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When Will Starfield Release?

April 0 0%
 
May 3 9.38%
 
June 8 25.00%
 
July 5 15.63%
 
August 1 3.13%
 
September 3 9.38%
 
October 2 6.25%
 
November 2 6.25%
 
December 1 3.13%
 
2024 7 21.88%
 
Total:32

Xbox can't catch a break. The Series X/S version of Warhammer 40K: Darktide delayed again



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Bit surprised Game Pass didn't stagnate either

2023 should be great for it between all the indies, a few large ones, a few large exclusives and the family plan.



gtotheunit91 said:

Xbox can't catch a break. The Series X/S version of Warhammer 40K: Darktide delayed again

Kinda bummed by that. Was hoping it would be out soon so I had a new co-op shooter to just kill some time with now and again. Boo



Last edited by Ryuu96 - on 24 January 2023



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Spade said:
gtotheunit91 said:

1 more day. How's the excitement levels looking?

Like a 4/10. Not a big fan of directs that show already announced things, already seen enough about Redfall, just need a release date. Don't care about Minecraft or ESO. Forza for the graphics will be cool though. 

Mostly the same here but for some reason I have a relatively high interest in Forza Motorsport. Idk if it's because it's been awhile since we've had a new one. 



Cool sales MS, now buy something.



Either I’ve had an achievement glitch in Control or I’ve missed something (I’ll try it again later) but that’s game #4 this month finished, much more enjoyed it a second time around. Next up … something.

Last edited by VersusEvil - 6 days ago

Ride The Chariot | '23 Completed | Top 50

Game Pitches

Urquhart is quick to rule out an Obsidian take on sitting behind a steering wheel (“I feel like you have to have 15 years of experience in racing games to say you’re going to start up a new racing game”), and admits that the studio once shelved a Journey to the Centre of the Earth-inspired game that would have seen them competing against God of War.

That’s not even counting a string of pitches for licensed games that never saw the light of day, from tantalising ideas including a Walking Dead RPG (with the team unable to get publishers interested) or a Rick and Morty game (which petered out due to the Microsoft acquisition) to downright eyebrow-raising possibilities like a game based on the reality show Cops. “We pitched a lot of publishers and they just couldn’t get their head around it.” said Urquhart of the latter. Go figure.

Importantly, although both Grounded and Pentiment are a divergence for the studio, Urquhart says the core of both games were built quickly. “We had a thing up and running that we could play around with and then could branch out from there,” which he argues saved them from one of the common pitfalls of studio experimentation.

“I think what kills a lot of games a lot of times is when people go, ‘Oh, we want to try something completely different and so we’re just going to go explore.’ And then they just go around in circles for a really long time.”

Obsidian

Obsidian’s early days weren’t quite as glamorous as you might imagine. “We started off with five of us in my attic and two months later my daughter was born. And so we have a baby screaming downstairs and five of us upstairs.”

Unsurprisingly, much has changed about Urquhart’s day-to-day since then, as Obsidian has grown from five to 260. He’s been CEO for most of the studio’s 19 years, though currently his official title is ‘Studio Head’, and it’s corporate admin that dominates his day – he spends more time negotiating medical insurance deals than getting hands-on with code. He hasn’t let go of the dev side entirely though, and has a habit of jumping in to take charge of specific features that take his fancy.

Avowed & The Outer Worlds 2

In one of Obsidian’s upcoming projects – a slate that consists of Pillars of Eternity spin-off Avowed and satirical sci-fi sequel The Outer Worlds 2 – he’s helping to progress the cinematography of the conversation system, figuring out how to frame characters and position virtual light sources in the game’s dialogue scenes – a necessity of modern game-making that didn’t exist at all when Urquhart was starting out.

Acquisition

Urquhart is surprisingly blunt about the reason for selling: the money.

“Look, if someone’s going to back up a dump truck with a bunch of gold bars, I would be actually doing a disservice to myself, my partners, and everybody at the company for not actually taking that deal.”

In fairness, there’s a little more to it than that. The expansive RPGs that helped Obsidian make its name are expensive to make, and as graphical demands increase, they’re not getting any cheaper.

Urquhart had managed to secure an “okay budget” for The Outer Worlds from publisher Private Division, but knew that if the company wanted to keep going, it would need more money for bigger games. After spending the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2018 trying – and struggling – to sell publishers on a title with a 50-60 million dollar budget, Urquhart realised something had to give. “It doesn’t matter the size of the publisher… when you have to sell something for $60 million, it’s a hard sell.

“That really was the decision: could we actually go and keep on selling 60, then 80, then 100, then 120 million dollar RPGs? Or do we need to change our business?

“We didn’t want to change our business, we wanted to make those things,” Urquhart insists. So while the team plugged away at The Outer Worlds, he prepared to make a drastic choice that would secure the company’s future as a premium RPG studio – while, perhaps ironically, setting up Grounded and Pentiment as its next two releases.

Enter Microsoft. The company was on a spending spree as it expanded the portfolio of what’s now known as Xbox Game Studios, and Obsidian was one of six developers acquired by Xbox in 2018 alone.

“I think we are in a different place because of the Microsoft acquisition,” he explains, arguing that while the team would probably have ended up working on The Outer Worlds 2 either way – the original has so far sold over four million copies – they likely wouldn’t also be developing Avowed simultaneously, or have the extra 90 staff who have joined since Microsoft took over.

Microsoft

In what could be a sign of the strength of the relationship, or a telling slip into corporate speak, Urquhart repeatedly leans on his inner Vin Diesel when discussing Microsoft, returning repeatedly to one word: family.

“We’re the same family,” he says when discussing how it compares to the traditional developer-publisher dynamic. Instead of simply fulfilling a contract, the question instead is: “How do we take care of each other?”

It may help that Obsidian is what Microsoft calls a ‘limited integration studio’. That means it’s still a separate company, and Urquhart still runs it.

“We’re given a ton of freedom, we’re given a ton of faith, we’re given great budgets, we’re given a ton of support,” he says. His “one big job” is to manage that freedom smartly and spend Microsoft’s money wisely.

“I don’t feel like I’m being restricted,” he insists. “We’re still doing all the crazy stuff we’ve always done.”

Their level of independence – sorry, limited integration – is why he doesn’t seem too concerned about Obsidian losing its identity in the sea of other Xbox studios. Instead he sees value in Xbox Studios’ diversity, with a portfolio that ranges from construction classic Minecraft to sci-fi shooters like Halo or Gears of War.

Game Pass

“We’ve not changed how we’ve approached our games based upon Game Pass,” Urquhart argues, but admits that they have changed how the team measures its successes.

“I can’t go off and spend a billion dollars and only a million hours get played on Game Pass, ‘cause people aren’t paying that much for their subscriptions. And so a lot of it is really kind of looking, ‘Okay, well what do we think success is?’”

Feargus Urquhart is Doing What he Does Best

Last edited by Ryuu96 - 6 days ago

New ESO Chapter fully leaked.

Partly by IGN, Lol.