A little under a year ago, Obsidian Entertainment was acquired by Microsoft. A month after that, the studio announced The Outer Worlds, a sci-fi, space exploration RPG that’s become one of the most anticipated games of 2019. Only a couple of weeks from launch, Obsidian has talked about how beneficial the Microsoft buy-out has been, and the freedom it still has as a company.
Talking to WccfTech (ta, VideoGamer), senior designer Brian Hines discussed their working relationship, stating that Microsoft and Obsidian’s goals are aligned. “There is obviously a greenlight process. We don’t always have carte blanche to do whatever we want,” Hines said. “It definitely is much more focused on like, ‘Okay, let’s make the games cool. Let’s make the games we want to make’.”
Obsidian was on Microsoft’s radar because of the likes of Fallout: New Vegas and South Park: The Stick of Truth, to name but two. According to Hines, Microsoft just wanted to facilitate more of the same. “That’s one of the things that when we were acquired that Microsoft’s said to us is like, ‘We’re buying you because we want you to keep making games the way you’ve been doing, not to change you’,” Hines said. “And that’s been reassuring a lot of people on the team, we’re not suddenly going to be asked to be a different studio than we have been.”
In previews, The Outer Wilds has been compared to Fallout, and Hines says it’s a spiritual successor to Fallout: New Vegas. Taking its space setting very seriously, the game will apparently offer all number of ways to obtain completion.
Obsidian did court controversy earlier this year when it was announced The Outer Wilds would be an Epic Games Store and Microsoft Store exclusive for at least a year before becoming available on Steam, not least from former staff member Chris Avellone. Hines didn’t make mention of that, but he does state he believes that Microsoft owning Obsidian will result in making games of “grander scale” and “better quality”.
The Outer Worlds will set off on October 25.