If South Park: The Stick of Truth was a departure for Obsidian, with its 2D willy-bum comedy and turn-based JRPG combat system, then this is a defenestration: a tactical vehicular MMO that crushes dialogue trees beneath the tracks of “incredible, modern destructive machines”.
Furrowed brows all round, then. But if you’re looking for an explanation, it’s probably worth remembering a fundamental part of Obsidian’s business: they’re contractors.
Obsidian don’t belong to a publisher, and nor are they yet fully-funded by crowdfunding ventures like Pillars of Eternity. That means that CEO Feargus Urquhart’s job is primarily ensuring there’s enough paying work to occupy the scores of men and women under his command at any one time.
It’s an arrangement that leads to partnerships like the one Obsidian had with Allods team Mail.ru on Skyforge - a Russian MMO that had already been in development for a year before Chris Avellone and gang got involved in it.
As Eurogamer point out, Armored Warfare is published by My.com, a subsidiary of Mail.ru. Given that Obsidian’s 140-person team has been split between The Stick of Truth and Pillars of Eternity for the past couple of years, it seems likely that their duties here are simply to support and augment existing work.
Who Obsidian might be working with on this MMO remains a mystery, though - the official site mentions no developers of any kind.
Still: Armored Warfare looks like a competent World of Tanks competitor. Players will drive modern tanks, long-range mobile artillery and armoured vehicles of all kinds into competitive multiplayer battles.
They’ll also be responsible for maintaining and upgrading their machines before the fight begins, utilising the “knowledge and experience” they’ve gained on the field.
Doesn’t sound much like Obsidian: but maybe it sounds like your sort of thing?