Obsidian says Microsoft acquisition is letting the studio focus on development

Obsidian says Microsoft acquisition is letting the studio focus on development

RPG studio Obsidian has said that being bought by Microsoft has taken the pressure off when it comes to making games in the future.

Speaking to WccfTech, the developer's senior designer Brian Hines, who said that being acquired by the Xbox firm hasn't changed life at the studio but it means that Obsidian can focus on upcoming projects rather than worrying about getting a publisher on board to help release them.

"It didn't change much on The Outer Worlds because obviously, we're being published by Private Division," Hines said.

"That is still intact. On the studio level, for me personally, one of the nice things is that now that we're part of Microsoft, we're focusing more on what the next games are going to be, rather than, how do we pitch the next games?"

He continued: "There is obviously a greenlight process. We don't always have carte blanche to do whatever we want. That'd be fantastic. It definitely is much more focused on like: 'Okay, let's make the games cool. Let's make the games we want to make.' And that's one of the things that when we were acquired that Microsoft's said to us is like: 'We're buying you because we want you to keep making games the way you've been doing, not to change you.' And that's been reassuring a lot of people on the team, we're not suddenly going to be asked to be a different studio than we have been. We have been given the assurance to keep making these games that our fans like, and hopefully on a grander scale, and better quality."

Obsidian is one of seven studios that Microsoft has acquired in the last two years. The Big M revealed it had snapped up Ninja Theory, Playground Games, Undead Labs and Compulsion at E3 2018, as well as the creation of a new Santa Monica studio called The InitiativeThat was before announcing the purchase of Obsidian and InXile at XO 2018.

Then at this year's E3, Microsoft unveiled the purchase of adventure game specialist Double Fine, as well as the creation of a new outfit that was in charge of Age of Empires.

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.


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