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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Pillars of Eternity - Interview @ Stevivor

Default Pillars of Eternity - Interview @ Stevivor

April 12th, 2014, 16:57
Stevivor had the chance to interview Feargus Urquhart about Pillars of Eternity, and talk about the Paradox Interactive distribution deal.

Steve Wright, Stevivor: First, before we get into what’s probably a set of obvious questions, let’s focus on Pillars of Eternity first. Can you give me a bit of a backstory on how the game came to be? Influences, design strategies, that sort of thing?

Urquhart: A lot of us worked at Black Isle, you know; that's where the five owners of Obsidian came from. We were the external producers on a lot of BioWare projects, which were Neverwinter Nights for 95% of its development, plus Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate II. I did work on Shattered Steel, which was one of BioWare's first products.

Internally, we did Icewind Dale and its expansion packs, which were Infinity Engine games, and between Baldur's Gate… between the numbers of all these games, we're talking 10 to 15, maybe even 20 million units were sold between all of those. People enjoyed those games, and people remember them. To this day, people still walk up to me and tell me how much they enjoyed those games. And they just stopped being made.

We moved over to Obsidian, and indies really needed to start focusing on consoles; BioWare started focusing on consoles, and these games – not because people didn't want them – just stopped being made. And so that kind of went out of our heads for the next six or seven years. Then, John from GameBanshee, which is an RPG journalism, hobbyist kind of site, talked to me at E3, probably four years ago and asked why I wasn't making those games.

I really didn't have a good answer, other than I couldn't get them funded. We thought they'd be cool, I'd love to make them, and I'd still want to play them, though. Then the PC started to gain more Steam…

And then, Kickstarter blew up in 2012 with Double Fine and In Exile and the guys who made Shadowrun Returns, and us, with Pillars of Eternity. It was a chance for us to go back and make something that we loved, and we certainly can make that type of game. A modern version of it, that's something that we want to play. Luckily, people were totally in to it.
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April 12th, 2014, 16:57
Feargus goes on to talk about why they bid out their publishing…

"When we started to really think about it, it meant customer service. We want to sell the game in China, so it meant that I'd have to travel to China, you know?"- See more at: http://stevivor.com/2014/04/obsidian….r20vgEeF.dpuf

Apparently he's not aware of the fact that China allows the raping of western intellectual property rights on a staggering scale. Pillars of Eternity will be available in every alley, market and government-censored website in that country within 24hrs of release, and not a penny will go to Obsidian.
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April 12th, 2014, 17:41
Originally Posted by ChaosTheory View Post
Feargus goes on to talk about why they bid out their publishing…

"When we started to really think about it, it meant customer service. We want to sell the game in China, so it meant that I'd have to travel to China, you know?"- See more at: http://stevivor.com/2014/04/obsidian….r20vgEeF.dpuf

Apparently he's not aware of the fact that China allows the raping of western intellectual property rights on a staggering scale. Pillars of Eternity will be available in every alley, market and government-censored website in that country within 24hrs of release, and not a penny will go to Obsidian.
Only in China? You are aware of US/EU based warez/release sites, Direct downloads links, .torrents , etc?
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April 12th, 2014, 18:24
Originally Posted by Sumerisle View Post
Only in China? You are aware of US/EU based warez/release sites, Direct downloads links, .torrents , etc?
Yes, but it's at least illegal and somewhat enforced, though obviously not to the extent we'd like. In China (mentioned specifically by Feargus) it is not enforced at all and I would argue that it's encouraged from the highest levels of government. Intellectual property issues are the single-biggest reason why the West will never become close with countries like China as it costs us hundreds of billions in lost revenue, which in essence is stolen. Every once in awhile they'll make a token, highly scripted "crackdown" for the media to try to convince folks that they give a shit, but they don't.

Not to go off on a tangent here, but it's common knowledge that the vast majority of Chinese technology, especially military tech, was stolen from other nations. China has figured out that's it's easier (thanks to Western freedoms) & cheaper to allow others to spend billions, sometimes trillions of dollars developing a certain technology or weapons platform— and then steal it— than it is to develop it themselves. It has been their MO for the last several decades.
Last edited by ChaosTheory; April 12th, 2014 at 18:38.
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April 12th, 2014, 21:07
Originally Posted by ChaosTheory View Post
Yes, but it's at least illegal and somewhat enforced, though obviously not to the extent we'd like. In China (mentioned specifically by Feargus) it is not enforced at all and I would argue that it's encouraged from the highest levels of government. Intellectual property issues are the single-biggest reason why the West will never become close with countries like China as it costs us hundreds of billions in lost revenue, which in essence is stolen. Every once in awhile they'll make a token, highly scripted "crackdown" for the media to try to convince folks that they give a shit, but they don't.

Not to go off on a tangent here, but it's common knowledge that the vast majority of Chinese technology, especially military tech, was stolen from other nations. China has figured out that's it's easier (thanks to Western freedoms) & cheaper to allow others to spend billions, sometimes trillions of dollars developing a certain technology or weapons platform— and then steal it— than it is to develop it themselves. It has been their MO for the last several decades.
Feargus mentioned China, but he was joking. He states that working with a publisher prevents him to travel to China to sell the game.
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April 12th, 2014, 23:17
Originally Posted by ChaosTheory View Post
Yes, but it's at least illegal and somewhat enforced, though obviously not to the extent we'd like. In China (mentioned specifically by Feargus) it is not enforced at all and I would argue that it's encouraged from the highest levels of government. Intellectual property issues are the single-biggest reason why the West will never become close with countries like China as it costs us hundreds of billions in lost revenue, which in essence is stolen. Every once in awhile they'll make a token, highly scripted "crackdown" for the media to try to convince folks that they give a shit, but they don't.

Not to go off on a tangent here, but it's common knowledge that the vast majority of Chinese technology, especially military tech, was stolen from other nations. China has figured out that's it's easier (thanks to Western freedoms) & cheaper to allow others to spend billions, sometimes trillions of dollars developing a certain technology or weapons platform— and then steal it— than it is to develop it themselves. It has been their MO for the last several decades.
Might and Magic X was translated into Chinese and I can't believe a big experienced publisher like Ubisoft would have bothered if there wasn't going to be a good return on the investment. So in spite of the black market, there may well be enough legitimate sales to make it worthwhile.
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April 13th, 2014, 06:41
There's a quote John from GameBanshee cam proudly hang on his wall, assuming the game's any good.
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April 14th, 2014, 18:34
It seemed odd to me when they went with a publisher since these days it seems like all you need is kickstarter and steam to do very well with a good game - good games on steam tend to build their own momentum in a hurry.

I tend to like Paradox games overall though and it seems like as long as it doesn't impact how the game turns out that it's not that big a deal.
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