Over the past few months, BioWare has essentially transformed into a single-game studio as it harnesses its teams to work on the ambitious multiplayer action game Anthem, sources say. There are still small teams maintaining Star Wars: The Old Republic and piecing together the next Dragon Age, which was recently rebooted, but the bulk of BioWare’s staff in both Edmonton and Austin are now on Anthem. And there’s a sense among BioWare employees that the company’s future is inextricably tied to this game.
Anthem, which was announced at E3 2017, is now scheduled for release in early 2019, according to three people familiar with the project. The “fall 2018” window mentioned during that E3 announcement was “never realistic,” one source said. Exact dates remain in flux—and Anthem’s developers must also plan for a beta release, an EA Access launch, and an ongoing schedule of patches and updates—but it appears unlikely to developers that publisher EA will allow BioWare to delay the game any further than March 2019, when the company’s 2019 fiscal year comes to an end. (EA, like most publicly traded companies, uses the fiscal calendar as a basis for all of its decisions, as those dates determine how investors will behave.)
To BioWare staff, the stakes feel higher than they ever have. As one developer told me, there’s a belief that if Anthem doesn’t live up to EA’s expectations, BioWare will look very different in the future, especially after the disappointment of Mass Effect Andromeda led to EA absorbing BioWare Montreal into the studio EA Motive.
nothing particularly surprising following Andromeda, but sounds like EA could potentially be wielding the axe on another part of Bioware if Anthem doesn't go well