File this one under funny or sad. Or both. Anthem, BioWare’s doomed loot shooter from 2019 can now be purchased used for very cheap. Like one penny cheap if you’re in the right place. Or, if you’re like TikTok user ClockLava, you might just get it for free from a generous GameStop employee who spots you that single copper piece to save you the effort. Hey, the servers are still up for now…maybe there’s fun to be had?
If you aren’t familiar with the game, Anthem was BioWare’s attempt to catch some of that fire that has everyone jazzed about games like Destiny 2 or Warframe. It had a far flung sci-fi premise where you played as a “Javelin,” suited up in gear that turned you into Iron Man. The game unsurprisingly set you out to shoot stuff and collect all the armours and all the loots. Success for these kinds of games isn’t guaranteed. Destiny notoriously had a rough first impression, and Warframe took a while to rise above the status of “that neat free PS4 game.” Anthem lacked enough substance on release to earn its place for gamers following its tumultuous development, filled with conflicting visions for the title and tons of crunch to make up for poor plans and lost time.
Like many doomed-at-first games these days, it was assumed Anthem would have a glorious No Man’s Sky comeback. Or would at least try to. While work was being done to move the game in a better direction. EA killed the revival efforts and sentenced the game to slow death last year. So, it’s no surprise to see the game ending up on the bargain-of-bargains shelf.
As reported by Fanbyte, the discovery was a surprise to TikToker ClockLava. “So I just went to GameStop and they had Anthem for a fucking penny,” ClockLava opens their video with, as Star Wars’ “Duel of the Fates” appropriately blares in the background. At first, they expressed doubt that this was at all real: “When I went to buy this I was like ‘there’s no way this is actually a penny,’” but it seems, if the video is to be believed, that this is indeed what you may find in your average used bin of last gen titles.
ClockLava goes on to say that the GameStop employee who handled their “purchase,” said that game’s costing $US0.01 ($0) are often bad. Sound logic. The employee then offered to buy the game for ClockLava before they could even fish out a penny from their purse. What a nice gesture! It’s worth noting that Anthem currently lists for as much as $US59.99 ($83) on GameStop’s website, so this may only be a deal you can score based on your average GameStop’s used inventory.
Kotaku has reached out to GameStop for comment.
If you’re one who keeps an eye on sales and great used deals, you might be familiar with Anthem’s plummeting prices. Just two weeks ago, Reddit user Spider-Man_Fan posted a screenshot of their score: count ‘em, that’s 37 (in a row) copies of Anthem, most of which are sealed, marked at $US0.01 ($0) on their receipt, and add up to a total cost of $US0.41 ($1) after tax. You’d lose money by not buying it!
Here’s what’s really sad about this: If you ever worked at a GameStop, you might be familiar with the term “pennying out.” It refers to the final stop before a product gets trashed. Literally. In the garbage. For those in the know, it’s a great way to pick up random collector’s editions of games and other random products that just faded the fuck away. I myself have hardcover copies of guides for The Witcher 3 and Metal Gear Solid V that each cost literally a penny.
Before Anthem’s plummet to a penny for a used copy, it wasn’t uncommon to see the average question on r/AnthemTheGame concerning whether it was at least “two dollars fun” when it was hovering around that price. From my personal experience, it’s been a game that’s frequently been the subject of random texts from people I don’t talk to much, usually with a picture of Anthem’s box in a store somewhere listed for like four bucks with the question: “worth it?” Mass Effect: Andromeda is usually the follow up text to that. Ouch, BioWare.
So. Is Anthem worth a penny? Like most, I acquired it somehow, at some point, and have played it once or twice. I feel some urge to jump in to at least see everything before EA and BioWare inevitably pull the network cables from their servers, but honestly, given the absolute shitshow that was that game and that game’s development, I dunno, maybe a penny is a bit too much. I’ll wait for the next sale.