It sure sounds like Microsoft is buying Pillars of Eternity maker Obsidian

It sure sounds like Microsoft is buying Pillars of Eternity maker Obsidian

It would seem that Microsoft's studio spending spree isn't over just yet.

Kotaku reports that the Big M is on the verge of snapping up RPG specialist Obsidian Entertainment and that the deal is "90 per cent" done. One source said that "it's not a matter of when, not if" regarding the deal.

This follows Microsoft snapping up Ninja Theory, Undead Labs, Compulsion and Playground Games, as well as setting up a new Santa Monica based studio called The Initiative. That last outfit is headed up by Crystal Dynamics vet Darrell Gallagher and is attracting some decent talent

Obsidian will fill an RPG-shaped hole in Microsoft's line-up. Reports point to Playground working on a new Fable game, but the firm is missing a more classical role-playing game studio.

The irony of Microsoft swooping in to snap up the California-based studio is that it nearly put the company out of business just six years ago.

The Big M was set to publish an Xbox One exclusive from the studio called North Carolina but pulled out of the deal at the last second. This resulted in the developer laying off 30 members of staff and totally changing its business model, turning to Kickstarter to make the Pillars of Eternity franchise.

Microsoft said it doesn't comment on rumour or speculation, but Obsidian said: “Unfortunately, we don’t comment on rumors or speculation other than to say that the Rumors album by Fleetwood Mac still holds up."


Obsidian is also working on Take-Two's new Private Division label on an upcoming project. This isn't the first time that Microsoft has bought a studio working with another publisher - Compulsion is still working with Gearbox on We Happy Few with the purchase not affecting that deal. 

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.