Obsidian Entertainment no longer working on Armored Warfare (also more layoffs?)

Brad Grenz

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I keep expecting a Pathfinder-based CRPG to be announced. The mobile game is neat, but I was hoping that was only phase one. As much as I love the Pillars and Tyranny stuff, I still think it would be fun to see a more classic D20 based title from Obsidian.
 
Aug 10, 2016
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Armored Warfare had so much potential, especially when it tried to move from the WoT-alike.

I'm sad, one of the few games I backed. Hopefully my euros did help Obsidian in some way at least...


Paradox has been expanding their portfolio, and honestly I think that some kind of relationship would be great for both of them. Not fully merged, more like allies in the turmoils of this damn stupid industry.

Let's hope that Obsidian can continue it's existence in some way. Maybe downsize a little and go more in the crowdfunding way. I feel that it is the future especially in tech oriented areas. Only way for these smaller companies to survive.

And there's nothing wrong with that, but the company can't be run like a regular thing if the go full on that route.
 

Isotropy

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What kind of awful timeline are we living in that a developer with such a specific and rare set of skills and talents has had such a seemingly unending end of terrible luck...
 
Dec 11, 2010
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Goddammit, please survive Obsidian
There is no chance of Obsidian going under in the next year or two. There is a chance that they will need to shrink to a mid-sized studio and stay that way, though. If Pillars 2 sells half as many copies as the first game they'll be in good shape, the question is more if there's long term viability in this model.
 

nath999

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It seems like Obsidian have been screwed over on most of their projects with publishers.

Kotor 2 development cut short.
Disney cancelling Dwarves.
New Vegas metacritic bonus.
Sega cancelling Aliens: Crucible.
Microsoft cancelling Stormlands.
I know nothing about what happened in those development processes but doesn't that speak a lot about the state of the developer that five major projects from five different publishers have been canned?
 

xealo

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Goddammit, please survive Obsidian
Obsidian is unlikely to go under, if worst comes to worst they'll shed the extra staff and go all in on making PC cRPGs at a smaller scale that all the grognards will be buying en masse.

Obsidian is at the size they are now because they have ambitions to make AAA games, only question is how viable that goal is.
 

Drazgul

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He supposedly is. Feargus posted the following in the Fig comments the other day:

Tim isn't work on Deadfire this time around. While that may sound disappointing, Tim is working on something new. It's nothing we can talk about yet, or for a while, but when we can - I think everyone is going to be super excited over what it is.
Whatever it is, I'll take it.

 

Estus

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Still, it seems funny that Obsidian gets "fucked" by so many publishers - makes you think they can't properly negotiate.
 

Azih

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Still, it seems funny that Obsidian gets "fucked" by so many publishers - makes you think they can't properly negotiate.
I think it's more their leadership is savvy enough to survive. There are so many small studios that don't survive one time being screwed by a publisher.
 

StereoVsn

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Obsidian should make an early access survival game, worked well for funcom :p
They should make early access tank survival game. A tank crew (and the tank) stranded in an unknown land. Build a base, explore, gather resources, upgrade your tank.

Could be Obsidian has some assets for some tanks :).
 

FelipeMGM

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Yeah, Warner would be the best place for them if they were to be bought.

Keep their PC audience in the mix, and have a bunch of IP's they could explore
 

Coriolanus

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That would actually be a very interesting game. Imagine if HP can choose to go with Slytherin instead. With a decent budget, Obsidian can probably make a really good HP game.
Fuck that, son. You ever seen a low int fallout lets play? Hufflepuff would be GLORIOUS.

(i know next to nothing about HP)
 

StereoVsn

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Fuck that, son. You ever seen a low int fallout lets play? Hufflepuff would be GLORIOUS.

(i know next to nothing about HP)
Well, I think the interesting part would be if MC is not a part of the main team then Obsidian would have a lot more freedom in exploring the world. Still it going to happen so Early Access Tank Survival and Crafting Sim is a go!
 

GrantDaNasty

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I know nothing about what happened in those development processes but doesn't that speak a lot about the state of the developer that five major projects from five different publishers have been canned?
KOTOR 2 and New Vegas weren't canned, but the development history surrounding both games is very messy. KOTOR 2 was essentially pushed out with a little over 12-month dev-cycle and New Vegas was done in about 16 months. (when you consider the scope of a game like New Vegas, that isn't a lot of time, even if the core engine and mechanics are already in place with Fallout 3).

The MC bonus thing is a clause where Bethesda was going to pay out additional bonuses if the game reaches a MC rating of 85 or above - it got 84. Now it's easy to say "oh well, better luck next time", but clauses like this in contracts is also why we keep having topics every other month about "should reviewers be responsible about the effect of their scores" and such talk. Bethesda should've just given them the bonus, especially when you look at how much it sold and people genuinely love that game (I think it's better than 3 and 4).

MS cancelling Stormlands speaks more about MS' long-term strategy, especially if you consider the Phantom Dust sequel/reboot and Scalebound getting axed as well.

You tend to hear a lot more about the difficulties a studio like Obsidian has BECAUSE of how well-respected they are and how seemingly ambitious they are with regards to pitching to publishers.
 
Mar 16, 2014
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That would actually be a very interesting game. Imagine if HP can choose to go with Slytherin instead. With a decent budget, Obsidian can probably make a really good HP game.
How about an HP game that takes place today? It's been a very long time since I've engaged in anything HP related, but I'd love to see how the wizarding world looks and gets on in 2017+.
Or shit, even a game that takes place in the future. How much has wizardry truly advanced in the preceding 1000 years before the HP series? Meanwhile, muggles, through the continued advance of technology, are at the cusp of developing technological infrastructure to rival magic itself, and the wizarding world has to seriously consider the nature of their ongoing coexistence with the muggles
 

duckroll

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Still, it seems funny that Obsidian gets "fucked" by so many publishers - makes you think they can't properly negotiate.
Okay, I hear this a lot, but at the same time let's think about it for a moment. How many independent developers of note can you actually think of who release the variety of things Obsidian does, and actually gets attention as a notable developer. Offhand I can think of Obsidian, Double Fine, and Platinum Games. They've all been screwed by multiple publishers, and they all have the reputation of "if they keep having these bad deals, is it bad luck or is it them?!" Maybe the answer isn't neither, but just that being an independent developer who doesn't have a rock solid IP to keep working on, and hiring over a hundred people, is just a shitty ass position to be.
 

jtb

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Jesus fuck.

Fallout 5. KOTOR 3. Bethesda/EA what the fuck are you waiting for.

Okay, I hear this a lot, but at the same time let's think about it for a moment. How many independent developers of note can you actually think of who release the variety of things Obsidian does, and actually gets attention as a notable developer. Offhand I can think of Obsidian, Double Fine, and Platinum Games. They've all been screwed by multiple publishers, and they all have the reputation of "if they keep having these bad deals, is it bad luck or is it them?!" Maybe the answer isn't neither, but just that being an independent developer who doesn't have a rock solid IP to keep working on, and hiring over a hundred people, is just a shitty ass position to be.
Exactly. Look at Bungie's deal with Activision. Crazy penalties for missing targets (including giving up ownership !!!!)

It's hard out there for an indie developer. It's to Obsidian's credit that they've made it this far.
 

Stiler

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I wish some publisher would give Obsidian a decent budget and let them make a AAA rpg a la Fallout/KOTOr.

Just give them free reign and a decent budget.

Seems they get 0 luck when it comes to publishers though, such a shame.


I hope that at least Paradox is going to let them make a new Vampire: TM game.
 

Nairume

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Okay, I hear this a lot, but at the same time let's think about it for a moment. How many independent developers of note can you actually think of who release the variety of things Obsidian does, and actually gets attention as a notable developer. Offhand I can think of Obsidian, Double Fine, and Platinum Games. They've all been screwed by multiple publishers, and they all have the reputation of "if they keep having these bad deals, is it bad luck or is it them?!" Maybe the answer isn't neither, but just that being an independent developer who doesn't have a rock solid IP to keep working on, and hiring over a hundred people, is just a shitty ass position to be.
At the least, I dunno if Platinum is a good comparison here, though. While they've certainly run into issues with publishers, they still seem to have kept up a good enough relationship to where they've managed to get decent repeat business from publishers even after they didn't necessarily light up charges/metacritic.

Obsidian clearly is an absurdedly unlucky company just by virtue of the issues they faced with South Park (the original publisher completely folding and the new publisher having different standards and then deciding to develop the sequel in house) and Stormlands (a change in Microsoft's administration basically sinking the entire project). That said, it does seem like they have a much harder time convincing publishers to work with them again, with the closest cases being Bethesda having them work on an another aborted Prey sequel and SquareEnix approaching them about a Deus Ex sequel before taking it in house.
 

Vamphuntr

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Jesus fuck.

Fallout 5. KOTOR 3. Bethesda/EA what the fuck are you waiting for.



Exactly. Look at Bungie's deal with Activision. Crazy penalties for missing targets (including giving up ownership !!!!)

It's hard out there for an indie developer. It's to Obsidian's credit that they've made it this far.
If they make another KOTOR or Star Wars RPG I would guess EA will use Bioware. They have the Montreal, Edmonton and Austin (SWTOR) teams at their disposal and they bought them for a reason. Considering that Bethesda is not currently working on the next Elder Scrolls because the technology doesn't yet allow what they want to do, I would think they have enough people not on a new IP to work on another Fallout.

AAA market doesn't seem too hot for independent developers. You need to take big risks by hiring a huge team while the publishers can cancel the project at any time.
 
Jun 28, 2013
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Considering that Bethesda is not currently working on the next Elder Scrolls because the technology doesn't yet allow what they want to do, I would think they have enough people not on a new IP to work on another Fallout.
Nah. They're a one studio game. That's why the gaps between releases are so long. If the new Space ip rumors are true then I'd guarantee that's all they're working on right now. That said they have several studios that could do it now. Like Arkane, because I imagine Dishonoreds not getting another immediate sequel.
 

Some Nobody

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When I think about the properties Warner Bros owns, I realize I'm okay with Obsidian getting bought by WB and doing licensed IPs from now on, with the occasional small game tossed out to allow WB to have a wider diversity of properties.

But honestly I think Obsidian could make a pretty awesome Legion of Super-Heroes RPG, and I just really, really want that.
 

The_Spaniard

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It's a real bummer, AW had so much potential. To think, I was almost on that project, but ended up working on Pillars instead. Good luck to all the wonderful people that were on the AW team.
 

wrowa

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Still, it seems funny that Obsidian gets "fucked" by so many publishers - makes you think they can't properly negotiate.
It's hard to negotiate a good deal when an independent studio's relationship to a publisher can be summed up as "we need them, they don't need us". There's a reason why studios like Obsidian are a dying breed, after all.
 

Joni

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Zenimax should try to pick up Obsidian for Fallout. It would give them a way to bring new Fallout and Elder Scrolls games out faster.

I know nothing about what happened in those development processes but doesn't that speak a lot about the state of the developer that five major projects from five different publishers have been canned?
It is quite clear what went wrong for every case, each pointing to a different cause that had very little to do with Obsidian itself.

- Knights of the Old Republic 2 was a good follow-up to a huge hit, where the publisher just wanted it out faster.
- Disney dropped Dwarves because they didn't want to do huge projects anymore. Simple strategy change.
- Fallout New Vegas was a good follow-up to a huge hit that only got an 84 Metacritic, while the bonus was for 85.
- Alien Crucible fell victim to Alien vs. Predator.
- Microsoft cancelled Stormlands just like it did Phantom Dust, Scalebound, ...
 

diaspora

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Part of the problem has been publishers. The other part has been Obsidian's inability to project manage for shit.
 
Mar 27, 2014
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It seems like Obsidian have been screwed over on most of their projects with publishers.

Kotor 2 development cut short.
Disney cancelling Dwarves.
New Vegas metacritic bonus.
Sega cancelling Aliens: Crucible.
Microsoft cancelling Stormlands.
They should try to get a partnership with Sony or Square Enix. Those two will fund a game to the bitter end lol.
 

Purkake4

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Dec 26, 2008
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Honestly, Obsidian should focus on its core strengths and stop taking oddjobs from sketchy publishers. I was always perplexed by them working on Armored Warfare.

Tyranny seemed to work out ok with Paradox. Build on that, and for the love of god, use some public domain IPs. Still waiting for my Lovecraftian horror RPG.

Look at Underrail, built on a shoestring budget, throw some great writing on there and you have a great game right there.
 

Purkake4

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Dec 26, 2008
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Hey Obsidian, if you're reading this topic (lol) open some channels with Wizards of the Coast (they seem interested in digital avenues again) and pitch a DnD 5e modular tabletop adventure game. I'd be ALLLLLL over it!

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=230198783&postcount=177

It's pretty funny to see my posts transcend the traditional thread boundaries and show up in other threads. Took me a good 15min to find this game-thing based on the one gif I saw a few weeks back on Reddit (I think).
 

Matt

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Out of all the theoretical options facing Obsidian right now, a WB buyout would be the best. I know WB wants more studios, and they have access to IPs they could put Obsidian on that could actually be successful (LotR or DC).
 

Purkake4

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Out of all the theoretical options facing Obsidian right now, a WB buyout would be the best. I know WB wants more studios, and they have access to IPs they could put Obsidian on that could actually be successful (LotR or DC).
Do they have anything other than PoE2 in the pipeline?
 

Schlorgan

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Obsidian is one of those studios I could see getting acquired by a publisher at some point. They've had some seriously rocky times over the years and I'd imagine they could probably use some stability. Hopefully this shift doesn't negatively impact anyone there.
EA buys them and has them make a Star Wars game.
 

Matt

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Do they have anything other than PoE2 in the pipeline?
I don't really know much about Obsidian's inner workings (never dealt with them professionally and their games aren't really my thing).

But I find their position in the industry interesting, and I'm always in support of developers.

Their biggest problem is how much they would cost to acquire and operate. If they were based in Lexington, KY I imagine they would have been bought up a long time ago.

You might think that some of that would be mitigated, at least for WB, by being so close to their headquarters already. But WB doesn't really give a shit where their devs are based, look at how spread out they already are.
 

decoyplatypus

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Do they have anything other than PoE2 in the pipeline?
I believe Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky are leading a separate project. Popular speculation is that it is a World of Darkness game (with Paradox providing the license) or a Pathfinder game, but it could be anything, really.

Given the size of the studio, they must have other things going on (even accounting for the newly-free Tyranny team and layoffs), but I don't know what that might be.
 

Flouride

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May 18, 2013
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Do they have anything other than PoE2 in the pipeline?
Yes, they do. 10 people working on Pathfinder Card Game, about 50 on Pillars 2, Cain&Boyarsky have a team working something secret (might WoD) and then there's probably a 4th team as well working on something.
 

Purkake4

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I believe Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky are leading a separate project. Popular speculation is that it is a World of Darkness game (with Paradox providing the license) or a Pathfinder game, but it could be anything, really.

Given the size of the studio, they must have other things going on (even accounting for the newly-free Tyranny team and layoffs), but I don't know what that might be.
Yes, they do. 10 people working on Pathfinder Card Game, about 50 on Pillars 2, Cain&Boyarsky have a team working something secret (might WoD) and then there's probably a 4th team as well working on something.
Ok, this sounds promising and playing to their strenghths.
 

jred250

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God, all I want is Obsidian to make a Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines successor. I hope that they can do that, and it becomes a massive hit for them. I think with the right creative direction and marketing it can be the type of gigantic franchise that Fallout became.
 

Purkake4

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God, all I want is Obsidian to make a Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines successor. I hope that they can do that, and it becomes a massive hit for them. I think with the right creative direction and marketing it can be the type of gigantic franchise that Fallout became.
Changeling or bust. There's so much potential there.
 

eot

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I think they should partner up with first party publishers like what Insomniac/Quantic Dream are doing. Third party publishers don't give a fuck about non-internal studios.

EA screwed Insomniac.
Activision screwed Platinum.
Rockstar screwed Team Bondi.
And Obsidian got screwed by many publishers.
Crytek as well and many other examples.
Crytek screwed themselves