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Default Obsidian Entertainment - Working on Next-Gen RPG

February 25th, 2020, 09:51
Originally Posted by Drithius View Post
Your mean classic RPGs like PoE that have them in a near perpetual state of insolvency?
That is definitely problem of management incompetence, not a problem of niche market.
And incompetence of Obsidian leaders was discussed many times in past years, also by their emloyees.
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February 25th, 2020, 10:00
Originally Posted by sakichop View Post
Another first person RPG with guns. RIP Obsidian.
That was expected after Microsoft invested in them. We will never see another isometric, classic RPG from them. I suppose this is what they always wanted, so I hope it works for them.

I personally think there is more then enough mainstream production to choose from and I have doubts Obsidian will shine in this company. But that is obviously minority opinion.
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February 25th, 2020, 10:55
Originally Posted by Drithius View Post
Your mean classic RPGs like PoE that have them in a near perpetual state of insolvency?
As far as I'm aware Pillars of Eternity made them a lot of money. The perpetual state of insolvency has been with them since their founding back in the mid-2000s. It's why most of their games have been 'odd-jobs' for other studios and rehashing old IPs. The number of 'new games' they've created from scratch has always been extremely small and when they have tried that they have invariably produced poor selling games that don't really interest many people.

Let's go through the catalogue:

1st game: Sequel to KOTOR, KOTOR 2, published by Lucas Arts and used Bioware's engine. Low risk, low investment, potentially high returns but likely would only see a cut of profits, not all profits would go to them.

2nd game: Neverwinter Nights 2, published by Atari, but this time they had to do some work creating a new engine out of the old NWN engine. Again, a sequel to a Bioware game, but the opportunity for a decent profit was larger here.

3rd game: Alpha Protocol. Oh wow, their first unique IP, published by Sega and uses a market made engine. Opportunity for profits are large, but the game releases unstable, something for which the company now has a reputation for.

4th game: Fallout: New Vegas, Published by Bethesda, using Bethesda's engine. Again, being commissioned to make a sequel that the original company can't be bothered to make, this time for Fallout 3. Opportunity for big profit stifled by Bethesda.

5th game: Dungeon Siege 3: Doing a sequel for Square Enix this time, but they do develop their own engine. I have no idea what the profit outlook was for something like this.

6th game: South Park, the Stick of Truth: Winning a commission from Ubisoft this time to make a game based on a television franchise. I'm sure I read somewhere that this was their most profit-making game to date.

7th game: Pillars of Eternity. Commissioned by kickstarter pledgers to make a new Infinity Engine game, published by Paradox and using a market made engine. A new IP in name but a sequel in practice. Opportunity for big profits was higher than most other projects.

8th game: Skyforge, working with another developer, Allods Team and published by My.com, an MMORPG that I know very little about other than MMOs have potential for high profit but are a high gambol scene.

9th game: Pathfinder Adventures, an attempt to profit from the mobile market published by Asmodee North America. Again, high profit potential but high risk.

10th game: Tyranny, published by Paradox and using a market made engine. Something that was completely their own IP again, with a high potential for profit but, once again, didn't manage to catch the public's imagination.

11th game: Pillars of Eternity 2, published by Versus Evil using a market made engine. The opportunity to make the real profit from the new IP they'd created from Infinity Engine fan's original kickstarter. See's them again miss their shot at appealing to sufficient numbers of people.

Then they sold-out to Microsoft.


So what does your statement about blaming their interest in classic RPGs mean? Because they haven't really had a legacy of creating classic RPGs. In fact, the only games they've 'created' would be:

Alpha Protocol
Tyranny
Pillars of Eternity: Deadfire

All of which try their damnedest to escape the confines of classic RPGs and suggest that making classic RPGs is the last thing on their minds and that it was this stubborn refusal to cater to the classic RPG market that was the reason why these games essentially flopped, especially combined with a long-held reputation for making unstable games.

So I've no idea where you get the notion to make a point in such a discussion as this that it was the 'classic RPGs' that 'kept them in a state of near bankruptcy' when the truth is pretty much the complete opposite.
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February 25th, 2020, 11:08
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
As far as I'm aware Pillars of Eternity made them a lot of money…………
My God, where you take energy to put together all these thorough posts? Its sort of admirable and scary at the same time :-) Nevertheless, I find your points valid and I agree.
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February 25th, 2020, 13:14
Fallout 5 confirmed.
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Oh, wait.
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February 25th, 2020, 14:33
Originally Posted by Andrew23 View Post
My God, where you take energy to put together all these thorough posts? Its sort of admirable and scary at the same time :-) Nevertheless, I find your points valid and I agree.
The fitting question is "What are you doing with your life?"
However I don't know If I should ask @lackblogger or myself.
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February 25th, 2020, 15:30
If it is anything like Outer Worlds, i'm in. Anyway, i think i remember they made a promise about a dlc for OW somewhere. So that's not the end for the game.
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February 25th, 2020, 15:46
Originally Posted by Andrew23 View Post
That was expected after Microsoft invested in them. We will never see another isometric, classic RPG from them. I suppose this is what they always wanted, so I hope it works for them.
Never say never, it's the best way to be wrong.

I'm pretty sure a Pillars Of Eternity 3 is already in plan.
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February 25th, 2020, 16:18
I don't even know why people get so bent out of shape about how these dinosaur triple-A companies are doing, and whether or not they'll go under. If you want a hot new isometric RPG, go play an indie. Or you can keep staring at three or four big name devs and praying they'll turn back the clock 15-20 years, abandon their core audience (first-person shooter RPG fans), make one classic game and finally go under without even a gasp.
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February 25th, 2020, 16:30
I really hope they go back to PoE-like games, that's what they're good at. I don't know if they are economically struggling because of it, but I'm a selfish person and couldn't care less. TOW was a mediocre game in a time when the competition just was worse, and so it was seen as somewhat "good", but Obsidian must aspire to more than that, and so must RPG players.
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February 25th, 2020, 16:35
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
See's[sic] them again miss their shot at appealing to sufficient numbers of people.

So I've no idea where you get the notion to make a point in such a discussion as this that it was the 'classic RPGs' that 'kept them in a state of near bankruptcy'
Oh, I think you made the point quite well, thank you. Their empoyee roster (200+) is far too large for what they do (niche games).
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February 25th, 2020, 17:00
Originally Posted by Drithius View Post
Oh, I think you made the point quite well, thank you. Their empoyee roster (200+) is far too large for what they do (niche games).
Most of their games are not niche games, they are general appeal games, but, yes, their own taste is an interest in the niche of a niche with regards to their own IPs.

As has been mentioned by other people over the years, the only reason they even bothered doing Pillars of Eternity was not because they were worried about lack of sales but because they didn't want to make a game like that, they had to be desperate before they even considered making a classic RPG:

Obsidian Entertainment is a developer of video games based in Irvine, California, United States. It is known for development of such famous titles as Fallout: New Vegas, Alpha Protocol, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, and other. It was founded in 2003 by Feargus Urquhart and four other Black Isle ex-employees after the closure of Black Isle.

Despite of having many successful projects, Obsidian Entertainment has also had many development projects that cancelled unfinished, and in 2012 this brought the company to a difficult financial situation. Obsidian Entertainment is looking for some creative ways to fund their future projects, for example they have crowdfunded one of their games, Pillars of Eternity recently.
Meanwhile, for comparison purposes, Larian has about 150 employees and has never really made anything other than classic RPGs, their only stray from this, Dragon Commander, being the only real flop, financially. And Larian is the one going from strength to strength.

You have to wonder how a development house so closely associated with Baldur's Gate so consistently failed to capture the BG audience over 20 years whereas a relatively obscure development house is finally attempting it after 20 years of making almost exclusively Diablo-inspired action RPGs.

Classic RPGs aren't a niche, if that's what you were implying? I don't know if I should be replying to your post in agreement or with the above detail as I can't tell if you're agreeing with my previous post or suggesting my previous post confirms what you originally stated because you think classic RPGs are niche?
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February 25th, 2020, 17:43
I wonder what is meant by '"exceptional" gunplay'? Perhaps Matrix-style bullet time?
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February 25th, 2020, 19:18
Obsidian being part of Microsoft does not mean they won't or can't make another isometric game in the future. You know what other company made a deal with Microsoft? InXile. You know what kind of game they're releasing in May 2020? An isometric RPG.

Microsoft does and has let their studios do the sorts of games they want to do. Their partner catalog is very diverse.
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February 25th, 2020, 19:21
Originally Posted by Winterfart View Post
Never say never, it's the best way to be wrong.

I'm pretty sure a Pillars Of Eternity 3 is already in plan.
I don't think it is, but it has nothing to do with Microsoft's invovlement. Pillars 2 did not do well. That's a matter of record, as is Obsidian's dissatisfaction and confusion over why the second game did more poorly than the first. Doesn't mean they'll blame the low sales on 2 being a classic isometric RPG (so was the first, so that would be illogical), but it does mean they're not anxious to jump into what they fear would be a flop.
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February 25th, 2020, 19:22
Originally Posted by rjshae View Post
I wonder what is meant by '"exceptional" gunplay'? Perhaps Matrix-style bullet time?
It means the same thing "exceptional" always means as an adjective: one of the finest examples of whatever noun it's modifying.
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February 25th, 2020, 19:34
Originally Posted by JFarrell71 View Post
I don't think it is, but it has nothing to do with Microsoft's invovlement. Pillars 2 did not do well. That's a matter of record, as is Obsidian's dissatisfaction and confusion over why the second game did more poorly than the first. Doesn't mean they'll blame the low sales on 2 being a classic isometric RPG (so was the first, so that would be illogical), but it does mean they're not anxious to jump into what they fear would be a flop.
Yeah, I remember reading about that, but I don't think they abandoned the IP altoghether. They're reajusting.
Pirate settings just aren't that popular, that's all.
I bet PoE 3 will have a viking or nordic setting, something gamers seems to be massively fond of…
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February 25th, 2020, 19:40
Originally Posted by JFarrell71 View Post
Obsidian being part of Microsoft does not mean they won't or can't make another isometric game in the future. You know what other company made a deal with Microsoft? InXile. You know what kind of game they're releasing in May 2020? An isometric RPG.

Microsoft does and has let their studios do the sorts of games they want to do. Their partner catalog is very diverse.
Doesn't really have any bearing on the question at hand since Wasteland 3 was in production long before the Microsoft deal happened.
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February 25th, 2020, 20:55
Originally Posted by JFarrell71 View Post
Obsidian being part of Microsoft does not mean they won't or can't make another isometric game in the future. You know what other company made a deal with Microsoft? InXile. You know what kind of game they're releasing in May 2020? An isometric RPG.

Microsoft does and has let their studios do the sorts of games they want to do. Their partner catalog is very diverse.
Drithius outrun me on reply about Wasteland 3, so no point repeating it. Anyway, I cant shake off feeling that it was another game that peaked interest of Microsoft regarding inXile. Game nobody is talking about, because its virtual reality dungeon crawler, The Mages Tale. Will inXile be Microsofts developer for VR trash? Only time will show.
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February 25th, 2020, 21:07
Originally Posted by Winterfart View Post
Yeah, I remember reading about that, but I don't think they abandoned the IP altoghether. They're reajusting.
Pirate settings just aren't that popular, that's all.
I bet PoE 3 will have a viking or nordic setting, something gamers seems to be massively fond of…
That would be so cheap and predictable, that it might be even possible Obsidian would try to pull it off. Cmon Obsidian, you got there few people with great things in their CVs. Leave them some creative freedom. If they fail, at least it would happen while they would do what they believe in. Tis hard to be creative while believing in marketing survey.

Of course I dont believe it will happen. And I dont believe PoE3 will happen any soon. Maybe in some future desperation, when Microsoft sucks them dry and throws away what remains.
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