In a recent article, Kotaku revealed that Bioware’s new game, Anthem, may be delayed until 2019. Originally announced at E3 in 2017, Anthem seems to be EA’s attempt at a Destiny style game. While no official release date has been announced, they did mention a fall 2018 window for release. It seems now that this may have been wishful thinking.
One source who spoke to Kotaku stated that this release window was “never realistic”. Others spoke about people being moved from other projects to help, while others apparently mentioned continued difficulty with Frostbite Engine. The Frostbite Engine was designed by DICE for, primarily, shooter games. There have long been rumblings about Bioware’s struggles to pull of their vision within the engine.
Another issue which may be at play is the backlash that EA received for microtransactions in recent games, such as Star Wars: Battlefront 2 and the recent Need For Speed. The implementation of microtransactions within those games may have been indicative of a cultural shift within EA. If they now feel that this was a mistake, and that culture is already baked into Anthem, it will take time to change and re-balance such aspects.
Any potential caution on Bioware’s part is also understandable, given that Mass Effect: Andromeda was not well received by fans. Support for that game was cut within six months of release.
It is also entirely possible that these sources are doing little more than giving us an inside look at the workings of a complex process. Many games have had their ups and downs in development over the years, and gone on to strong releases and happy fans. An excellent example of this is the last Doom game. After a long and tumultuous process, that saw entire versions of the game scrapped, we ended up getting one of the best singleplayer shooters in recent memory.