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Obsidian and inXile acquired by Microsoft

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Wunderbar, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. Fluent Arcane Possibly Retarded The Real Fanboy

    Fluent
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    Sure it does. They had what, $300k US? That's one third of Kingmaker and BT4 is still a very good game. I enjoyed my 30 hours with it and plan on going back for more after my infatuation with Kingmaker subsides. I also greatly enjoyed Torment and played only a couple dozen hours of Wasteland 2 but noticed it was very old-school in design. A higher budget will mean more quality, more quality control and testing (better performance) and more features/content.
     
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  2. Grauken Arcane Patron

    Grauken
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    God, do you even blobber?
     
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  3. Fluent Arcane Possibly Retarded The Real Fanboy

    Fluent
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    Of course I do. Elminage Gothic and to a lesser extent Elminage Original are some of my favorite blobbers. BT4 was designed to try something new in the genre and evolve it a bit. It's not a perfect game but I like what they did. The dungeons are superb, the artstyle is beautiful (other than NPCs) and the puzzles are perfectly balanced. It might have some issues with combat difficulty (I didn't encounter the game being too easy, but others reported it) but overall for $300k it is a quality game. More money would simply mean a better game, that's usually how it works.
     
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  4. 2house2fly Erudite

    2house2fly
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    I seem to recall Brian Fargo mentioning that the game's budget ended up being a little higher than $300k
     
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  5. Fenix Cipher Vatnik

    Fenix
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    I could also ask about market saturation on example of PFK which sells more them PoE2 lready, and has great steam statistic of players still playing the game, even better then many AAA-dirt releases.
    How that happened that market was saturated for PoE2 kind of trash and then not that saturated again for PFK - given that it has ZERO advertasing, zero positive revios and press coverage in general?

    I think someone just had sunstroke in the sunny lands of Palestina.
     
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  6. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Serpent in the Staglands Torment: Tides of Numenera
    Yep. I mean, who actually thought that a middle-sized studio could just keep Kickstarting every single niche RPG? Or did you think that you raise say 5 million, make a 5-10m budget niche RPG, and sell enough to fund 10m or 15m for your next game?

    That was never, ever, ever, ever going to happen. POE1 and DOS1/2 were not the expected sales margins; they were massive successes sales-wise. Larian hit the upper 5% of what their chances were; everybody else hit the other 95%.

    Look at inXile. By the time their third Kickstarter came along, you knew this was unsustainable, and probably Brian Fargo knew as well. I'm sure games like BT4 and Deadfire could have sold a bit better had things gone different, but it was stupid and insane to ever think these games would sell a million copies each time. (I don't know if Obs/inxile upper management ever thought that, but maybe some of them did some of the time, given the budgets all these games came to have.)

    Kickstarter was never the "big answer". It was only ever a temporary and partial answer. If you (or the devs) ever expected KS itself to get them to a new world of sustainable mid-sized niche RPG making, then you were never realistic to begin with.

    (Obviously it's a bit different for developers the size of Whalenought or something, creating games of a much smaller budget. It's them who can truly hope to be sustainable with the help of, though not entirely dependent on, KS. In that sense KS is doing great by RPG lovers.)
     
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  7. Gord Arcane

    Gord
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    Well, controversy around some of the design decisions aside, budget sure did play a role there to some extend.
    It shows e.g. in the premature release, the technical issues and some of the models, too.

    Higher budget would not have turned it into an old-skool blobber, of course, so if that's what you are after, you would have been out of luck either way.
     
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  8. Fenix Cipher Vatnik

    Fenix
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    It is so sad that almost nobody understand that...
     
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  9. Fenix Cipher Vatnik

    Fenix
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    You sound like you are disagree with me, but I don't get what exactly you disagree with.
     
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  10. Grauken Arcane Patron

    Grauken
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    I didn't expect an old-school blobber, but something along the lines of W8 (although not the same as W8), an old formula evolved. They didn't manage that, not even close. People will still talk about W8 in 10 years, B4 will be mostly forgotten by then

    And yes, the design decisions are my fundamental issue with the game. Technical stuff can be solved, graphics I don't give a fuck, but combat and char dev and dungeon design, utter shit
     
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  11. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    Hate to bear bad news, but there are no big answers. All of life is palliation, rearguard struggles, and seasonal specials. You got six years of pumpkin spice lattes. You should be happy! Think about all the games that were crowdfunded in the past six years -- from Grimoire to Pillars of Eternity, from Xulima to Wasteland 2, from Serpent in the Staglands to DOS:2, from Banner Saga to Kingmaker, from Shadowrun: Dragonfall to (etc., etc.). Not only did crowdfunding bear this fruit, the fruit laid seeds. Not just engines that can be reused, not just markets that have been rejuvenated, but talent -- just among writers (since I know them best), Kickstarter basically liberated Chris Avellone from his desk at Obsidian and it launched Gavin and Colin from Wasteland to Torment to spearheading Larian's stuff.

    Now fall is over. Golden leaves give way to sleet. Pumpkin spiced lattes are gone from the menu. Don't worry, there will be eggnog soon enough, and oldtimers like Brian will be careful not to slip on black ice.
     
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  12. Gord Arcane

    Gord
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    I disagree with you in the point that Big Corps are the only winners of KS.
    For the Big Corps practically nothing has changed. Sure, some of them might have considered going kickstarter themselves to save a few bucks, but ultimately KS was never about AAA.
    It was a promise to finance niche games, which Big Corps are not really interested in anyways.

    That helped some AA companies to make a few games they would otherwise not have found a publisher for, but it became apparent pretty quickly that it's not sustainable for AA companies. See Tigranes post. For them it's largely back to status quo.

    Indies are a different story, however. Kickstarter is better suited for them and Big Corps don't even notice them anyway.
     
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  13. santino27 Arcane

    santino27
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    Egg nog > pumpkin spice latte. So basically, I've destroyed your entire thesis.

    :P

    (I might still be drinking.)
     
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  14. Luckmann Arcane Zionist Agent

    Luckmann
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    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2018
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  15. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    FWIW, I hate all seasonal specials. The only thing I drink is black coffee because it's just a warmth-and-caffeine-delivery vehicle to try to coax some life into my corpse.
     
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  16. The melange of spices that comprise actual "pumpkin spice" actually go quite well with decent black coffee, though once a coffee hits a certain level of "good" it's best that you adulterate it minimally if it all
     
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  17. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    Serpent in the Staglands Torment: Tides of Numenera
    Indeed. We have had many good things (and noble failures that attempted to greatness) from this period, and the hope is that it has contributed to a few more execs, developers, buyers, understanding that whatever some suit declares is the new, here comes the new, it's all new, salute the new, is not necessarily the carrot that everyone has to chase when it comes to good design.

    It seems odd for me to declare that they didn't like an Obsidian/inXile game so they are happy the devs are 'dead', or that Kickstarter has 'failed'. As if life is a game where you either win everything or lose everything, and where this winning and losing is counted by total and unmitigated ability to make more money and create brilliance with your every touch. It's a bit like internalising some caricature of a global capitalist fundie from television.

    Instead, my hope is that, for example, folks like Owlcat will be able to find their own way of staying in the game, even when their own KS juices run dry, and that Larian can keep trying to make the next great CRPG, even if their sales should not continue to be as blockbuster. And maybe inbetween the slightly disappointing products or short-lived KS booms we're getting some younger talent that will make some really great stuff in the future.
     
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  18. Gambler Augur

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    Not sure what you're so happy about. Subscription-based PC gaming through Microsoft is the worst possible model for everyone except Microsoft. I will never forget their Games for Windows horror fest.

    Netflix today is a net-negative proposition as well, and they are nowhere near as influential as Microsoft.
     
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  19. SaaS for gaming is fucking unacceptable
     
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  20. Fenix Cipher Vatnik

    Fenix
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    Who else are winners?
    Many like Iron Tower and Stygian Software didn't use Kickstarter at all.

    What exactly changed? We can perfectly see in a quote Infinitrone did where Swen summarised that - consolidation is the final answer, as any AA company want to turn in AAA, so again it's the Big Corps who won - they reaped companies who grew up on backers money.
    So Big Corps didn't spend a dollar even on that - on support various companies to see which one is good one.

    Indies somehow benefited from Kickstarter era too - probably, and only indirectly by enriching enviroment.

    In the end it was all in favore of Big Corps lol.
     
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  21. IHaveHugeNick Arcane

    IHaveHugeNick
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    40 pages already? Sigh.
     
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  22. Luckmann Arcane Zionist Agent

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  23. Perkel Arcane

    Perkel
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    It is better alternative than standard AAA rat race. In normal AAA rat race nothing can exist outside of latest common fad. Netflix is producing right now shitload of niche stuff.

    I would be worried if this was just some strategy but what i said is as basic as math.
    No diversity of content = no subscribers.
    Netflix can't have only one type of movies because most of people out there watch a lot of different stuff.
     
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  24. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
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    I have no such need. The market is over-saturated with shit. At the moment the only available/upcoming game I really want to play is the Battle Brothers' expansion and I have to wait 18 days to get it. When it comes to Quality RPGs the list is very small: Underrail expansion and possibly Kingmaker (the way people are raving about it here). So what oversaturation?

    If Colony Ship fails it will be because we fucked up not because we had to compete with other games.

    It's much easier to consider the possibility that PoE 2 failed because the design was weak. Similarly, new Torment failed not because of the competition but because the design and writing were not engaging at all. I mean, at some point developers have to ask themselves: why would anyone want to play it? If the answer is because we're awesome, odds are the game will sell a lot less than what they're expecting.
     
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  25. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    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
    There are way more RPGs out there than that, and they all think they're quality.

    It failed by selling about as much as Pathfinder Kingmaker currently appears to be selling. Again we're talking about developers who want to break out of the 100k-200k ghetto.

    Interestingly, on Kickstarter, RPGs also seem to have converged towards a similar plateau. Right now it looks like every decent-looking RPG on Kickstarter has a decent shot at reaching around $100,000. That's great news if that's enough for you! But if you need a lot more than that then the platform is increasingly no longer viable for you, simple as that.
     
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