Microsoft is reportedly about to acquire Obsidian Entertainment

BSim500

Golden Member
Jun 5, 2013
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if the deal goes through, its just a matter of time before Obsidian gets the usual studio treatment under M$.
Indeed. If they treat Obsidian anything like how they treated Ensemble Studio's (multi-million selling Age of Empires), I'd give their continued existence 2-3 years max before they get closed down for making games that have an appealing "old school" style of play / genre that's highly enjoyable on PC but doesn't translate well to the Xbox + controller + 10ft UI without massive dumbing down required for "platform parity". And then you can expect Pillars of Eternity 3 - The 'Casual' ARPG / MMO Edition... :rolleyes:
 

Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
30,380
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Fortunately, there isn't a Kinect for them to get relegated to like Rare. :oops:
 

GoodRevrnd

Diamond Member
Dec 27, 2001
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What does MS think they're even going to do with this studio? Do they just want a team that can write competent RPGs?
 

KMFJD

Lifer
Aug 11, 2005
26,602
35,528
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Big woop, companies are bought all the time...would y'all be happier if EA bought them up or MS?
 

Artorias

Golden Member
Feb 8, 2014
1,960
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I was going to say I wish Valve bought them but then I remembered they don't make game anymore.

Who knows maybe Obsidian could have gotten Valve out of its funk.
 

PingSpike

Lifer
Feb 25, 2004
21,706
532
126
Yeah, now their titles will be exclusive to Xbox (this generations loser console) and UWP Windows (cutting the PC platform potential sales in half or perhaps worse). I hope the employees got some upfront cash and have made exit plans because that is like choosing to hitch your wagon to a dead horse.
 
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Midwayman

Diamond Member
Jan 28, 2000
5,723
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Ugg. Microsoft has a habit of killing everything that I care about PC gaming wise. The next POE title is going to be some watered down 3rd person 'action' RPG now. At least Larian is still independent. Owlcat just put out pathfinder:kingmaker is is pretty old school as well.
 

zinfamous

No Lifer
Jul 12, 2006
109,260
26,842
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Well there goes any chance of another good Fallout game.

New Vegas was built in a quarter of the time it took to make FO3/4 and it beat them both as the best Fallout games since the original.
agreed, though I kinda doubt the possibility of there ever having been another Obsidian Fallout anyway, right? I think the recent mainstream-popularity status achieved with FO 4 (the younglings are seriously all over it) and with the encroaching design of whatever FO 76 is supposed to be, means Bethesda has their meathooks into that IP.

How did Obsidian ever manage to do NV, anyway? Was there still some un-expired IP arrangement/licensing that existed at that time, and they were able to push out NV in time?
 

Zenoth

Diamond Member
Jan 29, 2005
5,151
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My guess (gut feeling) is that they'll end up making Microsoft Store exclusive Android / Mobile styled "aRPGs" maybe in the veins of something like Gauntlet, filled with micro transactions. Simply because I cannot fathom Microsoft turning them into a full fledged studio to produce a real RPG (especially not single-player or in the veins of Fallouts, Elder Scrolls, Witchers and the likes). However, whomever at Obsidian is concerned by this will get a job and will pay their bills. There's that, for them (and nothing for gamers in this).
 

quikah

Diamond Member
Apr 7, 2003
3,851
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My guess (gut feeling) is that they'll end up making Microsoft Store exclusive Android / Mobile styled "aRPGs" maybe in the veins of something like Gauntlet, filled with micro transactions. Simply because I cannot fathom Microsoft turning them into a full fledged studio to produce a real RPG (especially not single-player or in the veins of Fallouts, Elder Scrolls, Witchers and the likes). However, whomever at Obsidian is concerned by this will get a job and will pay their bills. There's that, for them (and nothing for gamers in this).
You have an odd view of what Microsoft Studios actually produces.
 

Zenoth

Diamond Member
Jan 29, 2005
5,151
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You have an odd view of what Microsoft Studios actually produces.
An 'odd' view of what they actually produce? Not sure I understand what you mean there. Or I didn't word what I meant properly. I do know what they 'actually produce', and what they 'actually produce' sure as heck ain't in the veins of what Obsidian produced in their own history. I'd rather play the likes of Nerverwinter Nights, KOTOR2 and New Vegas over the next iteration #78 of Halo, or the likes of Forza, Crackdown, or their yearly sports releases.

- Obsidian are good are making RPGs.
- Microsoft aren't good at making RPGs.
- Obsidian gets acquired (MIGHT get acquired, as of this writing) by Microsoft.
- Microsoft can't understand good RPGs in the veins of the big ones out there (Elder Scrolls, Fallouts, Witchers, etc), and the veins of the ones that Obsidian made before.
- Obsidian gets reduced (assuming they do get acquired by Microsoft) at making stuff that Microsoft likes, instead.
- Obsidian's first game under Microsoft might well end up being an action-focused, simplistic RPG that's going to end up on the Microsoft Store, and of course, filled with MTXs.

Maybe this is clearer?

In other words, what game can Microsoft possibly ask Obsidian to make for them is something I can't fathom. It would have been a thousand times better if Bethesda acquired them instead in order to vastly improve their Elder Scrolls games. I would have loved to see the touches of Obsidian especially in writing and gameplay elements for Elder Scrolls 6. Heck, they would have been good working along with Rockstar and CDPR as well. But Microsoft of all places? Yeah, no.
 

quikah

Diamond Member
Apr 7, 2003
3,851
523
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In other words, what game can Microsoft possibly ask Obsidian to make for them is something I can't fathom. It would have been a thousand times better if Bethesda acquired them instead in order to vastly improve their Elder Scrolls games. I would have loved to see the touches of Obsidian especially in writing and gameplay elements for Elder Scrolls 6. Heck, they would have been good working along with Rockstar and CDPR as well. But Microsoft of all places? Yeah, no.
MS are light on RPG games, it would be a good acquisition for them. Why would MS buy them then tell them to make something they aren't good at?

Meh, I don't see the issue.
 

JujuFish

Lifer
Feb 3, 2005
10,863
688
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MS are light on RPG games, it would be a good acquisition for them. Why would MS buy them then tell them to make something they aren't good at?

Meh, I don't see the issue.
I'm with you. Microsoft has been getting destroyed by Sony's first party exclusives and they know it. They're putting a focus back on games and expanding their portfolio.
 

GodisanAtheist

Diamond Member
Nov 16, 2006
4,684
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After destroying a vertiable goldmine in the form of Rare (and turing Bungie into a Halo factory), I think everyone has the right to be very skeptical of Microsoft's capability to handle a studio like Obsidian (even if they have the purest intentions).

Never underestimate a large corporation's ability to miss the fundamentals of what makes an aquisition worth it and completely destroy the exact elements of success that motivated them to make the purchase in the first place.

While I remain exceedingly cynical on the outcome if this rumor turns out to be true, I cannot fault Fergus & Co. for fighting the good fight and cashing out on the name they've built if they feel like living the white knuckle life from kickstarter to kickstarter was getting old.

If anyone in this industry has earned it, that bunch has.
 

BSim500

Golden Member
Jun 5, 2013
1,480
216
106
MS are light on RPG games, it would be a good acquisition for them. Why would MS buy them then tell them to make something they aren't good at?

Meh, I don't see the issue.
I'm with you. Microsoft has been getting destroyed by Sony's first party exclusives and they know it. They're putting a focus back on games and expanding their portfolio.
I think what people are saying is - just because Obsidian makes good cRPG's doesn't automatically mean they'll start churning out what MS really wants (Witcher 3 class ARPG's / MMO's that neatly fit the XBox vs Sony). Likewise Obsidian's target market (PC) had to resort to Kickstarter precisely because the AAA studio's (inc MS) weren't interested. Now they've seen how popular PoE was, they see the success of the studio (but can't quite grasp it was more success at old-school gamers grouping together and group-funded a specific sub-genre which is that studio's specialty which AAA & MS studios refused to make). Other than Larian, it's been a very dry decade for cRPG's and part of the cause for that is the same thing MS hopes to be their "cure" by buying a dev that makes cRPG's which typically play better on PC's for which MS has long treated as 2nd-class citizens ever since it created the first XBox.

Can cRPG's be made to work on consoles? Just about, but "RTwP" (Baldur's Gate style) gameplay is nowhere near as natural on a controller as a K&M or popular on consoles as actiony RPG's. So they'll probably be asking Obsidian to change genre (cRPG to ARPG / MMO). How that will work out (and what happens to Obsidian if it doesn't) is anybody's guess. The need for them to compete vs Sony is understandable, but how many PS4 exclusives play like PoE? They might end up trying to force a square peg into a round hole. Anyone thinking though that a MS-Obsidian will be driven by anything other than 'Xbox-First' is being exceptionally naive. From shutting down Ensemble in the 2000's (because XBox owners couldn't play Age of Empires / Mythology on a controller) to 2016's Quantum Break's PC version being MS-Store exclusive with upscaled 720p @ 30fps lock defaults - "Microsoft, Microsoft never changes..."
 
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Ancalagon44

Diamond Member
Feb 17, 2010
3,274
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I can just picture some "gaming exec" with an MBA telling Obsidian what they need to do and getting it COMPLETELY wrong.

I mean, look at Turn 10 and Forza Motorsport 7. Microsoft's MBAs told Turn 10 to design the game around loot boxes, which they did. Cue massive outcry and possible legal consequences. They never enabled paying for loot boxes with real money because of the outcry and eventually had to remove them altogether.

That being said, Turn 10 and Playground Games are probably the only examples of Microsoft owned studios that they have not completely destroyed, even if FM7 was not quite as successful as it could have been. FH4 is very good.

In fact, come to think of it, it is well known that Playground Games are also developing their own RPG.

I don't really expect good things from this but we will see. Maybe Obsidian games will fill the hole previously occupied by Lionhead Studios, the makers of Fable (if I remember correctly). The Fable series was quite a big hit, if I remember correctly.

My guess is - new fantasy RPG series, less "serious" than PoE, PG13 max. DLC but no loot boxes.
 

PingSpike

Lifer
Feb 25, 2004
21,706
532
126
My guess (gut feeling) is that they'll end up making Microsoft Store exclusive Android / Mobile styled "aRPGs" maybe in the veins of something like Gauntlet, filled with micro transactions. Simply because I cannot fathom Microsoft turning them into a full fledged studio to produce a real RPG (especially not single-player or in the veins of Fallouts, Elder Scrolls, Witchers and the likes). However, whomever at Obsidian is concerned by this will get a job and will pay their bills. There's that, for them (and nothing for gamers in this).
For a little while until MS shuts down the entire studio that struggled because they hamstrung it by requiring it play to its weaknesses.

Most likely BSim500's view of the future is the one we'll see.
 

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