This year's E3 was a big one for Electronic Arts. Major announcements took place, such as the reveal of gameplay for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, as well as a wealth of new EA Originals. There was one game that was noticeable in its absence, though: BioWare's Anthem. The fact that the title barely had a look-in was extremely disappointing.
Although there were plenty of aspects of this year's E3 that gamers felt underwhelmed by, such as the lack of a Sony presentation and a severe shortage of actual gameplay footage, the no-show of Anthem might be the worst of the lot. During the EA Play event, Anthem received a brief and awkward mention before the livestream was moved onto other areas that EA wanted to discuss.
Anthem's problems have been widely discussed, and with good reason. At launch the title had some major issues, which led to reviews that were the worst in BioWare's history. There were some severe technical problems with the game, which in part came down to BioWare's struggles with the Frostbite engine as well as poor management and crunch behind the scenes.
E3 would have been the perfect place for BioWare and EA to explain what is planned next to bring the game up to speed. The changes made so far are hardly fit for a game that promised so much, and BioWare has promised that fixing Anthem is its top priority. The fact that nothing finite was shared at E3, in line with the lack of serious communication since the game's troubles came to light, doesn't bode well for BioWare's chances of turning the game around.
Conversely, another game that was a serious let-down received a ton of news at E3 2019. Fallout 76 was another failure at launch, but at the very least Bethesda took to E3 with sharing what it has planned next in mind - even if it's merely adding things that perhaps should have been there in the first place. Instead, Bethesda's struggles at E3 came down to its bizarre focus on free-to-play mobile games.
If BioWare is going to regain the confidence of the gaming community, it can't stay silent on Anthem. The parallels to Mass Effect Andromeda are hard to ignore - a game that came second in priority to Anthem at BioWare and led to another intellectual property being dumped in the graveyard of old EA franchises. If Anthem is to avoid that same fate, BioWare needs to act quickly rather than just think about the upcoming Dragon Age 4.