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MS Acquires Obsidian and inXile

A Special Announcement from Obsidian Entertainment reveals that the RPG developer has been acquired by Microsoft. On an identical note, this video likewise announces that Microsoft has also acquired inXile, another developer primarily focused on role-playing games (thanks MeanJim). It's probably not a coincidence that both studios were bought at once, as they were both formed from the ashes of Interplay, and have collaborated in the past, most recently on Wasteland 2. This was not without warning, as Kotaku reported a rumor last month that Microsoft was eyeing Obsidian. At the time Obsidian said they "don’t comment on rumors or speculation," and as it turns out they apparently also don't comment on accurate reports. GamesIndustry.biz has more on the news, which they say is focused on Game Pass subscribers. They also relate Microsoft's expected reassurances that both studios will maintain their autonomy:

It's all part of Microsoft's efforts to expand its internal development resource to boost the number of titles it offers via Xbox platforms and specifically its Game Pass subscription offer.

Both studios are known for creating games in similar genres (indeed, members of both teams have worked on the Fallout series, for instance), but Microsoft insists that despite their common heritage, the two teams are different and "will continue to operate autonomously and bring their unique talents, IP, and expertise to Microsoft Studios as they build new RPG experiences for our players and fans." Microsoft says that both studios will preserve their individual cultures 'to realise their creative ambitions'.

Corporate vice president of Microsoft Studios Matt Booty said in a statement: "The 13 distinct and diverse game development teams that form Microsoft Studios are focused on implementing new Microsoft technologies, delivering content for new platforms and services like Xbox Game Pass, and creating exclusive games that turn players into loyal Xbox fans. We are committed to expanding the Microsoft Studios franchises players already love, and investing in new, exclusive content for every type of gamer."

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65. Re: MS Acquires Obsidian and inXile Nov 13, 2018, 19:01 theyarecomingforyou
 
Prez wrote on Nov 13, 2018, 14:46:
Avus wrote on Nov 11, 2018, 23:08:
I don't want to buy my favorite RPG in the fucking Windows Store....

This has been my sentiment all along. I gave MS Win10 exclusives its first go with Gears of War 4. The entire process, from finding the game, to purchasing, downloading, installing, and playing was so cumbersome and frustrating from beginning to end that I swore to never touch another Win10 exclusive again. A few peeps told me that my stance was unreasonable, and not wanting to be an unreasonable fellow, I recently bought State of Decay 2. While admittedly a bit better of an experience than the first time around, the process was still 10 times more lengthy and cumbersome than the same process on Steam, GOG, or Origin. So yeah, I'm done with MS Win10 exclusives. Call me when they release their games on real platforms.
This. The Windows Store is an abomination and has been no end of trouble. I had to download Gears of War 4 so many times only for it to fail before figuring out that it doesn't play nicely with firewalls due to all the tracking it uses. Games are also encrypted, meaning that you can't back up saves and they are easily corrupted as well.

I really don't care much for Steam these days, as the platform has been allowed to stagnate, but it's infinitely preferable to Microsoft's abortion of an offering. And while we're flogging Microsoft, they need to hire some graphic designers for Windows 10 because it really is inexcusable how bad the Metro design is that they keep trying to force on users.
 
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64. Re: MS Acquires Obsidian and inXile Nov 13, 2018, 18:57 theyarecomingforyou
 
Great, more PC developers that Microsoft can force to develop Xbox games and then disband when those games fail. Microsoft is a game developer graveyard, a place where studios go to die a slow and painful death.  
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63. Re: MS Acquires Obsidian and inXile Nov 13, 2018, 14:46 Prez
 
Avus wrote on Nov 11, 2018, 23:08:
I don't want to buy my favorite RPG in the fucking Windows Store....

This has been my sentiment all along. I gave MS Win10 exclusives its first go with Gears of War 4. The entire process, from finding the game, to purchasing, downloading, installing, and playing was so cumbersome and frustrating from beginning to end that I swore to never touch another Win10 exclusive again. A few peeps told me that my stance was unreasonable, and not wanting to be an unreasonable fellow, I recently bought State of Decay 2. While admittedly a bit better of an experience than the first time around, the process was still 10 times more lengthy and cumbersome than the same process on Steam, GOG, or Origin. So yeah, I'm done with MS Win10 exclusives. Call me when they release their games on real platforms.
 
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62. Re: Morning Tech Bits Nov 13, 2018, 02:28 eRe4s3r
 
Mordecai Walfish wrote on Nov 11, 2018, 18:44:
All their future titles are Microsoft exclusive now and will only be available from the Windows Store, most likely.

Huge fucking fail.

That would only matter if these studios would make games anyone cares about, which they will not.

Let's face it, aside from Starfield, TES6 and Cyberpunk if you are into big bombast RPG experiences you will be very sad the next coming years.
 
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61. Re: MS Acquires Obsidian and inXile Nov 12, 2018, 23:37 Red886
 
Osc8r wrote on Nov 12, 2018, 17:35:
Red886 wrote on Nov 12, 2018, 08:47:
What can a pc do that a console does not these days?

For starters it can run games at much better quality, higher resolutions, with actual anti aliasing, G-sync, and at more than a vomit inducing 30 FPS?

Oh yeah, and there's more than 10 games available - 99% of the original stuff these days is done by indies on steam.



RDR and Spiderman says hello. Most noteworthy indies are also on consoles.

From Stardew Valley to Divinity Original Sin2 to Pillars of Eternity 2. ( i don't buy early access) . Even Pathfinder:Kingmaker have a 'possible' on console release in their FAQ. You even get Daedalic adventure games on console these days. City builder like Cities Skyline too.
 
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60. Re: MS Acquires Obsidian and inXile Nov 12, 2018, 23:36 Red886
 
jdreyer wrote on Nov 12, 2018, 14:03:
Red886 wrote on Nov 12, 2018, 08:47:
hellya if there is a flood of good games coming out for consoles. ........

And i don't see any private investor or funds pouring in USD 50-100 mil into these companies.

.....

isometric rpgs? everyone can make them for USD 1m to 5m. (example : Pathfinder:Kingmaker)
If they are so cheap and easy, why did Obsidian and InXile feel the need to be acquired? For better or worse, there's no money in isometric RPGs. MS is going to push them toward more commercially viable rpg products a la Destiny and Anthem, games designed from the ground up for MTs and DLC.

ambitions and dreams. The crown of Isometric's can be passed on. ( Lots of freelance/contract work writers these days, as gleamed from inXile's kickstarter)
 
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59. Re: Game Reviews Nov 12, 2018, 18:52 peteham
 
Creston wrote on Nov 12, 2018, 18:29:
In any case, I'm ambivalent. On the one hand, it sucks. When was the last time a cool dev got bought by a giant publisher and they DIDN'T turn to shit? On the other hand, I know Obsidian especially was always one game away from dying, so at least this way they get to stay around. I'm wondering if this is why Chris Avellone left.
https://www.reddit.com/r/Fallout/comments/9weox1/avellone_recommends_microsoft_to_fire_obsidian/ also he and the execs of Obsidian don't seem to have been what you'd call chums.
 
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58. Re: MS Acquires Obsidian and inXile Nov 12, 2018, 18:52 CJ_Parker
 
Creston wrote on Nov 12, 2018, 18:29:
I'm wondering if this is why Chris Avellone left.

I doubt that MS was even a topic when he left back in mid 2015 and I think it's more like the complete opposite.

The reason he started the recent vendetta against Obsidian's management on RPG Codex is of a personal but also probably a financial nature. He was an owner and apparently got fuck all when he left.

It must be really painful for him to watch his nemisis Feargus and the other owners bathe in cash while he goes empty. That must have really triggered him. End result: 90+ pages of Avellone telling the world what a shithole Obsidian is.
Oh, and he also sent them his "congratulations" on the deal via Twitter.
 
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57. Re: MS Acquires Obsidian and inXile Nov 12, 2018, 18:29 Creston
 
I guess "making games off Kickstarter for the rest of our lives" was only ever going to last so long.

In any case, I'm ambivalent. On the one hand, it sucks. When was the last time a cool dev got bought by a giant publisher and they DIDN'T turn to shit? On the other hand, I know Obsidian especially was always one game away from dying, so at least this way they get to stay around. I'm wondering if this is why Chris Avellone left.

In any case, I'm not holding out much hope for decent PC games from either one anymore. Lowest Common Denominator (it needs to run on the Shitbox after all) is probably about all we can hope for.
 
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56. Re: MS Acquires Obsidian and inXile Nov 12, 2018, 17:44 Desalus
 
CJ_Parker wrote on Nov 12, 2018, 11:53:
You have extremely low standards then. MS are the only ones who have not gone bankrupt but regardless have shut down a previous distribution platform (GFWL) without proper reimbursement for customers. That alone makes the Windows store completely unacceptable for me. I do not trust Microsoft to run a storefront and honor their part of the deal, i.e. permanent access to games I purchased there for as long as I live and they live. They have broken that 'contract' once in the past.

Why would I ever trust them again? I will not buy anything on the Windows store. Ever. I will not even claim free games on there. It does not exist for me. It will remain uninstalled forever after. Amen.

Ah, I understand your position now. I didn't buy any games on the GFWL storefront and any games that I did own that had GFWL integrated in either the devs stripped it out or I have no desire to play the game anymore.

As far as Windows Store, I have not purchased a single game, but I do subscribe to Xbox Game Pass so I can play all their newest released games on PC. Yes it's pretty terrible when compared with GOG or Steam, but I appreciate that they are at least releasing their games for PC now instead of making them Xbox exclusive.

Osc8r wrote on Nov 12, 2018, 17:35:
Red886 wrote on Nov 12, 2018, 08:47:
What can a pc do that a console does not these days?

For starters it can run games at much better quality, higher resolutions, with actual anti aliasing, G-sync, and at more than a vomit inducing 30 FPS?


You must have done a lot of vomiting back in the day...or have you always had hardware that could run games at 60+ fps?

Oh yeah, and there's more than 10 games available - 99% of the original stuff these days is done by indies on steam.

A large majority of the indie games worth playing are being released on consoles as well.


 
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55. Re: MS Acquires Obsidian and inXile Nov 12, 2018, 17:35 Osc8r
 
Red886 wrote on Nov 12, 2018, 08:47:
What can a pc do that a console does not these days?

For starters it can run games at much better quality, higher resolutions, with actual anti aliasing, G-sync, and at more than a vomit inducing 30 FPS?

Oh yeah, and there's more than 10 games available - 99% of the original stuff these days is done by indies on steam.


 
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54. Re: MS Acquires Obsidian and inXile Nov 12, 2018, 17:05 MeanJim
 
Red886 wrote on Nov 12, 2018, 08:47:
What can a pc do that a console does not these days?

Umm, a lot of things. Playing at > 30fps at higher resolutions with higher graphics settings, modding, more peripherals, the ability upgrade my PC and keep playing older games when the hardware is obsolete...


Red886 wrote on Nov 12, 2018, 08:47:
these sequels if heavy budgeted would be third person open world games. Which i love, but only a very very small handful of developers have the financial clout to attempt to make them.

Well I fucking hate mindless, 3rd person, action RPGs, and if that's what they're going to turn into, they go fuck themselves harder. There have been a shit ton of cloned 3rd person action RPG, which is why they had to turn to crowd funding to resurrect the good old isometric party based RPG genre because no one else was doing it.
 
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53. Re: MS Acquires Obsidian and inXile Nov 12, 2018, 15:03 Phaethon
 
rip  
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52. Re: MS Acquires Obsidian and inXile Nov 12, 2018, 14:03 jdreyer
 
Red886 wrote on Nov 12, 2018, 08:47:
hellya if there is a flood of good games coming out for consoles. What we have now is a crisis in the number of good games . Everyone is talking about RDR but nothing else. That is ONE choice. PC gaming is now barely distinguishable from consoles games, save for those Total War games. Even 4x games with publisher support gets console releases.

What can a pc do that a console does not these days?

And i don't see any private investor or funds pouring in USD 50-100 mil into these companies.

these sequels if heavy budgeted would be third person open world games. Which i love, but only a very very small handful of developers have the financial clout to attempt to make them. I know it is going to be mentioned, I didn't feel any animosity towards DA:3. I find it great that i can explore a multitude of worlds, even get to choose allies which is reflected in the game, full companion voice acting and story lines. Plus no need to min-max or dead-ends. Even games like D:OS2 is available on consoles.

Even inXile's self effort in Torment and Bard's Tale without big publisher's "interference" was crap in storytelling and gameplay.

isometric rpgs? everyone can make them for USD 1m to 5m. (example : Pathfinder:Kingmaker)
If they are so cheap and easy, why did Obsidian and InXile feel the need to be acquired? For better or worse, there's no money in isometric RPGs. MS is going to push them toward more commercially viable rpg products a la Destiny and Anthem, games designed from the ground up for MTs and DLC.
 
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51. Re: MS Acquires Obsidian and inXile Nov 12, 2018, 12:45 HorrorScope
 
Doesn't the UWP environment make it that much harder for cheaters? If so, MS should be selling that big time on the PC and making games that get clobbered with cheating... Online games.  
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50. Re: MS Acquires Obsidian and inXile Nov 12, 2018, 11:53 CJ_Parker
 
Desalus wrote on Nov 12, 2018, 10:32:
CJ_Parker wrote on Nov 12, 2018, 01:01:
Desalus wrote on Nov 12, 2018, 00:48:
CJ_Parker wrote on Nov 12, 2018, 00:05:
BTW, I consider MS FAR WORSE than EA or Activision because MS actively hates the PC with a burning passion.
MS want people to buy Xboxes, not Windows 10 PCs. MS want people on Xbox. They want them to buy hardware, peripherals, accessories, games and subs.

MS hates PC gaming with such a passion that they are releasing all their recent and future first party titles on PC! How could they do that to us???

Yeah... on the fucking garbage Windows store in the abysmal PC gamer buttfucking UWP format. Yippie!!!

In all seriousness, Phil Spencer has made positive changes to the gaming division at MS. It's certainly not the same as it was before.

True... it's even shittier than ever with the Windows store, Xbox apps on the PC, "game mode" (LOL) that does nothing but fuck with games, UWP restrictions and their walled garden dreams.

So you're faulting them for releasing AAA titles on PC because it's not on a distribution platform you prefer? You don't even have to use the Xbox app, you can turn off game mode, and yes the UWP restrictions prevent modding but that doesn't make games unplayable.

That's quite a grudge you have against MS. So much so that you're not even being rational. More AAA games on PC is a net positive in my mind no matter what distribution platform they are on.

You have extremely low standards then. MS are the only ones who have not gone bankrupt but regardless have shut down a previous distribution platform (GFWL) without proper reimbursement for customers. That alone makes the Windows store completely unacceptable for me. I do not trust Microsoft to run a storefront and honor their part of the deal, i.e. permanent access to games I purchased there for as long as I live and they live. They have broken that 'contract' once in the past.

Why would I ever trust them again? I will not buy anything on the Windows store. Ever. I will not even claim free games on there. It does not exist for me. It will remain uninstalled forever after. Amen.
 
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49. Re: MS Acquires Obsidian and inXile Nov 12, 2018, 10:32 Desalus
 
CJ_Parker wrote on Nov 12, 2018, 01:01:
Desalus wrote on Nov 12, 2018, 00:48:
CJ_Parker wrote on Nov 12, 2018, 00:05:
BTW, I consider MS FAR WORSE than EA or Activision because MS actively hates the PC with a burning passion.
MS want people to buy Xboxes, not Windows 10 PCs. MS want people on Xbox. They want them to buy hardware, peripherals, accessories, games and subs.

MS hates PC gaming with such a passion that they are releasing all their recent and future first party titles on PC! How could they do that to us???

Yeah... on the fucking garbage Windows store in the abysmal PC gamer buttfucking UWP format. Yippie!!!

In all seriousness, Phil Spencer has made positive changes to the gaming division at MS. It's certainly not the same as it was before.

True... it's even shittier than ever with the Windows store, Xbox apps on the PC, "game mode" (LOL) that does nothing but fuck with games, UWP restrictions and their walled garden dreams.

So you're faulting them for releasing AAA titles on PC because it's not on a distribution platform you prefer? You don't even have to use the Xbox app, you can turn off game mode, and yes the UWP restrictions prevent modding but that doesn't make games unplayable.

That's quite a grudge you have against MS. So much so that you're not even being rational. More AAA games on PC is a net positive in my mind no matter what distribution platform they are on.
 
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48. Re: MS Acquires Obsidian and inXile Nov 12, 2018, 10:25 Angrius Maximis
 
MS's strategy to compete with Playstation: buy up tons of shitty old indy developers and make lame 20 dollar titles. Good luck  
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47. Re: MS Acquires Obsidian and inXile Nov 12, 2018, 08:47 Red886
 
CJ_Parker wrote on Nov 12, 2018, 02:25:
Red886 wrote on Nov 12, 2018, 01:26:
Obsidian , despite glowing reviews, i thought to be living Kickstarter to Kickstarters, with nary any profit to fund and develop a game proper.

InXile last two releases have been failures, and the standard has dropped to mid-B-levels

with Microsoft's acquisition , we might actually see

1. an open world baldurs gate
2. an open world vampire masquerade
3. an open world wasteland
4. and continuation of Tyranny
5. some pet project from either studio from the extra financial leeway they get

we might even get a new joint-designed Fable, where those ideas espoused decade+ before is very much viable these days.

well, if the drawback is console first or console-moderated design, so be it. These opportunities are too good to spite just because of this.

Yeah, just like when EA acquired Origin we got one Wing Commander after another and a Strike Commander sequel. Those were the days, man!

Or when Microsoft acquired Ensemble and they released Age of Empires VII which was the pinnacle of the series.
And let's not forget about Microsoft Flight Simulator XIV that flew circles around X-Plane 11 and Prepar3d v4.

Seriously, how delusional do you have to be?? Even if we will see new games in those franchises (and BG3 seems likely since Fargo said that he knows who is making it) they will be unrecognizable.
They might even just be mobile games but definitely multiplayer with MTX and loot boxes. Lead platform Xbox instead of PC, of course.

The sole purpose of these acquisitions is to beat Sony straight out the gate with 1st party titles when the new consoles get here in 2020. MS has acquired a lot of studios.
Anyone seriously believe they will keep all of these studios around and just totally leave them alone to do their thing regardless of profitability or of their contribution to shifting console units? LOL

Crystal ball says inXile will be gone by 2023 and Obsidian by 2024 at the latest. MS will dissolve them, redistribute the talented people and that's it then.

hellya if there is a flood of good games coming out for consoles. What we have now is a crisis in the number of good games . Everyone is talking about RDR but nothing else. That is ONE choice. PC gaming is now barely distinguishable from consoles games, save for those Total War games. Even 4x games with publisher support gets console releases.

What can a pc do that a console does not these days?

And i don't see any private investor or funds pouring in USD 50-100 mil into these companies.

these sequels if heavy budgeted would be third person open world games. Which i love, but only a very very small handful of developers have the financial clout to attempt to make them. I know it is going to be mentioned, I didn't feel any animosity towards DA:3. I find it great that i can explore a multitude of worlds, even get to choose allies which is reflected in the game, full companion voice acting and story lines. Plus no need to min-max or dead-ends. Even games like D:OS2 is available on consoles.

Even inXile's self effort in Torment and Bard's Tale without big publisher's "interference" was crap in storytelling and gameplay.

isometric rpgs? everyone can make them for USD 1m to 5m. (example : Pathfinder:Kingmaker)

This comment was edited on Nov 12, 2018, 08:58.
 
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46. Re: MS Acquires Obsidian and inXile Nov 12, 2018, 06:02 Muscular Beaver
 
When is someone buying MS and run it into the ground?
One can hope. So sick of them. They even mess up their own products, see Windows.
 
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