Will Obsidian continue to make "safe" games (i.e. those of established properties) or will it branch out and take the risk of creating its own settings?
Well that's a loaded question. So I'll go with a safe answer - both. This is pretty much because I like working on both licensed properties and original settings. I really believe that they both have their place in the industry and in running a healthy independent development studio. While I do think that licensed games can be less risky, it's not particularly the reason why I don't have a specific preference between them and original ideas. I guess I look at it as a game maker and not just a business guy. That may seem odd, because normally the business guy would say that making licensed product is the smart way to go because lower risk is always better. However, if you run an independent studio one of the things you always think about is the "end game" - what are we really trying to do here. Are we just going to be independent forever or are we looking to get purchased by a publisher. Creating original ideas (also called new IP - "Intellectual Property"), when successful, makes a studio more attractive to a publisher since they are getting more than just people and technology when they buy you. That's why you see a lot of studios really pushing to get their own IP published.