Anthem's next update, 1.1.0, is set to go live later today, introducing the new Sunken Cell stronghold, as well as other fixes and improvements that will be detailed in patch notes due to appear soon. The game will be down for maintenance until 6 pm BST/10 am PST, and you'll be able to download the update when the servers are back up. So what's the deal with The Sunken Cell, then? It's underground, it looks damp and maybe it's a prison? Concept art only tells us so much, but it won't be a mystery for much longer. BioWare will be showing off the new stronghold in a livestream on Twitch at 9 pm BST/ 1 pm PST, though you'll be able to play before then.Check back later for the patch notes.
Anthem's next update will finally let us switch out our gear on the fly. No more waiting to get back to Tarsis to try out that shiny new gun.
Anthem received a major 1.1.0 update today that, in addition to adding a new Stronghold to play, lets you finally access your inventory during missions. But, as players had suspected for weeks, this update also brought news that Anthem's planned April roadmap (and potentially well beyond) is being delayed for an indeterminate amount of time as BioWare struggles to fix more of Anthem's fundamental problems."We have learned a lot since the game went live," a Reddit thread from BioWare reads. "We have heard a lot of feedback from all of you, and we have been working diligently to improve as many things as we can in the short term. We’ve fixed a lot of bugs and made changes which we believe begin to point us in the right direction for the future. That being said, we know there is a long way to go before Anthem becomes the game we all want it to be."Because of that, many of the features promised to arrive in April won't be coming until sometime later. When Anthem's roadmap was unveiled during launch, BioWare promised features like guild support, leaderboards, a Mastery system, the still unknown endgame Cataclysm group activities, and many more. All of those and other features are now delayed as BioWare continues to work on "bug fixes, stability and game flow."
BioWare has issued a dismissive response to a scathing report on the development of Anthem.
BioWare admits there's "room to improve" after new report reveals worrying impact of crunch during troubled development of Anthem
BioWare has said it's looking at ways to improve the studio's culture after a new report revealed worrying crunch issues during the troubled development of…
"The creative process is often difficult"
Anthem took so long to come together that it was still called 'Beyond' just days before the E3 2017 reveal, according to a report from Kotaku. Speaking with 19 people involved in or close to the game's development, the report paints a grim picture of the RPG studio and the creation of its disappointing looter shooter. That's another thing that wasn't settled on straight away, apparently. Some core bits are familiar—the Iron Man suits, a mysterious world—but all the grinding for gear would come much later. Instead, there were elements which almost had a survival bent, including procedural combat encounters, dynamic weather and a more complicated ecology. “You’d be out somewhere, and an electrical storm would happen at random, and you had to survive it," one developer told Kotaku. "We had an early demonstration of this where the environment was dynamic and by pulling levers we could change it from summer to winter to fall."Flying, probably the most popular feature, was removed and added back in several times over the course of development. Even in 2017, flying was up in the air. The report claims that, after a disappointing demonstration for EA's Patrick Söderlund, flying was finally put back into the game only weeks before E3. It was still Beyond at that point, apparently, and then a few days before the big reveal, the name was suddenly changed. “Everybody was like, ‘Well, that doesn’t make any sense—what does this have to do with anything?’” Kotaku was told. Though not especially memorable, there was clarity to the original name. Anthem didn't have an obvious meaning, at least not in relation to the game. That wouldn't happen until the story was developed and all the Anthem of Creation lore was conjured up. After E3."The demo was not actually built properly—a lot of it was fake, like most E3 demos," one developer said. "There was a lot of stuff that was like, 'Oh are we actually doing this? Do we have the tech for that, do we have the tools for that? To what end can you fly? How big should the world be?'"When it was given a Fall 2018 release window, barely a single mission had been implemented, and by the start of 2018, only one mission was actually in the game, according to someone who worked on Anthem. It was only in 2018 that the game started to become what we got to play this year. There are echoes of Andromeda's development, which was plagued by similar issues and had a similarly disappointing reception at launch. If the picture this report paints is accurate, it reveals a lot of serious issues at BioWare that go back years, further than the development of either games. While it declined to comment, BioWare has responded with a statement, in particular defending against allegations of crunch and an unhealthy work environment made elsewhere in the report.
BioWare has responded to a Kotaku report on the workplace conditions and development process behind Anthem, writing that the creative process was difficult but the studio remains dedicated to both workplace safety and developing the online title.
BioWare has now responded to an earlier report thatt revealed Anthem's development had been turbulent, lacking focus, and took a heavy toll on its staff.