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(Pocket-lint) - When is a delay not a delay? When it's a tactical decision, apparently.

Bioware's Anthem was given star billing at the Xbox E3 2017 press conference, showing it as a perfect example of the capabilities of the Xbox One X. It was also said to be coming late 2018.

However, its publisher, Electronic Arts, has revealed its release is being pushed back to spring 2019. But, unlike on many other occasions with game delays, it's not because of development issues or extra time needed. It's actually so that Anthem's release doesn't clash with the next, unnamed Battlefield.

EA rather shot itself in the foot a couple of years ago, with the release of Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2 within a week of each other. Many believe it severely impacted the sales of the latter game, which was critically well received but didn't shift the numbers originally expected.

The company is clearly keen to avoid similar with its next major releases: "We've chosen to launch Anthem in [tax year] 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," said EA boss Andrew Wilson during a company investors call.

"We are really excited by the way the next Battlefield is shaping up and 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."

The next Battlefield game is currently rumoured to see a return to World War 2, much like with last year's call of Duty.

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Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 31 January 2018.