Official Codex Discord Server

  1. Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.
    Dismiss Notice

Interview Feargus Urquhart and Fredrik Wester on the Pillars of Eternity distribution deal

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Infinitron, Mar 19, 2014.

  1. Shevek Arcane

    Shevek
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Messages:
    1,570
    I backed the game because I wanted (1) a 90s era cRPG updated for today and (2) to see a highly visible game succeed while avoiding the publisher model. The game was pitched to backers with these two points in mind. Whether or not they "need" this is irrelevant. A publisher should not be a part of the equation.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  2. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Messages:
    78,368
    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    This game was pitched with just the first point in mind. Unlike inXile and others, Obsidian was never vocal about badmouthing publishers or saying they would never work with them

    Anyway, this isn't the "publisher model". The publisher model == publisher funds the game and reaps all the profits. That isn't the case here.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 4
    ^ Top  
  3. Xor Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Xor
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Messages:
    9,217
    Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Divinity: Original Sin Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Divinity: Original Sin 2
    What exactly is the problem with this if it doesn't change the direction of the game at all and in fact gives Obsidian more money to spend on development since they don't need to invest in making the boxed copies of the game themselves? I can't see any kind of a downside to this.
     
    ^ Top  
  4. suejak Arbiter Patron Village Idiot

    suejak
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,394
    There's nothing glaringly obvious about it at all. It's a masterstroke of marketing and PR that manages to mask all the obvious "problems" of budgeting for game development with a big smilie face and a thumbs-up.

    Yeah, the deal with Paradox is not the traditional publisher model. That's great and a big plus. Obsidian keeps intellectual property rights and presumably more profits.

    Paradox is a "distributor". They handle "non-development tasks". Obsidian didn't run out of money; they just don't want to use their Kickstarter budget on Kickstarter promises. It's high-level wordplay and concept manipulation.

    Anyway, nothing EVILLLLL here, just smart PR. Obsidian ran out of money and needed help, but they played it off like some neato partnership.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  5. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Messages:
    78,368
    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    That's so ironic.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  6. Morality Games Arcane Patron

    Morality Games
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2013
    Messages:
    4,380
    PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    I'm not say that it is impossible Obsidian ran out of money, but I'm not sure it is inevitable either. The organizational structures and connections of a publishing company are a useful thing to have.
     
    ^ Top  
  7. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    Messages:
    8,051
    Serpent in the Staglands Torment: Tides of Numenera
    The only real judgment of this relationship will come after the game's release, when we can do some postmortem of Paradox's influence, whether Q&A / distribution / marketing was botched, whether Obsidian could not do what they wanted with aspects of development, etc. If it works, great - Kickstarter is helping forge more equitable and laudable publisher relationships. If it doesn't, then the question remains unanswered.

    The only way you can say this is a bad thing and betrays KS principles at this point in time, is if you (1) believe this is a conspiracy by Pdox/Obsid to mask a bad contract as a good one, or (2) think that any publisher relationship is inherently evil. Both points don't even need debunking, they are obviously irrational.

    Some kind of distributing partnership was inevitable. This seems slightly more involved than the bare minimum, so that will be what we need to make a judgment on depending on how it plays out. In terms of what they've announced so far, everything seems reasonably sensible - Obsidian doesn't have a large in-house Q&A team and has no distribution capacities, and negligible human resources for marketing.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 3
    ^ Top  
  8. BlackAdderBG Arcane Patron

    BlackAdderBG
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    1,867
    Location:
    Little Vienna
    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Grab the Codex by the pussy Codex USB, 2014 Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    [​IMG]
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 3
    • Fabulously Optimistic Fabulously Optimistic x 1
    ^ Top  
  9. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    Messages:
    8,051
    Serpent in the Staglands Torment: Tides of Numenera
  10. Sensuki Arcane Cuck

    Sensuki
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2012
    Messages:
    9,430
    Location:
    Australia
    Codex 2014 Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong A Beautifully Desolate Campaign
    Cut of the profits makes sense as that allows for Paradox to provide ongoing patches
     
    ^ Top  
  11. Lambchop19 Arcane Zionist Agent Literally Hitler Batshit Crazy

    Lambchop19
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2011
    Messages:
    15,266
    Location:
    Die Reichskanzlei
    So what where the bugs in South Park again? Or is this guy talking out of his ass just to be edgy? I never encountered any bugs during my playthrough. It didn't even crash that I can recall. Unusual for a modern game - let alone an Obsidian game.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  12. Curious_Tongue Larpfest Patron

    Curious_Tongue
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2012
    Messages:
    8,422
    Location:
    Australia
    Codex 2012 Codex 2013 Serpent in the Staglands Codex USB, 2014
    Might help if they need a loan or something to have a publisher.

    Banks and investors might like things like that.
     
    ^ Top  
  13. Duraframe300 Arcane

    Duraframe300
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Messages:
    4,115
    So, please STFU.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 3
    ^ Top  
  14. suejak Arbiter Patron Village Idiot

    suejak
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,394
    Damn, take an accounting class if this is new to you.

    No, this is not about getting extra cash directly from Paradox via longboat delivery service. It's about indirectly getting funds by having Paradox cover Obsidian's distribution, marketing, QA, and most hilariously Kickstarter pledge rewards.

    It's creative accounting and PR speak.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2014
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  15. Arkeus Arcane

    Arkeus
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    Messages:
    1,395
    Ok, let's put this talk to rest.
     
    ^ Top  
  16. suejak Arbiter Patron Village Idiot

    suejak
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,394
    There are a few ways to fund things. One is a big fat check signed by Alex Trebek. Another is cost-reduction.
     
    ^ Top  
  17. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Messages:
    78,368
    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    I should feel bad for buying vegetables in a supermarket. If I wasn't incompetent at budgeting, I would have enough money to grow them myself
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 9
    ^ Top  
  18. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    Messages:
    8,051
    Serpent in the Staglands Torment: Tides of Numenera
    That's exactly what they're doing, except it's not 'creative accounting' (it's, like, a basic business and logistics action) and it's not 'PR speak' (they, uh, explained exactly what they are doing, and you're basically repeating it).

    Obsidian is paying Pdox in a share of future profits in order to contract them for certain logistical aspects, because they feel that this is cheaper, or at least delivers those logistical solutions better, than handling it internally using their KS money. OH NO! What if they hired 50 kids to box up the physical copies instead of Chris Avellone doing them and then paid them in 0.00001% of the sales? OH GOD
     
    ^ Top  
  19. suejak Arbiter Patron Village Idiot

    suejak
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,394
    All of this is fine. It's just ridiculous to act like it's any different from getting a pot of gold or any other compromise made because you don't have any money.

    I'm not saying Obsidian is incompetent; I'm saying they're getting a very valuable injection of funds from a publisher.

    It's also absurd to imply that this is what Obsidian was planning to do all along because it's "standard logistics stuff" similar to buying vegetables at the supermarket.

     
    ^ Top  
  20. Delterius Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Delterius
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    9,080
    Location:
    Entre a serra e o mar.
    If anything, Paradox and Obsidian are like two obese buddies coaching each other to cut off fast food from their lives. Except that was all actually about unfinished buggy releases.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  21. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    Messages:
    8,051
    Serpent in the Staglands Torment: Tides of Numenera
    Sure, I can agree with all that. I wouldn't argue that Obsidian had to do this or that they clearly always planned to do it. And sure, it is a valuable injection of funds in indirect form from a publisher. All agreed. I just don't see what the hoolaballoo is, since it sounds like a pretty sensible deal to me. I would be concerned if they were trying to box up all the copies themselves or something stupid.
     
    ^ Top  
  22. kazgar Arcane

    kazgar
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    Messages:
    2,163
    Location:
    Upside Down
    I don't think Sawyer's delicate hands could handle assembling all those boxes, paper cuts could mean the end of any chance of a sequel and further improvement on RPG greatness, its best this it outsourced.
     
    ^ Top  
  23. Duraframe300 Arcane

    Duraframe300
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Messages:
    4,115
    All of that is still (partially) true. They make all the final decisions, they marketed the game and still do somewhat and they don't have to answer to anyone. As stated by Obsidian themselves they can also tell Paradox to fuck right off if they don't agree.

    I agree it wasn't planned from the beginning. But, so are a lot of things during a games development, even Eternitys.
     
    ^ Top  
  24. Copper Savant

    Copper
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    Messages:
    469
    Delicious:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdzrpbB2fw8
     
    ^ Top  
  25. dukeofwhales Arbiter

    dukeofwhales
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2013
    Messages:
    419
    If this is what suejak is suggesting it is, Obsidian is not allocating the 15% [or whatever they budgeted for] of money raised in the KS towards fulfilling physical pledges, some marketing and some QA. Paradox takes that 15% on as a risk, in return for x% of the profits. Obsidian now have an extra $600,000 to spend on developing the game, which allows for a few months delay on the original budget, or 10 additional staff for the final 6 months of development or whatever. Obsidian gets more money, Paradox takes on a (relatively small) risk, all money from the KS is now going towards game dev instead of 85% of it, and all is hopefully well. Unless Paradox looks at the game in 2 months time and says 'well we put a lot of money on the line for this so we're going to need to you to add romances' then it won't be a problem. Obsidian is pretty clear that this isn't the case, plus Obsidian could feasibly tell them to fuck off if it really came to it (no doubt at the cost of QA, lol) because they're not the sole source of funding for the game.
     
    ^ Top  

(buying stuff via the above buttons helps us pay the hosting bills, thanks!)