Following its recent acquisition by Microsoft, Obsidian Entertainment is hopeful and energized for the future.
Armed with Microsoft's billions, the veteran RPG makers at Obsidian now have the freedom to make big-budget projects. The acquisition brings tremendous relief to management and developers at Obsidian, who have jumped from project to project on the backs of fund-raiser platforms like Kickstarter and Fig. Despite making some great RPGs like Pillars of Eternity and PoE 2: Deadfire, it seems Obsidian was always on the brink of financial ruin and constantly searched for publisher backing. Those days are over and now the studiocan do what it does best: make unique RPG experiences.
With any acquisition comes change. Microsoft says Obsidian will be "fully autonomous" but we all know the company puts engagement (microtransactions, online services, etc) at the core of its business. This could bleed over into Obsidian's future games. The developer is confident and optimistic about the future, though, and sees services like Game Pass as a big conduit for growth and exposure.
Here's what key Obsidian developers had to say about the buyout and what it could mean for Obsidian's future:
"The thing that's potentially really appealing about that is focusing on games more from the perspective of working through Game Pass. What I'm hopeful for is that we can make a wider range of games," said Obsidian design director Josh Sawyer.
"I'd love for us to be the company that redefines I guess what RPGs can be," said Carrie Patel, narrative designer at Obsidian.
"[Joining Microsoft] is giving us a lot of really good freedom and security that we haven't had. It's been 15 years and it's always been an uphill battle trying to get this. So I think it's a really really unique opportunity and I can only see very bright things for us going forward," said Mikey Dowling, communications lead at Obsidian.
Back in 2017, sources told TweakTown that Obsidian is making a new RPG with Fallout creator Tim Cain at the helm. The project is to be Obsidian's own unique answer to Fallout, and the studio actually found assistance from Take-Two Interactive, who opted to publish the game.
The acquisition may interfere with this project in some way but exact details are (and probably will remain) unknown. It's possible the project could become the big new RPG series that Microsoft so desperately needs on its Xbox platform and kick off a brand new resurgence of classic-based role-playing action.