Electronic Arts has admitted that it will delay the release of Anthem until 2019.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, EA’s CFO Blake Jorgensen said that BioWare’s much-anticipated, multiplayer open-world shooter had been pushed back from its originally mooted 2018 release in order to avoid clashing with the late 2018 launch of a new (as yet unannounced) Battlefield game.
EA chief executive Andrew Wilson also waded in to reiterate that the decision was a matter of scheduling rather than any problems in Anthem’s development: “Regardless of how it’s being portrayed, we’re not looking at that as a delay. The date is chosen by portfolio balance, not product readiness, and we’re really excited by the way the new Battlefield is shaping up. It probably doesn’t make too much sense to launch Anthem right by it.”
If that sounds a tad defensive, it’s entirely understandable, since there have been personnel changes in BioWare’s Anthem team: last July, Anthem’s original game director and BioWare general manager Aaryn Flynn resigned, to be replaced by returning BioWare stalwart Casey Hudson. BioWare’s previously stunning track record was rather tarnished by its most recent game, the hugely disappointing Mass Effect: Andromeda, so it’s vital for the developer to get Anthem right.
So far, all we know about the mysterious new Battlefield game is that it will be developed by DICE. When more details emerge we will, naturally, share them with you.