BioWare has announced they will be abandoning Anthem's planned roadmap of content releases and focus instead on seasonal updates. Released in February of this year, the EA-published online multiplayer game has endured numerous setbacks in the recent months, including Anthem's producer leaving BioWare in August and sharp drops in Anthem player numbers, but a recent Cataclysm update, along with a renewed promise of transparency in the game's development, shows BioWare is hoping to bring those old players back.
Anthem received lots of criticism upon release, and the bulk of those complaints centered around the game's forced grinding and loot system which, when coupled with frequent glitches and a lackluster story, led to a boorish and repetitive experience for players. EA tried placing Anthem on their EA Access program to bring in new players, but even that did not seem to help.
In a blog post on BioWare's official site, Head of Live Service Chad Robertson stated in order to fix core issues in Anthem they will be dropping the current "Acts" structure they have been using for content updates, effectively abandoning the roadmap they had previously announced. In its place, Robertson says BioWare will be moving towards a system of seasonal updates that "will deliver challenges and chases similar to what you've seen."
Clearly, BioWare understands there is a lot of work ahead of them. Robertson concedes some of Anthem's larger issues will take a long time to fix, but promises teams are already working on such repairs and "early results are promising," although there is no estimated completion date yet. He goes on to thank players for taking part in the Public Test Server, which convinced them to make changes like including additional types of reward crates and game tips in loading screens.
Fans of BioWare's previous titles such as Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and the first two games in the Mass Effect franchise were disappointed with the more combat-focused Anthem upon release, and while the company seems dedicated to continuing the game's existence many still wish for the sequels that could have been, such as the cancelled Dragon Age game. Although such dedication to continuing to try and improve the game is admirable, the entire story of Anthem's development serves as hard evidence that purchasing a game based on its upcoming "roadmap of content" is always a gamble that depends on how many other players are willing to take the same risk.