Microsoft Confirm Buyout of RPG Heavyweights Obsidian Entertainment and InXile Entertainment

Written by Jon Sutton on Mon, Nov 12, 2018 10:31 AM
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The rumours were right, Microsoft has announced it has acquired Obsidian Entertainment, developer of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith LordsAlpha ProtocolFallout: New VegasPillars of Eternity, and South Park: The Stick of Truth, and more.

Whispers of the RPG heavyweights being bought by Microsoft first appeared just over a month ago, and now we know there was a fire giving off all that smoke. Following the release of Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire earlier this year, Obsidian has no upcoming announced games.

The announcement was made at the end of Microsoft’s Inside Xbox showcase during X018, and there was also a second sting in the tale for the event - Microsoft has also bought InXile Entertainment, developer of Wasteland 2 & 3, The Bard’s Tale IV, and Torment: Tides of Numenera. InXile is currently deep in development on Wasteland 3.

Both of the studios are CRPG heavyweights and hopefully signal Microsoft’s intentions to make more headway into PC gaming. The big downside is this inevitably means Microsoft exclusivity, which means Xbox and Windows Store releases for InXile and Obsidian’s future titles. Microsoft will also be able to have the final say on what these studios are even working on, which could present for those looking after more hardcore experiences.

Nevertheless, the acquisitions could also spend great things for these two studios. There’s a heck of a lot of Interplay alumni contained at these two outfits, and they’ve both been getting by on tight budgets and Kickstarter funding in order to get by. Microsoft’s got significant cash to splash so the leash could come off, so to speak, and InXile and Obsidian could begin to get a little wild with their projects.

It brings to a close a busy year for Microsoft Studios. The publisher has now acquired six studios in 2018 alone, bringing the grand total up to 13 game development teams. Microsoft used E3 to announced it had snapped up Playground Games, Ninja Theory, Undead Labs, and Compulsion Games.

Fine news for a pair of fine studios? Or are you worried about InXile and Obsidian being under Microsoft's stewardship? Let us know!

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22:46 Nov-13-2018

i sense more kinect games on the horizon

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23:32 Nov-12-2018

Worse gaming news of the day!

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13:50 Nov-12-2018

Getting RAREWARE flash backs here....

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13:21 Nov-12-2018

RIP Tyranny, you were the game I most wanted a sequel for.

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12:53 Nov-12-2018

Further reading - Chris Avellone wants Obsidian execs fired, he would then be willing to work with Obsidian again. Wasteland 3 will get better. Commitments will be kept. And Phil Spencer says he's taking a more active role in making Windows Store more tailored towards gamers. https://wccftech.com/avellone-microsoft-fire-obsidian-execs/
https://wccftech.com/inxile-backer-wasteland-3-get-better/
https://wccftech.com/spencer-taking-bigger-role-windows-store/

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11:54 Nov-12-2018

oh no just dont mess with wasteland 3 plz

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11:09 Nov-12-2018

RIP another great studio

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10:47 Nov-12-2018

I hate Microsoft and they've bought some real good developers recently, including Ninja Theory. I really hope that they give Obsidian the freedom, and the money, to make something great. I'm not holding my breath.

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10:41 Nov-12-2018

Its always worrying whenever a major corporation buys up a smaller company/developer. Major Corps like Microsoft care about end results/profits/market share. Smaller studios like Obsidian care more about the product and its quality. Lets just hope and pray for the best.

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10:57 Nov-12-2018

The flipside to that is Obsidian looked like a studio on its last legs, so this may have actually saved them. Obsidian absolutely should've prioritised profits more because it sounds as if Pillars of Eternity 2 lost them a ton of money (100K copies sold).

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11:49 Nov-12-2018

True enough. Integrity does not pay the bills. No matter how good the games a studio makes, if the games cannot generate profit, the studio will go bankrupt. And the good games will stop.

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12:05 Nov-12-2018

Yeah that's a great way of putting it. Hopefully they get given some autonomy. I think the idea of Obsidian being given a big wodge of cash and told to go wild could be pretty exciting

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12:12 Nov-12-2018

While that is optimistic, I do not see it happening. From Microsoft's perspective, this was a studio having great potential as far as game development goes, but this is also the studio that drove itself into the ground despite making award-winning games. Lets be honestly even you will allow them room as far as development goes, but will keep a tight reign on the management aspect since these people did such a horrendous job it. Management is something Microsoft knows better.

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