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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Microsoft - Is Buying Credibility

Default Microsoft - Is Buying Credibility

November 13th, 2018, 00:12
PCGamesN analyses why Microsoft bought InXile and Obsidian.

Even so, the news might seem unnerving from the outside. The reason Microsoft needs to go on a buying spree is, to put it frankly, because it’s killed too many of its best studios. Lionhead, Ensemble, and Freelancer’s Digital Anvil all fell to its hammer, while the likes of Rare appeared to lose their identity to corporate culture – at least until Sea of Thieves crested the wave. Another concern, too, is that Microsoft has gained a reputation as a meddler. Ex-Lionhead staff shared stories of projects ending up in development hell because of multiple mandated pivots to take advantage of Microsoft’s latest scheme – be it cloud gaming, second screen technology, or Kinect.

[…]
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November 13th, 2018, 00:18
Agreed. 100%.
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November 13th, 2018, 00:30
Well regardless, they're now beholden to Microsquish and subject to their management whims. In the beginning we may get a few more games we like, but then the story will change. The clock is ticking.
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November 13th, 2018, 01:40
Or they could be having trouble getting development houses to make products for them in light of competition from Sony, Nintendo, Apple, and Google.

When Acer refused to develop the Surface they lost their biggest tablet partner so they made it themselves. The buyout of the failing Nokia was also part of this strategy.
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November 13th, 2018, 02:04
Kinect
It's all clear now.
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November 13th, 2018, 02:08
Historically, big companies buying out developers of good RPGs hasn't gone too well. Time will tell I guess.
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November 13th, 2018, 03:03
Let's be honest if nothing else here…..with the acquisition of these two companies, Microsoft is, at best, leasing or renting some quality and a little credibility. When you actually purchase something, you have assets that are more concrete.
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November 13th, 2018, 03:08
Well duh. Good games usually come from companies built by passionate people, often gamers. MS is not a games company. Like every other huge corp most management is just a bunch of suits trying to achieve their 12 monthly KPI's and get a bonus. Wash, repeat. It's what's wrong with so many things these days, short life cycle, no long view. Yeah, yeah, get off my lawn, etc. As the article suggests the bigger they are the more stifling - every department sticking their nose into everything trying to leverage everybody else. I'll be very surprised if anything good sees the light of day from this one.
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November 13th, 2018, 03:33
"unlikely to greenlight anything as wilfully niche as an isometric RPG"
Bollocks. That's pretty much all inXile does, for one. And these days it's pretty much all Obsidian does. While I agree it would be a bad decision to stick exclusively to isometric RPGs, both companies wouldn't be saying "this allows us to keep making the same kind of games we've been making" if Microsoft wanted to literally change the kind of games they make.

Because one thing is certain: if Microsoft hadn't bought them, Obsidian and inXile would CHANGE. They would be forced to change their games, because they obviously couldn't keep doing what they have been doing.

And I better not see anyone who ragged on Numenera or Tyranny be all upset about this news. I better not!
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November 13th, 2018, 03:34
Also, bollocks to the notion that isometric RPGs are niche. Your face is niche, screw you. Go back to playing triple-A ad-infested microtransaction pay-to-cheat open world "RPGs", if you think isometric RPGs are niche, you're not an RPG fan, get out.
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November 13th, 2018, 03:51
Originally Posted by Morbus View Post
Also, bollocks to the notion that isometric RPGs are niche. Your face is niche, screw you. Go back to playing triple-A ad-infested microtransaction pay-to-cheat open world "RPGs", if you think isometric RPGs are niche, you're not an RPG fan, get out.
Strong words but it's still a niche market based on sale numbers not your opinion. I don't make the rules of the industry, and yes I hate microtransaction pay-to-cheat RPGs.

Luckily most are not made made that way. Just the EA and Ubisoft games mostly.
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November 13th, 2018, 04:44
Originally Posted by rjshae View Post
Well regardless, they're now beholden to Microsquish and subject to their management whims. In the beginning we may get a few more games we like, but then the story will change. The clock is ticking.
Well, InXile would be bankrupt soon. And after the PoE2 fiasco, Obsidian would probably not survive a lot, too. So, if both companies release 2-3 games and then start to release shit it's actually still better than if they had to close NOW. Let's not kid ourselves, these two companies were not in good shoes right now. Not at all.
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November 13th, 2018, 08:47
Damn Microsoft, if you're buying credibility you should have gone for Larian, not inXile and Obsidian.
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November 13th, 2018, 09:17
One impressive thing about Larian is that they managed to get great sales numbers with Original Sin 1 and then sell even more with Original Sin 2. Now I'm not talking about quality of gameplay here. Just sales.

The opposite seemed to have happened with some of the other big RPG kickstarters.
POE1 great numbers, POE2 (a bit early to tell) not so much.
Ok, inXile hasn't released a sequel to W2 but TTON and BT4 have been lackluster sales wise.
Not a strict RPG but Banner Saga follows the same trend.
Harebrained Schemes seems to have done well with all their Shadowrun games. Props.
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November 13th, 2018, 09:33
Torment Match-3 phonegame. This it where it ultimately goes.
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November 13th, 2018, 09:42
Originally Posted by GabrielMP_19 View Post
Well, InXile would be bankrupt soon. And after the PoE2 fiasco, Obsidian would probably not survive a lot, too. So, if both companies release 2-3 games and then start to release shit it's actually still better than if they had to close NOW. Let's not kid ourselves, these two companies were not in good shoes right now. Not at all.
Are such things common knowledge or do you have good inside sources? Both companies have struggled, sure, but that's (sadly!) everyday business in this industry. Both have weathered such situations before and I've read nothing that makes me assume they wouldn't again.

Originally Posted by Silver View Post
Lionhead, Ensemble, and Freelancer’s Digital Anvil all fell to its hammer, while the likes of Rare appeared to lose their identity to corporate culture – at least until Sea of Thieves crested the wave. Another concern, too, is that Microsoft has gained a reputation as a meddler. Ex-Lionhead staff shared stories of projects ending up in development hell because of multiple mandated pivots to take advantage of Microsoft’s latest scheme – be it cloud gaming, second screen technology, or Kinect.
And what would anyone lead to assume they wouldn't do exactly the same again?
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November 13th, 2018, 10:37
Originally Posted by Moorkh View Post
Are such things common knowledge or do you have good inside sources? Both companies have struggled, sure, but that's (sadly!) everyday business in this industry. Both have weathered such situations before and I've read nothing that makes me assume they wouldn't again.
Obsidian - Poor sales of PoE2 in eight months & disappointed FIG investors.

InXile - Poor sales and public reception of last two games.

Lesson learned niche games don't sell and they cant keep making them.

Watch the obsidian press release video they mention struggling game to game.

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November 13th, 2018, 11:19
Yeah, I have a really hard time picturing how this could mean anything positive for me as a crpg fan.

I'm imagining that either they'll be forced to alter/adapt their style of game making, into something that has much less (or none) interest for me or they'll be pressured to only release on Microsoft Store or on certain MS approved platforms that exclude anything MS wants to exclude.

That Obsidian video really makes me cringe. It sounds so much like the standard, average "heard-a-million-times-before": -Sure, we sold out to the big $$ but lets put a positive spin on it for as long as it's possible to do so. (until they close us down in 3-5)
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November 13th, 2018, 11:40
This could definitely be a bad thing in the long run and most likely will mean the death of a couple more studios that try to make games for gamers rather than just suits trying to make money.

However there is also a tiny tiny tiny chance this could be a good thing. Possibly MS have noticed that sony have been knocking it out of this park this gen by making genuinely great games (spiderman, god of war, UC4, horizon zero dawn, etc) by giving studios the time, budget and resources to make them great and not pushing them before they are ready.

My wishful thinking would be this
*obsidian proved they can AAA with FONV.
*With MS funds they can make large AAA rpg they could never do with smaller budget
*my dream would be a fantasy elderscrollsish competitor with the RPG vets designing the world and stories and using MS wallet to license some engine with quality of world and combat such as witcher 3 or red dead 2.
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November 13th, 2018, 12:12
Im afraid that in eyes of these large companies like Microsoft, EA or Sony, large AAA rpg means something like Destiny, Assassins Creed or Horizon Zero Down. I certainly dont need more of those.
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