EA and BioWare are planning on taking Anthem in a very Destiny-like direction, in more ways than one. During one of Microsoft’s many E3 Xbox Live livestreams, EA’s executive VP Patrick Soderlund provided some perspective into the future plans for the Anthem franchise. EA, much like Activision prior to the launch of Destiny, has a 10-year plan for the franchise which Anthem is set to launch come fall 2018.
Here’s Soderlund’s specific comments regarding EA and Anthem‘s plans for the future:
“Anthem is a social game where you and your friends go on quests and journeys. It’s a game that we’ve been working on for almost four years now, and once we launch it next year I think it’ll be the start of a ten-year journey for us.”
There’s clearly very little meat to chew on in that quote, as Soderland mentioned the 10-year plan rather offhandedly. Yet even an offhand comment can carry a lot of meaning contextually. That is to say, knowing what we now do about Destiny‘s development and the how closely Anthem appears to be following in Destiny‘s tracks.
In 2012 a lawsuit between the founders of Infinity Ward and Activision resulted in the public release of several contracts, including the one between Activision and Bungie. That contract, signed after Bungie’s partnership with Microsoft ended, was effectively a 10-year plan for several games and digital expansions. Starting with Destiny, Bungie was contracted to launch a full new game every two years, with an expansion every off year. Obviously that plan and the contract itself has changed since then, what with Destiny 2 taking three years to develop post-Destiny, but the goals remain the same.
So when Soderlund says that Anthem is on a 10-year plan, what he’s likely saying is that EA is already planning for Anthem to become a multi-game franchise with a wide variety of digital content planned to fill in the space between games. How many games and how much expansion content might result from EA’s 10-year plan is anything but clear. If Destiny has shown anything it’s that even the best laid plans can falter. But barring the unlikely scenario of Anthem being a disaster, it’s safe to say the franchise will be around for a very long time.
Anthem is tentatively planned for release in fall 2018 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.