Obsidian Entertainment has worked a lot with Kickstarter games, do they like that? Wouldn’t they rather work with publishers?
There’s a misconception in gaming that if you don’t have a publisher, your game won’t get far. Indie games have proven that left and right, and certain Kickstarter projects or crowdfunding projects have proven that as well. And for Obsidian Entertainment, they truly prefer the market. Especially after what happened with Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire.
On the IGN Unfiltered Podcast, the studio’s Josh Sawyer noted how when Obsidian Entertainment were at their lowest, it seemed like the worst time to do a publisher project.
“At the time, we were in a desperate situation,” Sawyer says. “We’re pitching everything to publishers, who know that we just had a huge layoff. They know they can get their way with us. They just have us over a barrel. There was this great energy at the company for doing a crowdfunding project.”
After nearly getting 4 million dollars for Pillars of Eternity II, Sawyer notes that the company was elated, and moreso, they love the process of doing a project with the eyes of their backers always on them:
“That as an experience is much healthier than designing things in secret because the publisher isn’t ready to talk about the game,” Sawyer says. “Then the game comes out and the players go, ‘Man, I don’t like any of this stuff.’ That’s not a fun way to make a game. That doesn’t really help anyone, it just helps the publisher focus a message for a mass market. I would rather have those constraints of the player base, which I said are in many ways more restrictive than trying to arc them through the publisher’s expectations and hope you land somewhere in an area players like.”
So it seems like in the future, they’ll continue doing projects with crowdfunding.