Posted Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 10:10 AM PDT by Brian Hoss
Crowd-funding smaller projects a more accessible option.
In the beginning of March and after both delays and a very public change in pubslishers, 'South Park: The Stick of Truth' debuted, and the game's popularity would seem to declare the it as the realization of a great RPG with a beloved license. For Obsidian, this comes after a history of successful RPGs and big licenses, including 'Neverwinter,' 'Star Wars,' and even to 'Fallout.'
And yet a look at the developer's current projects reveals the tank MMO 'Armored Core,' and the crowd-funded 'Pillars of Eternity.' While there is likely one other project being prepped behind the scenes, it's clear from this interview by CVG, that nothing on the level 'South Park' is on the horizon.
From Feargus Urquhart, Obsidian CEO, "Right now, fewer major games are being worked on by independent developers than almost any time in the games industry. 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. We saw that was happening and that we needed to do different things... It's a big apparatus to try to ship these big console RPGs. I think we'll always continue to talk to publishers, not just because of funding - although obviously that's a big part of it - but also just because of the realities of publishing big console projects."
The notion that a critical and commercially successful developer like Obsidian can no longer afford to wait for the next publisher to greenlight a project is an all too common one in the industry right now. For gamers, that means that a game like 'South Park: The Stick of Truth,' though pleasing for fans, is not likely to be duplicated anytime soon. Hopefully, the PC only 'Pillars of Eternity' can deliver indie magic and gameplay in lieu of a big production and license.
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