Titanfall 2 came out in late 2016 to huge critical acclaim, its predecessor had built a fanbase on Xbox and the franchise looked well set to explode. It simply didn’t happen, and one of the key reasons proffered was that EA pushed it out in a week between Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.
It seems that EA has learned from its mistake, though, and is delaying the much-anticipated Anthem to Spring Q1 2019 (or FY19 Q4 as EA refers to it), in order to avoid putting it up against its next Battlefield title.
"It probably doesn’t make sense to launch Anthem right up next to it. And when you think about Anthem as a brand new IP, we also believe it make sense to give it its own launch window so that we can give us a focus and attention that it deserve and give it some free air," said EA’s CEO Andrew Wilson.
In its Q3 earnings call last night, EA wasn’t keen on the word ‘delay’. Though that’s what it is when you take a game you announced at E3 with a big ‘Fall 2018’ on it and move it back to Spring 2019. The release date always looked ambitious.
But Wilson was bullish in his defence of the game’s development title.
"The first thing about Anthem is regardless of kind of how it’s being portrayed, we are not looking at that as a delay in the game. We’ve chosen to launch Anthem in Q4 and the date is really determined by portfolio of balancing consideration not for product readiness reasons. It’s tracking well on its development milestones. We are really confident of its ship date."
Whatever the reasons for the shift, most likely a combination of these factors, it’s good news for the market, reducing the clutter of releases that we too often see late in the year.