FIFA and Star Wars Battlefront 2 publisher Electronic Arts (EA) has delayed its much anticipated open-world multiplayer shooter, Anthem to 2019. The sci-fi action game from Mass Effect and Dragon Age studio Bioware debuted with a slick trailer at E3 2017 showing off giant mechanised suits, sprawling, bustling environments and visuals that appeared to be realistically unachievable on current generation consoles.
The reason for Anthem’s delay, EA claims, has nothing to do with reports stating that the game was facing development troubles. Rather, it believes the game has a better chance of meeting sales expectations by launching it in a quieter period. Reason being, a lot of big, established franchises see games out towards the end of the year such as Call of Duty, and EA’s own such as FIFA.
“Regardless of how it’s being portrayed, we’re not look at that as a delay, we’ve chosen to launch Anthem in [the fourth quarter]. The date is chosen by by portfolio balance, not product readiness,” EA CEO Andrew Wilson said in a call to investors. “And we’re really excited by the way the new Battlefield is shaping up. It probably doesn’t make too much sense to launch Anthem right by it. As a new IP, it probably makes sense to give [Anthem] its own launch window.”
Instead of Anthem a new Battlefield game will be released. EA hasn't confirmed if it will be the oft-rumoured Battlefield: Bad Company 3 just yet. Considering how well Battlefield 1 has done and continues to do, it appears to be a safe bet.
In the past, titles from EA such as Titanfall 2 have suffered with dismal sales due poorly chosen release windows and this seems like an attempt to prevent similar mistakes.