Obsidian is a special case within the videogame industry, rarely has so much specialized talent in a specific genre met in the same studio. Some of his visible figures are live history of the role for computer, with titles such as Fallout, Icewind Dale, Planescape: Torment or Arcanumin his career. But despite that concentration of talent, there is something that has not quite fit in all the years in which the company has been open. The greatness of the study lies in its vision
of design and the narrative strength of its stories: nobody goes so far when creating campaigns with multiple developments, or is so interested in letting the player forge his destiny with his decisions, assuming the consequences.
You can also count on them when offering atypical and different stories, with colorful characters charged with depth. But at the same time they do not get that polishing layer that is expected from the big productions,
The team was having a very bad run in recent times. His Fallout: New Vegas , considered by many to be superior to Fallout 3 and more authentic to the originals,
was deprived of an economic bonus by Bethesda for not reaching 85 in Metacritic (he stayed at 84). His project announced to create an Aliens RPG was canceled in the middle of development, and his South Park gamehe
lived an authentic odyssey to be launched, surviving the fall of THQ and going through a difficult situation in his transition to Ubisoft-fortunately, the game was excellent, but possibly he stopped making enough money with all those problems and taking into account his condition of licensed degree-. The perception from the outside was that Obsidian was drowned in an
industry where the “middle class” studies were disappearing: too small to make big blockbusters, too big to be kept as “indies”. But the coup de grace came with another cancellation, one of many but is in a critical situation. They were working on a strong project for this
generation – it is rumored that for Microsoft – and it was suddenly canceled. They are “things that happen” in the industry but at that time the studio had no
mattress, nor any alternative; They had to fire a good part of their employees and start looking for another project that they did not find.
The situation was so bad that there came a point where a deadline was fixed in which the studio would have to close its doors definitively if it did not find something. And with the moral on the floor, and the doors of the production companies closed, it was not easy.
Many Obsidian veterans come from Black Isle and Troika, so they could recognize the signs in the sky: by the known way, the study was condemned to the closing except miracle.
A part of the team believed that it was necessary to do something radically different and considered the idea of crowdfunding knowing its status as a cult study. As if it were a sign from the gods, at that time came Tim Schafer’s Kickstarter and his unexpected success, giving strength to this option.
They created a project exhibition as if it were for a production company, but opted for a project that was much more in tune with its strength and history: a role-playing game in the style of the classics in Infinity Engine. Not only was the nostalgia factor for an abandoned and much loved style, there was also the fact that those kinds of titles were much more in tune with the strengths of the studio:
Less time trying to create expensive 3D character models, facial animations and fighting with motors to fit their complex campaign designs, and more time to recover that density of dialogues and that strength in the texts that many missed. The rest is history: fulminating success, almost four million dollars of funding and the beginning of an exciting path that takes us here, to Pillars of Eternity.