The remaining story Act updates for Anthem have been delayed (or possibly cancelled) in favor of a seasonal update strategy.
BioWare is officially moving away from its previously-planned “Acts” update schedule and will instead focus on “seasonal updates” as well as quality of life and technical improvements.
“In order to address these long-range plans, we are moving away from the Acts structure for updates,” says Chad Robertson, Anthem‘s Head of Live Service. “Instead, we have additional seasonal updates planned for this year that we think players will enjoy. These events will deliver challenges and chases similar to what you’ve seen, and are built around some fun themes we’re bringing to the game.”
What does that mean? That’s a fantastic question. Anthem was originally supposed to receive major Act updates that would further the “ongoing narrative” of the game. The first of those updates (Echoes of Reality) was supposed to launch in March and conclude with an in-game event known as Cataclysm. That update was delayed so that BioWare could focus on fixing technical problems, and its eventual launch was met with a resounding “meh” from what remains of the Anthem community.
So we know we’re not getting those Acts (at least not in the near future), but we’re still not entirely clear one what these seasonal content updates will consist of. It sounds like they’re going to be relatively minor influxes of new content that will be based around existing Anthem lore and “fun themes” as opposed to introducing major story advances. That strategy would make a little more sense now that Anthem is part of the EA Access program and is more accessible than ever.
Our best guess is that BioWare is going to try to go the Fortnite route by introducing minor themed updates to Anthem that are designed to hook players for short bursts of time. We don’t think they’re going to go after licensed content like Epic does with Fortnite, but we also don’t imagine that these seasonal updates will be as significant as some of the content updates that Bungie brings to Destiny 2.
Regardless, this feels like yet another setback for Anthem. It’s going to be interesting to see if the game can survive in the coming months.
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.