Having wrapped up development on South Park: The Stick of Truth not long ago, Obsidian is not resting on its laurels. Even with two projects in the works, the primarily RPG-focused developer continues to look toward the future--a future which will include another Kickstarter project, but not the Wheel of Time game it was previously slated to create.
In an interview with CVG, Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart addressed the realities of being an independent developer in today's market. "Right now, fewer major games are being worked on by independent developers than almost any time in the games industry," he said. "That's one of the challenges of being an independent developer right now. We could be done making a big game like South Park and then no publisher has a slot at that time to have a big team work on a big RPG. That kind of puts us in a really weird situation as a business."
To some extent, that explains the company's current trajectory. It's working on Pillars of Eternity, a crowdfunded computer RPG that received so much more funding than anticipated that it ended up being delayed (it's now coming later in 2014), and Armored Warfare, a free-to-play game in the vein of World of Tanks.
What it isn't working on is the game adaptation of The Wheel of Time fantasy novel series, which it was set to co-develop with Red Eagle Entertainment back in 2010. According to Urquhart, Red Eagle never got the needed funding, causing the agreements between the two companies to dissolve. "So there's really no connection any more between us and Red Eagle as it relates to the Wheel of Time stuff," Urquhart explained.
As for what lies beyond its two currently announced projects, Urquhart said the company continues to talk to publishers about bigger RPG projects--although it will make games of all sizes. His vision for the company five years from now includes a Skyrim-style Pillars of Eternity game in addition to the isometric version (mind you, this isn't an announcement of such a game), and he said he wouldn't turn down the opportunity to work on another Fallout or Star Wars game.
What we know is coming for sure is another game that will turn to Kickstarter for funding, which he hopes will happen "before the end of the year."
"I think we've got a good idea," he said. "I'm not going to share anything, but a few times in my career I have these things where I say, 'Hey, that's a cool idea!' and I've generally been right. So I think this one's going to be a cool thing."
As for what kind of game it will be, the only hint he would provide is something anyone familiar with the developer's history--it's developed Fallout: New Vegas, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II, and Neverwinter Nights 2, among other games--could guess: It'll be an RPG.
|Chris Pereira is a freelance writer for GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @TheSmokingManX|
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