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Eternity Avowed - Obsidian's first person action-RPG in the Pillars of Eternity setting - coming November 12th(?)

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Codex Year of the Donut 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 Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
This really isn't a correct analogy.
Please, it was in their KS pitch. 74 thousand backers were more or less expecting an IE game.

But it's not structurally different from an IE game the same way TOW is different from Fallout 3. Same sort of game world and distribution of content. In this respect, Pathfinder: Kingmaker actually diverges more from the classic Baldur's Gate formula than Pillars of Eternity did.

But then the IE games did have a wide variety of game world structures, from BG1's pseudo-continuous open world to BG2's hubs to Icewind Dale's linear combat crawls.
 

AwesomeButton

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PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag. Pathfinder: Wrath
Personally I compare the experience of playing The Outer Worlds to that of a very large expansion DLC for one of Bethesda's RPGs, like a much larger Point Lookout for FO3 or Far Harbor for FO4. A more strongly themed and tightly designed "pocket universe" operating by the same mechanics as the massive open world of the base game. I assume Avowed will be similar.
That comparison is OK, if the customer has dropped his expectations.

About Avowed, I guess the thing that sours my mood the most is the news about the cut down race choices. I think it's a portent for how everything will be cut down to the bare minimum.

And it's not that you can't have a fun RPG without race choices, or with a lot of writing, or with a mandatory companion. Disco Elysium has all those traits. But that's not what Obsidian are about to deliver. When Obsidian announces cut races, spins the cut down open world as "emphasis on companions and story", you know what's coming is a husk of a game.
 

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PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag. Pathfinder: Wrath
But it's not structurally different from an IE game the same way TOW is different from Fallout 3
I agree it's not the same kind of difference between imitating product and imitated product, but I still call it an imitating product. PoE wouldn't have survived on its own, if it wasn't name-dropping IE games (including Baldur's Gate). Nor would have ToW survived without the parallels with, and the name-dropping of the original creators of Fallout.
 

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PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag. Pathfinder: Wrath
Just take a look, we are arguing whether Obsidian's PR is dancing at the edge of the razorblade of deceptive marketing for multiple projects in a row, or beyond the edge.

Genuine conversation I had with a "certain significant other" person:
- What trailer is this?
- That's Avowed, Obsidian's own Skyrim, set in their own IP.
- Oh.., it's in the PIllars universe... But why is it first person?
- Well, they've decided to target a more mainstream audience.
- But Pillars was isometric, then Deadfire was isometric, and now this is first person... why?
- Deadfire didn't sell that well.
- But the reason for Deadfire not selling well was Pillars, not the fact it was isometric!
- Yeah, but Obsidian have instead taken it as a sign that they have to make the next game first person and this will fix sales numbers.
- :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

Delterius

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But who in their right mind wants "AAA games" that are each like the next?
Not saying any of these games will be as good as Fallout: New Vegas, but for many years people (including on this forum) have said that the gaming industry was leaving money on the table by not making more games from that subgenre of RPG. That it was crazy that Bethesda was the only company making that type of game. Well, here they finally are.
Are they? These games seem much more subdued and more on the AA side of things. Not just in graphics but in scope. It seems to me that the actual calculus is that it's not that expensive to make a small Bioshock clone that sells because the twist now is time travel, as long as you're not a megalomaniac about it like Feargus tried to be with Avowed. Or a megalomaniac about it the way Levine actually was when making that second Bioshock.

Case in point: people are sleeping on it but the 'this is only lightly systemic' means much more for Avowed than 'smaller scope'. It isn't trying to even be a smaller version of Skyrim anymore.
 

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Codex Year of the Donut 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 Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
But who in their right mind wants "AAA games" that are each like the next?
Not saying any of these games will be as good as Fallout: New Vegas, but for many years people (including on this forum) have said that the gaming industry was leaving money on the table by not making more games from that subgenre of RPG. That it was crazy that Bethesda was the only company making that type of game. Well, here they finally are.
Are they? These games seem much more subdued and more on the AA side of things. Not just in graphics but in scope. It seems to me that the actual calculus is that it's not that expensive to make a small Bioshock clone that sells because the twist now is time travel, as long as you're not a megalomaniac about it like Feargus tried to be with Avowed. Or a megalomaniac about it the way Levine actually was when making that second Bioshock.

Case in point: people are sleeping on it but the 'this is only lightly systemic' means much more for Avowed than 'smaller scope'. It isn't trying to even be a smaller version of Skyrim anymore.

I agree that it's an interesting question how big Clockwork Revolution will be compared to this game.
 

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Nothing screams "my thinking has calcified sometime around 2003" like the belief that switching your games from isometric to FPP will improve their sales.
 

Mebrilia the Viera Queen

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The game doesn't look only bad. But also soulless a skip for me.
 

La vie sexuelle

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But who in their right mind wants "AAA games" that are each like the next?
Not saying any of these games will be as good as Fallout: New Vegas, but for many years people (including on this forum) have said that the gaming industry was leaving money on the table by not making more games from that subgenre of RPG. That it was crazy that Bethesda was the only company making that type of game. Well, here they finally are.
Are they? These games seem much more subdued and more on the AA side of things. Not just in graphics but in scope. It seems to me that the actual calculus is that it's not that expensive to make a small Bioshock clone that sells because the twist now is time travel, as long as you're not a megalomaniac about it like Feargus tried to be with Avowed. Or a megalomaniac about it the way Levine actually was when making that second Bioshock.

Case in point: people are sleeping on it but the 'this is only lightly systemic' means much more for Avowed than 'smaller scope'. It isn't trying to even be a smaller version of Skyrim anymore.

I agree that it's an interesting question how big Clockwork Revolution will be compared to this game.


First phase of post Black Isle company - mobile games.

Second phase of post Black Isle company - Kickstarter

Third phase of post Black Isle company - failed expectations with infinite engine clone.

Fourth phase of post Black Isle company - remasters

Fifth phase of post Black Isle company -surprisingly successful Skyrim imitation (but cheaper, uglier and less modable)

Sixth phase of post Black Isle company - sequel of surprisingly successful Skyrim imitation

Seventh phase of post Black Isle company - global market collapse, I suppose.

Like Baldurs Gate, but serious, with guns, rennesance at adult psychology.
A real Frenchman would never misspell "renaissance".

True french mispronounce every word in own leaguage and don't get difference between le subjonctiff and l'indicatif in negatives. Besides, on this site a few times I misspelled "maybe" and "because", so everything is possible for me.
 

Nifft Batuff

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PoE, and in particular PoE2, are masterpieces graphicwise. I cannot believe how they have fucked up in Avowed.
 

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Codex Year of the Donut 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 Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
https://www.pcgamer.com/what-makes-...ing-tonnes-of-old-obsidian-and-bioware-games/

What makes an Obsidian game? Playing tonnes of old Obsidian (and BioWare) games​

In an exclusive interview with PC Gamer, Feargus Urquhart says keeping a studio's spirit alive means everyone doing their homework.

Obsidian Entertainment was founded in 2003 by several employees of the soon-to-be-shuttered Black Isles Studios (best-known for Fallout 1 & 2 and Planescape: Torment). Obsidian's early years were spent working on sequels to other company's games, often with spectacular results like Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords and Neverwinter Nights 2, before it moved onto original titles like Alpha Protocol, Pillars of Eternity, and the very successful Outer Worlds.

Ask any fan of the studio's work and they'll tell you there's a common thread between these games, a hard-to-grasp quality that makes it feel like an Obsidian joint: Some just put it down to the consistently excellent writing, of course, but it's much more than that. Following the announcement of the studio's next project, the excellent-looking Avowed, we sat down with Obsidian co-founder Feargus Urquhart to talk turkey and, towards the end of the chat, thoughts turned to what he made of this thread. After all, Obsidian's been around for 20 years now, it's a big studio, talent comes and goes, and you have the game development equivalent of the Ship of Theseus problem: What makes an Obsidian game an Obsidian game?

"I just bluntly say it's hard," said Urquhart. "I've been doing this now for 32 years. It's crazy, and so we're more than one generation from developers that are starting today. We're more generations, you know, and I have people that work here that were not born when I started."

One part of the process is making everyone do their homework. "When we're starting up a product we basically say, all right, go play all these games, and even play our own games," said Urquhart. "It sounds silly, like why should we have our people play our own games? But it's important, and so we do. And while Avowed is not a Pillars [of Eternity] game, one of the things that everybody had to do is go play Pillars 1 and 2, to get a sense for the world. So even though the RPG system is different, [Avowed's] not gonna be a turn-based six-player party RPG, it immerses people and then they get the sense for the expectations for companions and conversations and things like that."

Urquhart also points out that, while Obsidian obviously has turnover, it has managed to retain certain talent for a very long time, which creates its own consistency across different titles.

"We also have a consistency of the art, there's a consistent group of people that have worked here for a very long time," said Urquhart. "There are two people I talk about all the time that wish I would never mention their names—but Dan Spitz Lee and Scott Everts—I worked with all the way back to Black Isle when I started in 1996. And Dan has been a programmer on Fallout and Fallout 2 and Planescape: Torment and Stick of Truth and KoTOR, and is now lead gameplay programmer on Avowed. Then you have Scott Everts who laid out every single level in the original Fallout and is an environment artist/world builder on Outer Worlds 2, and did the same thing on Outer Worlds 1. And we have a core of people who do remember, maybe not as well as we used to, but do remember."

Urquhart goes on to make the point that while the studio uses third-party tools (Avowed will be built using Unreal Engine 5) it also has its own tools for creating key elements of the experience, like dialogue. He calls the dialogue tools a "cord" that "help people understand what we try to accomplish and [the tools are] specifically focused on being an RPG studio. It's still hard, because also every game should not mimic the last game. And so what are the things you should change? Lots of conversations, and mistakes, and weirdly [laughs] playing your own games."

Which leads to a rather obvious question. As well as the Obsidian classics that Obsidian developers have to become familiar with, what are the other touchstones for one of the greatest RPG studios in the world?

"For Avowed, weirdly, it is go play BioWare games," said Urquhart, "go play Dragon Age, play Mass Effect, play Bethesda games, play Skyrim, go play the original Pillars games. This is more a first person game so Dying Light was one of the example games, just to kind of get a sense for running around the world in first person. I'm sure there were some others, but we asked people to play five or six games, and not just two hours of them, but quite a bit of them."

Urquhart ends on something of a tangent, but it's a hugely illuminating one. The difference is in looking at these things from the perspective of a designer rather than that of a player simply there to have a good time, and how Obsidian might get granular about what works and what doesn't.

"We did a thing within the last six months where we had someone just run between major points of interest in every Bethesda game, Dragon Age and all that kind of stuff," said Urquhart. "Just to see the length of time that it actually takes for someone to run from this town to that cave or village. To understand, and in our games to understand, what are these lengths of time and make sure we weren't forgetting what worked and asking why it worked and what didn't work.

"I guess it is just kind of looking at what we do as a craft, and not being our own echo chamber. There's a lot of examples out there, not just of our games, but all games to take what we can to make sure that we continue to do what we do well."
 

Drakortha

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But who in their right mind wants "AAA games" that are each like the next?
but for many years people (including on this forum) have said that the gaming industry was leaving money on the table by not making more games from that subgenre of RPG.
They are still leaving money on the table. Where is Fallout? Where is Elder Scrolls? Don't say Fallout 76 and ESO.

Why does Starfield exist when there is already No Man's Sky? From what I understand, the NMS player-base are not begging for an alternative and are satisfied with what NMS offers. At least the players I talked to, they are not even giving Starfield a second look. Yet Bethesda have put their 2 biggest brands on the backburner for that shit.
 
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What makes an Obsidian game?
Lots of Idea Guys trying to figure out stuff and then realizing they lack the materials. But the writing tends to be tolerable. Sometimes you can feel the writers had working braincells...
 

Nikanuur

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Just take a look, we are arguing whether Obsidian's PR is dancing at the edge of the razorblade of deceptive marketing for multiple projects in a row, or beyond the edge.

Genuine conversation I had with a "certain significant other" person:
- What trailer is this?
- That's Avowed, Obsidian's own Skyrim, set in their own IP.
- Oh.., it's in the PIllars universe... But why is it first person?
- Well, they've decided to target a more mainstream audience.
- But Pillars was isometric, then Deadfire was isometric, and now this is first person... why?
- Deadfire didn't sell that well.
- But the reason for Deadfire not selling well was Pillars, not the fact it was isometric!
- Yeah, but Obsidian have instead taken it as a sign that they have to make the next game first person and this will fix sales numbers.
- :lol: :lol: :lol:
Stop saying such compelling stuff; I need to play games and not think about conceiving a reaction!
 

Roguey

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"When we're starting up a product we basically say, all right, go play all these games, and even play our own games," said Urquhart. "It sounds silly, like why should we have our people play our own games? But it's important, and so we do.

When they asked about her history with roleplaying games, Patel admitted she lacked experience in the types of RPGs that were influencing Pillars of Eternity, but made up for it with her knowledge of writing other types of stories as well as playing other types of story-driven games. She got up to speed on the classics before starting at Obsidian a couple of weeks later. “I did play Planescape: Torment once I got to Obsidian, in part because I knew that was such a big touchstone for us as a company and as the Pillars team, and because it was such a groundbreaking game in terms of narrative design and storytelling in games, but I had not played Baldur’s Gate or Icewind Dale. We've always been looking for a balance in the Pillars games between hearkening back to that flavor and style, and updating it and creating our own world and story.”
(She didn't like Torment :P)

"For Avowed, weirdly, it is go play BioWare games," said Urquhart, "go play Dragon Age, play Mass Effect,

Obsidian fully embracing that they're Bioware Junior, now with gameplay-immortal story critical-companions (just like Dragon Age and Mass Effect).
 

RepHope

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https://www.pcgamer.com/what-makes-...ing-tonnes-of-old-obsidian-and-bioware-games/

What makes an Obsidian game? Playing tonnes of old Obsidian (and BioWare) games​

In an exclusive interview with PC Gamer, Feargus Urquhart says keeping a studio's spirit alive means everyone doing their homework.

Obsidian Entertainment was founded in 2003 by several employees of the soon-to-be-shuttered Black Isles Studios (best-known for Fallout 1 & 2 and Planescape: Torment). Obsidian's early years were spent working on sequels to other company's games, often with spectacular results like Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords and Neverwinter Nights 2, before it moved onto original titles like Alpha Protocol, Pillars of Eternity, and the very successful Outer Worlds.

Ask any fan of the studio's work and they'll tell you there's a common thread between these games, a hard-to-grasp quality that makes it feel like an Obsidian joint: Some just put it down to the consistently excellent writing, of course, but it's much more than that. Following the announcement of the studio's next project, the excellent-looking Avowed, we sat down with Obsidian co-founder Feargus Urquhart to talk turkey and, towards the end of the chat, thoughts turned to what he made of this thread. After all, Obsidian's been around for 20 years now, it's a big studio, talent comes and goes, and you have the game development equivalent of the Ship of Theseus problem: What makes an Obsidian game an Obsidian game?

"I just bluntly say it's hard," said Urquhart. "I've been doing this now for 32 years. It's crazy, and so we're more than one generation from developers that are starting today. We're more generations, you know, and I have people that work here that were not born when I started."

One part of the process is making everyone do their homework. "When we're starting up a product we basically say, all right, go play all these games, and even play our own games," said Urquhart. "It sounds silly, like why should we have our people play our own games? But it's important, and so we do. And while Avowed is not a Pillars [of Eternity] game, one of the things that everybody had to do is go play Pillars 1 and 2, to get a sense for the world. So even though the RPG system is different, [Avowed's] not gonna be a turn-based six-player party RPG, it immerses people and then they get the sense for the expectations for companions and conversations and things like that."

Urquhart also points out that, while Obsidian obviously has turnover, it has managed to retain certain talent for a very long time, which creates its own consistency across different titles.

"We also have a consistency of the art, there's a consistent group of people that have worked here for a very long time," said Urquhart. "There are two people I talk about all the time that wish I would never mention their names—but Dan Spitz Lee and Scott Everts—I worked with all the way back to Black Isle when I started in 1996. And Dan has been a programmer on Fallout and Fallout 2 and Planescape: Torment and Stick of Truth and KoTOR, and is now lead gameplay programmer on Avowed. Then you have Scott Everts who laid out every single level in the original Fallout and is an environment artist/world builder on Outer Worlds 2, and did the same thing on Outer Worlds 1. And we have a core of people who do remember, maybe not as well as we used to, but do remember."

Urquhart goes on to make the point that while the studio uses third-party tools (Avowed will be built using Unreal Engine 5) it also has its own tools for creating key elements of the experience, like dialogue. He calls the dialogue tools a "cord" that "help people understand what we try to accomplish and [the tools are] specifically focused on being an RPG studio. It's still hard, because also every game should not mimic the last game. And so what are the things you should change? Lots of conversations, and mistakes, and weirdly [laughs] playing your own games."

Which leads to a rather obvious question. As well as the Obsidian classics that Obsidian developers have to become familiar with, what are the other touchstones for one of the greatest RPG studios in the world?

"For Avowed, weirdly, it is go play BioWare games," said Urquhart, "go play Dragon Age, play Mass Effect, play Bethesda games, play Skyrim, go play the original Pillars games. This is more a first person game so Dying Light was one of the example games, just to kind of get a sense for running around the world in first person. I'm sure there were some others, but we asked people to play five or six games, and not just two hours of them, but quite a bit of them."

Urquhart ends on something of a tangent, but it's a hugely illuminating one. The difference is in looking at these things from the perspective of a designer rather than that of a player simply there to have a good time, and how Obsidian might get granular about what works and what doesn't.

"We did a thing within the last six months where we had someone just run between major points of interest in every Bethesda game, Dragon Age and all that kind of stuff," said Urquhart. "Just to see the length of time that it actually takes for someone to run from this town to that cave or village. To understand, and in our games to understand, what are these lengths of time and make sure we weren't forgetting what worked and asking why it worked and what didn't work.

"I guess it is just kind of looking at what we do as a craft, and not being our own echo chamber. There's a lot of examples out there, not just of our games, but all games to take what we can to make sure that we continue to do what we do well."
Obsidian would have been better off making Avowed into a third person party-based game like Dragon Age over once again trying to chase Bethesda. They can’t match Bethesda on freedom or exploration and they can’t even match their previous stories on writing. Avowed looks like a game from two gens back, it’s lacking in ambition and polish.

Feargus is an idiot because he’s saying BioWare is the template, but the first person perspective with two companions max limit is Bethesda’s template. That’s what everyone is going to compare your game to, and Starfield is going to completely outclass this game in ambition despite coming out a year before.
 

Tyranicon

A Memory of Eternity
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Messages
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This is a pretty old story at this point:

  • Studio becomes popular after making good games for a niche genre.
  • Studio loses popularity after making bad games for a niche genre.
  • Studio gets bought by big corp who funnels it into making mainstream games.
  • Studio dies.
 

Cross

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Messages
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Which leads to a rather obvious question. As well as the Obsidian classics that Obsidian developers have to become familiar with, what are the other touchstones for one of the greatest RPG studios in the world?

"For Avowed, weirdly, it is go play BioWare games," said Urquhart, "go play Dragon Age, play Mass Effect, play Bethesda games, play Skyrim, go play the original Pillars games. This is more a first person game so Dying Light was one of the example games, just to kind of get a sense for running around the world in first person. I'm sure there were some others, but we asked people to play five or six games, and not just two hours of them, but quite a bit of them."

Urquhart ends on something of a tangent, but it's a hugely illuminating one. The difference is in looking at these things from the perspective of a designer rather than that of a player simply there to have a good time, and how Obsidian might get granular about what works and what doesn't.

"We did a thing within the last six months where we had someone just run between major points of interest in every Bethesda game, Dragon Age and all that kind of stuff," said Urquhart. "Just to see the length of time that it actually takes for someone to run from this town to that cave or village. To understand, and in our games to understand, what are these lengths of time and make sure we weren't forgetting what worked and asking why it worked and what didn't work.

"I guess it is just kind of looking at what we do as a craft, and not being our own echo chamber. There's a lot of examples out there, not just of our games, but all games to take what we can to make sure that we continue to do what we do well."
Well, that explains why modern Obsidian games are so soulless. Their developers don't even play games or think about game design, they just mindlessly copy Bioware's and Bethesda's already lackluster game design.

In hindsight, Obsidian has always had that problem, but it got much worse when people like Avellone and Ziets left and there were no real creative figures left at the company. If I remember correctly, Sega actually had to step in and force Obsidian to add stealth and RPG elements to Alpha Protocol because Feargus just wanted to make a generic cover-based shooter since those were so popular at the time after the massive success of games like Gears of War and Uncharted.
 
Last edited:

Infinitron

I post news
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Codex Year of the Donut 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 Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
This is a pretty old story at this point:
  • Studio becomes popular after making good games for a niche genre.
  • Studio loses popularity after making bad games for a niche genre.
  • Studio gets bought by big corp who funnels it into making mainstream games.
  • Studio dies.
It is. The release of Pentiment is the confounding variable in that narrative, though. EA never let BioWare do something like that.
 

Tyranicon

A Memory of Eternity
Developer
Joined
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Messages
6,661
This is a pretty old story at this point:
  • Studio becomes popular after making good games for a niche genre.
  • Studio loses popularity after making bad games for a niche genre.
  • Studio gets bought by big corp who funnels it into making mainstream games.
  • Studio dies.
It is. The release of Pentiment is the confounding variable in that narrative, though. EA never let BioWare do something like that.

I'm not privy to insider info, but I think Xbox is generally more open to experimentation and maybe Sawyer had enough connections/influence to put money behind what clearly was a passion project for him.
 

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