeing more of Respawn’s mechtastic FPS.

Anyway! The point is, whatever the reason, Anthem totally is delayed.

40 Comments

  1. plebman182 says:

    Hmm delaying it not long after their Battlefront 2 fiasco and while Bungie are using all their staff and resources to come up with new apologies and new ways of saying they are “listening to feedback” and peoples hatred for microtransactions in full priced games is at an all time high. Doesn’t seem coincidental at all.

    Or those folk over at Bioware probably trying to get longer to work on the game because they have become a mere shadow of themselves, the Bioware name doesn’t mean shit these days in comparison and we know what EA is like, Anthem doesn’t do well, Bioware likely shut down.

  2. njury says:

    Dear RPS:
    I think a website of your size should have a functional login system where I:

    1: Don’t have to log in everytime I visit your site
    2: Don’t get redirected to some wierd screen when I do log in, but instead go back to the article I wish to comment on.

    On topic I really thought this game looks cool from what I have seen, but I think it will be a shit show of micro transactions and pay 2 win.

    I predict it’s catered towards casual (console) players.
    You heard it here … well, not first most likely, but you heard it anyway.

    • Zombiwan Kenobi says:

      I don’t think it has anything to do with RPS but perhaps your cookies management.

      • njury says:

        huh, thats strange. It works fine on litteraly every other site I use.

      • Megatron says:

        This has been happening to me for a very long time, too. It’s not cookie settings as it occurs across a multitude of browsers, and I fiddle with cookie settings a lot, as well as clearing them, for reasons of privacy.

        This site has never ever remembered when I log in, even when ticking the “remember me” box.

        • Someoldguy says:

          Same here. It remembers me for a day or a week or two, then forgets. It’s reminiscent of the problems I had with a web game that could only cope with me accessing it from one machine via one browser. Any time I played it anywhere else or my dynamic ISP address altered it noted a mismatch between my known and current login and required me to enter details again.

      • woodsey says:

        This also happens to me constantly and only on RPS.

        What’s doubly-annoying is that when you’re trying to reply to a specific comment, logging in takes you to the homepage and not the thing you were trying to post.

      • Premium User Badge

        Lexx87 says:

        Unfortunately it is an RPS issue – I remember Graham saying once the main dev for the site was sick or left and this was a reason some things wernt getting fixed or looked at. Not sure though!

    • Neurotic says:

      Agreed! The constant forgetting and the returning to the home page instead of the specific article are very annoying. It’s done this to me forever. My Chrome password list is stuffed with old saved RPS logins. :D

    • Gothnak says:

      I’ve reported it on a thread before, and the comments usually get deleted after a sweep through as being ‘off topic’.

      I play the foxer every week, and every week i need to log in. Don’t have to do it on any other website.

    • Raiyne says:

      Yes. Most of the time I want to post a comment I just don’t bother, because I remember how much of a pain in the ass this is.

    • ludde says:

      It’s been this way for years. Oddly enough, today I actually got sent back to this article after logging in. Not sure if it just got fixed or if it works on and off.

  3. WildDownBiggy says:

    Sounds like sometime forgot to incorporate loot boxes

    • Chromatism says:

      More likely it’s the opposite. Along with polish, doing some good ol’ fashioned back peddling after the Battlefront 2 fiasco.

      • Premium User Badge

        Nauallis says:

        I hope it’s this. I kinda doubt it, microtransactions are too much of a cash cow / golden goose to give up completely. More likely it’s some reimagining of the lootbox, or integrating some sort of “get matched with people who have bought visible flashy premium content” system like what Activision patented last year.

        Or it’s absolutely possible they realized the story is shit and they’re doing their best to make it interesting.

        • Splyce says:

          Does story even factor into an online multiplayer looter shooter, though? Looks like they took DA:I and Andromeda, and threw them in a blender with Iron Man and Warframe, and an uninspired mashup at that.

          I feel like the whole point of having BioWare make a Destiny clone at this point is a.) transition them to pure ‘games as service’ makers, b.) cover for their complete lack of storytelling depth or writing skill anymore by focusing on the third person shooting they did well in ME3 and c.) give them a model to work from, rather than having them touch beloved franchises they sued to be good at making, or having to come up with truly original IP anymore, which they’re probably unable to do with the people they have left.

          • Premium User Badge

            Nauallis says:

            Yeah, I’d say it does, from an interest standpoint as well as a justification for games-as-a-service, especially for people like myself who aren’t interested in games that are wholly PVP 100% of the time (Plunkbat, CSGO, Dota2/LoL). We can be extremely cynical and argue that you have to have a story to justify asking for money for DLC, or for a subscription.

            I’d also rather have a story that might change a bit over time, even including some thoughtful retconning, because it does provide that “oh yeah, I was there when [X event] happened” experience and reminiscence.

            A game that’s purely about shooting and looting and “making the numbers go up” – those already exist. There’s no reason to buy this without also being told a story.

  4. gabrielonuris says:

    Releasing Titanfall 2 one week after Battlefield 1 last year was damned stupid

    I would say that was planned since the beginning. EA is eager to eat Respawn’s heart, like it did with Bullfrog, Visceral and (doing with) Bioware.

  5. Zombiwan Kenobi says:

    Yet another uninspired multiplayer shooter most certainly spoiled by microtransactions and lack of content. Being delayed is half good since good companies often delay games to improve quality/solve issues. Question is, can we consider Bioware a good company anymore ?

    As far as i’m concerned i loved Bioware games before they started making the same stuff than other companies i.e. multiplayer/microtransactions obsessed/lazily designed/lack of polish kind of games.

    • that_guy_strife says:

      Bioware stopping being Bioware when EA bought them. DA: O is the last Bioware title because it was almost fully produced when they got bought out.

      They are now ”EA’s Bioware”. Just like Star Wars Battlefront is now ”EA’s Battlefront”. This is known.

      • Hoot says:

        100% correct.

        When the Dr’s left (Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk) they took the soul of Bioware with them. After that, I was just happy to get a Mass Effect series that finished on the high that it did. Yes, originally, before the Extended Cut the ending was bad and some argue that it still is, but it amounts to less than 5% of the entire series and the rest is, well, amazing. And besides, Citadel was awesome.

        But yeah, Bioware have been well and truly gutted.

        Anthem looks like just another vapid multiplayer shooter title. Already have all my needs taken care of there in all areas with Quake Champions, CS : GO and PUBG.

      • ludde says:

        It is known.

  6. Monggerel says:

    Shoulda called it Swan Song.

  7. woodsey says:

    > “It’s not a delay,” EA’s chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen told the Wall Street Journal later. “People are trying to create a story.”

    Nothing like picking your battles. Is a desire to look as thick as humanly possible in public a prerequisite for these CEO types?

    • Chromatism says:

      Eh… I’m going to be the voice of pessimism and say it’s more likely he’s trying to spin it in a positive light so the shareholders don’t piss and moan. As long as they see money coming in unholy piles they’ll keep shtum long enough for Bioware to release a hopefully finished product.

  8. jj2112 says:

    EA destroyed Dead Space, Dragon Age and Mass Effect and can go fork themselves for all I care.

    • ludde says:

      Command & Conquer, SimCity, Medal of Honor, Need for Speed and so on…

      Probably forgetting a bunch since the list of axed/butchered studios is pretty long at this point.

  9. RGHamburger says:

    I don’t care about the delay because I am not interested in anything Bioware has to offer anymore. DA2 was a bust, DA:I was better but completely self-sabotaged by the mmo filler, and ME:A showed all the writing talent had left the building.

    With that in mind: Why are websites still treating Bioware as some great developer whose every fart needs an article?

    • Someoldguy says:

      To be fair, every producer of AAA content have their farts reported. Just like every game sitting in the top 10 get articles and the ones that the writers enjoy get even more. It looks like RPS is caving on the naming of articles about Plunkbat though. They’re not even carrying the plunkbat tag lately.

  10. Godwhacker says:

    What even is Anthem supposed to be? Right now it looks like a grab-bag of ideas that have been knocking around for ages. Last of humanity.. power armour… a group of elite warriors… ancient technology… online co-op… real choices…

    There’s going to be a big monster that roars at you before attacking, instead of just attacking. There’s going to be at least one character that does jumping-up-in-the-air-and-punching-the-ground-before-slowly-looking-up-thing. Something will be called ’Spartan’; another thing will be called ‘Ranger’. The ‘vast open world’ will have rather a lot of valleys that you can’t climb out of. Big hammers will be carried over one shoulder, in a world where guns exist. And so on.

    • Premium User Badge

      Nauallis says:

      Yep, wondering the same thing. People jumping on the hype train way early in anticipation of their hopes and dreams, but all we’ve seen for gameplay is one(!) “gameplay trailer” from E3.

      My Destiny friends are all stoked for this as the next big thing, but I keep saying ‘whoa whoa whoa slow down’ – let’s find out what this game even is before we get stoked on it.

  11. Maxheadroom says:

    cautiously pessimistic sums up me feelings on this. If it truly turns out the be “The Bob Dylan of video games” ill pick it up but ive a feeling it’ll just be another lootbox-ridden grind fest with with half the content gated off behind paywalls and season passes.

    Guilty until proven innocent as it were

  12. Premium User Badge

    zigguratvertigo says:

    It isn’t an -unavoidable- delay, perhaps. But it is, by definition, a delay.

  13. p2mc28 says:

    Maybe I’ve got some details wrong, but this is how I see it (I don’t actually believe this to be the reasoning for everything, but hey, conspiracies are fun):

    Release BF1 and Titanfall 2 at the same time. Screws over TF2 and EA buys out Respawn.

    Release new BF and Anthem at the same time? Nah, already own Bioware – delay Anthem to prevent overlap.

  14. Cloak says:

    Meh, I’ll just wait for the $15 sale or lower seeing every game EA push out goes on some sort of sale in a month or so. Honestly, I was a fool to have my hopes up about this game and especially a game coming from EA. Not just that but games golden age, I don’t think I’ll live long enough to see another one or anything greater.

    Anyways, looking forward to EA’s demise.

  15. PseudoKnight says:

    I have no sympathy for corporate EA, but for several years I’ve argued that these projections aren’t really release delays. Games should release when they’re done, not by some arbitrary date someone sets a year in advance. You could maybe say they’re projection delays, because that’s what this is: a projection for their stock holders. I’m not sure what he’s saying about “portfolio balancing considerations”. It might be they don’t want to release next to another big title or are trying to space out releases to not step on their own toes and give them the development time they need.

    Anyway, calling this a release “delay” this far out is stupid, in my opinion. It even borders on punishing language for something that’s an overall positive for a game.

  16. Purnal says:

    Just wanted to hop in to clarify that “Q4FY19” means Quarter 4 of Fiscal Year 2019, which basically translates as October, November and December, in this case, of 2019 (as opposed to March).

    That aside, nice report on EA’s notdelays.

    • 3001 says:

      @Purnal – The fiscal year for the US *government* US runs from October to September. The IRS allows companies to use any 12 month period for their fiscal year and it seems EA uses April through March for their fiscal year (which matches Europe’s calendar) (link to ir.ea.com).
      In summary, the article seems to have been correct.

  17. Zhiroc says:

    In my opinion, Anthem is better compared to The Division than Destiny, being a 3rd person shooter rather than 1st. And to me, that lessens the probability that I’ll like it greatly, just because when it comes to shooters, I find 3rd person views lacking. Plus, unlike most other BW titles, I saw very little RP possibilities in the E3 trailer–there were absolutely no dialog choices shown.