EA confirms Anthem delay but says a new Battlefield game is coming this October
It’s official—Anthem won’t be out until 2019. But apparently it’s not actually a delay.
BioWare’s Destiny-alike online shooter Anthem was expected to be released sometime near the end of this year, and in fact if you go to the official Anthem YouTube channel, it still lists “fall 2018” as the release date. A Kotaku report last week said that wasn’t likely to happen, however. According to the site’s anonymous sources that target was “never realistic,” and the game wouldn’t actually be available until early 2019.
Today Electronic Arts confirmed the delay, although also insisted that it is not actually a delay at all, and that it’s not the result of development issues at BioWare but simply a matter of scheduling. There’s a new Battlefield coming in October, and EA CFO Blake Jorgensen told the Wall Street Journal the company decided that Anthem will “get more attention if it came out in a quieter quarter.”
The Kotaku report made BioWare’s situation sound troubling, but Jorgensen’s statement actually fits well with EA’s recent past experience. Titanfall 2, released in 2016, is an outstanding FPS but faltered badly at launch despite being multiplatform (the original wasn’t released for PlayStation) and getting a big push from EA—a failure widely attributed to the inexplicable decision to cram it between Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.
There’s no question that BioWare needs Anthem to be a hit, so this may well be a case of “lesson learned.” Whatever the specifics, it’s official: Anthem won’t be out until 2019.
The announcement of the Anthem rescheduling-that-is-not-a-delay also delivers a low-key confirmation that a new Battlefield game is coming later this year. I’d forgotten about that completely, but it’s not actually a new announcement: EA CEO Andrew Wilson said in the company’s Q1 2018 earnings call (via Seeking Alpha) that “we’ll continue delivering for our Battlefield fans, including the next great game in the franchise,” in 2018. I’ve reached out to EA for more information and will update if I hear more.