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Default Obsidian Entertainment - Interview @ CVG

April 26th, 2014, 10:19
CVG interviews Feargus Urquhart of Obsidian Entertainment to talk about the developers future after the release of South Park: The Stick of Truth.

Does Obsidian still define itself as a role-playing games studio?

Yeah, I think so. I always feel a little weird saying that, because some people go, "how does that have anything to do with an armored vehicle game?" Like I said, there's probably more similarities than you would think. But ultimately, we're the guys that do characters, and story, and factions, and open world, and player choice.

Those are the things that have really intrigued me about making role-playing games. Even though something like Eternity is very different presentation-wise from Fallout: New Vegas, we're absolutely evolving our systems and our tools to move things forward: how do factions work, how do factions intermingle, and your reputation and your karma with different factions, and how do companions work, and making our companions even more realistic and complex compared to our previous versions. We're always moving that forward. I'll selfishly go back to me, that's the stuff that I find really intriguing.

Now that Stick of Truth is finally released and you have several other projects going, do you see Obsidian doing more traditional triple-A partnerships?

Yeah, I think so. I would love to say that I could go up on Kickstarter and raise $15, $20, $30 million dollars to do our own big triple-A console game. But the reality is - minus Star Citizen - that's probably a little bit of a pipe dream. When it comes to making bigger console RPGs, us working with publishers makes sense.

We hooked up with Paradox to do PR, marketing, and distribution for Pillars of Eternity. If we really had to do it ourselves we could have, but if we were to say, "okay, we're going to get funding to do a triple-A RPG and then we're going to be the people who publish it", we'd have to bring on all these people.

It's a big apparatus to try to ship these big console RPGs. I think we'll always continue to talk to publishers, not just because of funding - although obviously that's a big part of it - but also just because of the realities of publishing big console projects.
And he briefly talked about the next kickstarter project.

You mentioned in December that you might have another Kickstarter to reveal around now…

We are working on what that is. I think we've come up with what it's going to be. We have to still firm up some details, but my hope is that we'll get one going before the end of the year.

I think we've got a good idea. I'm not going to share anything, but a few times in my career I have these things where I say, "hey, that's a cool idea!" and I've generally been right. So I think this one's going to be a cool thing.
More information.
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April 26th, 2014, 10:19
I'd personally enjoy seeing them get Star Citizen's level of funding, but they'd have to have a better storefront/backer page up the moment the kickstarter gets going/ends.
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April 26th, 2014, 11:06
I would love to say that I could go up on Kickstarter and raise $15, $20, $30 million dollars to do our own big triple-A console game.
Dream on. I'd never put a cent in that game.

"Outsourcing" PR and stuff to Paradox was IMO a good idea. Making a game based on a cult cartoon was another good idea. So I have a suggestion.
Grab FMA and FMA:B, make a game or start a franchise, since it's SqE material they can do the PR and whatnot. On PC. You don't need hundreds of millions but you'll earn them.

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April 26th, 2014, 12:29
Fullmetal Alchemist? I've never heard of it, but I suppose you think it's good? Is it an Anime series or are there already computer games too?

On topic: Why the hell would they want to make a dumbed down triple AAA console game? I love Obsidian to death but I do not approve of that statement…
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April 26th, 2014, 13:39
Fullmetal Alchemist is pretty damn good anime. Would love to see an rpg based on it. Final Fantasy style turn based game or Western rpg real time with pause, which would you choose? I'm for the latter but that's what I enjoy the most so I'm biased.

@tomasp3n there are games but none here that I've played.
http://fma.wikia.com/wiki/List_of_Fu…st_video_games
Its anime and about magic that is the science of that world broadly speaking.
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April 26th, 2014, 13:46
Please, not another console-dumbed down game, this was the doom of Dungeon Siege III…
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April 26th, 2014, 14:25
I'm guilty never writing a proper post about FMA in TV shows thread, will try to correct it today. Or tomorrow.
Just so you know, I can add an easter egg to Frontiers as I took that backer level and my plan is to put human transmutation circle from FMA in it.
There were 3 or 4 console games. And all were so bad you can't buy them anywhere today (maybe on ebay you can) as a result of cashgrab milk fans business model all evil pubishers do to fans. Recent example of such business is Heroes of Dragon Age.

The story about Obsidian goes like this. CEO comes to devs and says we have a material so odd and maybe too challenging to make a game out of it, shall we try to make a game? And devs say "hell yes!".
That's in short how we got one of the best RPGs ever made - PST.

And I don't love Obsidian to death, I refused to buy Alpha Protocol just because that game apparently doesn't let you to save anywhere but uses checkpoints.
I'm aware they have to survive so they can't refuse a contract just like that. But it still doesn't mean they should waste the talent on an average stuff like DS3 instead of continuing cooperatin with Bethesda on more FO games. For example.

A dumbed down title costed them losing the former company. I don't think Feargus Urquhart wants to make any dumbed down game. I have a problem with consoles and you know why is that, the restrictive hardware disallows graphics to blossom and usually there is no more cash to invest into improving a PC port.
Yes I'm spoiled with PC games, I'm aware development and QA (because of different hardware) of a PC game costs more than a console title, but I'm also prepared to pay more just to get a game on PC.
There is no way I'll buy a console just because there is some obscure exclusive on it everyone praises! If it was so awsome, it would be ported elsewhere. Since it's not awsome as they all say, it wouldn't sell on other consoles or PC - thus, there is no port. Either that or you're suggesting that companies are being run by imbeciles who don't want to earn more cash.

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April 26th, 2014, 14:45
I'm tentatively excited to hear about their next Kickstarter project. I just hope it's another proper single-player cRPG and not an MMO or tank game…. I'd be thrilled if they made another RPG using the tech from PoE but in a Sci-Fi setting or any of the other settings seldom used in RPGs we've talked about here & here.
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April 26th, 2014, 18:04
Hey, I appreciate Bethesda clearly saying they'd prefer to go pro- console first….now I know to never give them any KS money. EVER. Take your crappy console games and just go away, I'll hang with the indies and those that focus on the pc peeps.
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April 26th, 2014, 19:16
"Yeah, I think so. I would love to say that I could go up on Kickstarter and raise $15, $20, $30 million dollars to do our own big triple-A console game."

I thought everything was Steam boxes (aka: PC) now?

I'm also firmly on the fence about not giving them any more KS money until I see a finished, high quality PE and until I see how successful it ultimately is with sales. It was estimated that PE could make them several million dollars (perhaps 10+) in retail, and if that's the case I think I would be slightly offended if Obsidian expected 100% funding for another game. If they did a dollar-for-dollar matching KS or something, I'd be fine.

Am I off in my thinking here?
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April 26th, 2014, 20:29
A new console triple A-RPG from Obsidian would not bother me as the article states they have seven projects in development right now. The game would probably get a PC port.

I'm also glad I game on consoles, handhelds, and my PC. I don't limit my gaming options with a closed mind. If I did I never would of played games that never made it to the PC.

Anyway I still want that Star Wars Pillar of Eternity type game he mentioned he was interested in making. To bad EA & Disney are not interested in another Star Wars RPG.

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April 26th, 2014, 21:03
Patience. If the new SW trilogy will be a success, there will be enough interest.
Keep your fingers crossed. I do, we can never get enough sci-fi RPGs.
http://starwars.com/news/star-wars-e…-may-2014.html

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April 26th, 2014, 22:10
Waiting to see what will be their next KS project, hope isn't that episodic project they talked some time ago…
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April 27th, 2014, 00:26
Originally Posted by Carnifex View Post
Hey, I appreciate Bethesda clearly saying they'd prefer to go pro- console firstů.now I know to never give them any KS money. EVER. Take your crappy console games and just go away, I'll hang with the indies and those that focus on the pc peeps.
No, that isn't what he said. But your reaction is completely over the top anyway, so it doesn't matter.
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April 27th, 2014, 01:19
Sorry that I didn't quote him precisely, but that is in fact what he said/implied, if he were able to raise the funds via KS. If my reaction is perceived as almost total disdain for console games, then I did my job. And if Bethesda plans on going that way, I wish them luck, I really thought them better than that tbh.
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April 27th, 2014, 03:33
Originally Posted by Carnifex View Post
Sorry that I didn't quote him precisely, but that is in fact what he said/implied, if he were able to raise the funds via KS. If my reaction is perceived as almost total disdain for console games, then I did my job. And if Bethesda plans on going that way, I wish them luck, I really thought them better than that tbh.
I think the idea is sort of more, "I'd love to be able to do these console games like we're doing Pillars, but that's not feasible." In other words, they see both Pillars-style games and bigger budget console games as being necessary parts of their company strategy, as you still need those big games to keep a studio this size together.

However, I really don't think the implication was, "Boy, I'd rather be Kickstarting funds for console games than PC games." He was contrasting their dependency on publishers for console games to the possibility of being independent there as well… not contrasting their ability to Kickstart PC-style indie games with the possibility of only Kickstarting console games.

killias2:
Steam is the only answer. It's convenient, it's easy to use, it's simple and fast. It's great.
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April 27th, 2014, 08:54
Originally Posted by Carnifex View Post
Sorry that I didn't quote him precisely, but that is in fact what he said/implied, if he were able to raise the funds via KS. If my reaction is perceived as almost total disdain for console games, then I did my job. And if Bethesda plans on going that way, I wish them luck, I really thought them better than that tbh.
Although I do agree with you, the company we're talking about is Obsidian, not Bethesda. Bethesda moved to the console crowd several years ago…

Killias2: I hope you are right (and I do believe you are). One doesn't exclude the other.
Last edited by tomasp3n; April 27th, 2014 at 18:53.
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