After much speculation, Electronic Arts has officially confirmed to be moving back the release date of the new BioWare-developed RPG Anthem from fall of 2018 to sometime in 2019.
First announced at E3 2017, EA presented a gameplay trailer of a new gaming property, marketed as multiplayer action-RPG in similar fashion to Bungie and Activision’s Destiny franchise. From what information is available, players will seemingly be able to interact with each other in an open world environment filled with various alien creatures, collecting equipment and rewards through a randomized drop system.
No concrete reason has been given yet as to why Anthem has been delayed, though EA chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen claims that “it’s not a delay” despite having the release date moved back. Jorgensen has so far mentioned that the company hopes to give Anthem more time to gain attention as a new franchise, as well as give developers a chance to develop the game’s story. He also claims that, contrary to a Kotaku report released recently, the game’s development is not behind schedule.
It is also possible EA has chosen to delay the release of Anthem due to the massive loot box controversy the company found itself in following the release of Star Wars Battlefront II, fearing that the blowback could negatively impact the sales of a new title. Instead, EA will be releasing a new, so far unnamed entry in its Battlefield series of games.
Overall, this will likely be a beneficial decision that might help Anthem succeed. With the fall season being a popular release time for many AAA game publishers, EA could find more success for a new property at a later date. This strategy also avoids the same pitfall the company fell into with the Titanfall 2 release which, while better received than its predecessor, did not sell quite as well due to major competition from other studios and EA itself with the release of Battlefield 1 in close proximity.