Obsidian Entertainment has revealed that they were relieved when they were acquired by Microsoft. The developer of The Outer Worlds had a frank conversation about the effects of being purchased by a major company and platform manufacturer such as Microsoft with WccfTech.
The representative for Obsidian Entertainment was Brian Hines, Senior Director. He explained that their upcoming title, The Outer Worlds, was not affected by the buyout thanks to the developer’s publishing relationship with Private Division. Hines described the shift in thought after being acquired went from considering how to pitch the next game to investors, to an attitude of speculating about the company’s next game without that added level of pressure.
Hines added that Microsoft doesn’t give Obsidian Entertainment freedom to create anything, instead there’s a greenlight process that they need to abide by. The process was described as focusing the developer on making the games they want, rather than making absolutely anything because they now have the ability to. Microsoft probably have the final say on what games Obsidian Entertainment move forward with their full development force on, but the developer is likely free to create small teams who will work on game prototypes.
Interestingly, Hines explained that the reason that Microsoft purchased Obsidian Entertainment was because of their self-made success. They told the developer as much when they purchased them, asking them to keep making the games they’re making. Most important is the fact that Microsoft don’t want to change Obsidian Entertainment, they want them to keep making the games that have proven to be successes without their influence, because that’s what makes them great.
Hines says that a lot of people at Obsidian Entertainment were worried about Microsoft reaching in and changing things up, but with the news that all they wanted was for the developer to keep doing what they have been doing, everyone has relaxed.
Under the Microsoft umbrella, Obsidian Entertainment are a lot freer in many ways. They’ve got the backing of a huge company, with many resources at their disposal, meaning they can create much grander projects moving forward. While they’ve relied on crowdfunding for some projects in the past, such as Pillars of Eternity and the sequel, it’s unlikely that they’ll ever use it again now they’ve been acquired by Microsoft. The only reason they might use crowdfunding once again is because of the feedback that backers provide in early access versions of their games, which other developers say is invaluable.