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Maybe some teasing of Pillars 3??:

 

https://www.pcgamesn.com/pillars-of-eternity-2/obsidian-interview

 

Just to keep hopes up :)

 

I its funny that Isometric CRPGs are such a niche genre - I love them so much I can't understand why everyone doesn't love them ;)

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“How do you 'accidentally' kill a nobleman in his own mansion?"

"With a knife in the chest. Or, rather, a pair of knives in the chest...”

The Final Empire, Mistborn Trilogy

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Then the crowdfunding campain of Deadfire would have been a lot worse. It wasn't as good as PoE's (judging by numbers), but in terms of money it did equally well.

But that decline in numbers seems to be in line with most other sequels. 

 

A crowdfunded project has the big advantage that the biggest part of "sales" already happened before you (really) start with the development. And also that you can get a lot of money for something that doesn't cost a lot - like beta access or naming(!) a pet for 500$ or being a top-backer for 10000$ (which got claimed 1 time).

 

So I guess you can't generally say that such a game (that doesn't sell that many more copies than the compain covered) is a financial flop - but of course it would be better for fans (who hope for a third part) and the company alike if it did sell more copies.

 

I personally think the whole "Pirates of the Carribean" vibe repelled people who like the classic fantasy CRPG setting - while it couldn't attract that many new players who might be interested in such things.

 

But the good thing about crowdfunding is that you get your market survey and sales all in one and can decide how big your game should be. Maybe the fanbase for such isometric RPGs isn't that big - but then you can just make smaller games, right? I'd prefer smaller isometric CRPGs over no isometric CRPGs anytime.

 

Some other fair points to me -

 

Pillars 1 had the advantage of being the biggest funded game (at that point) so got a lot of press from that, so perhaps a lot of people curious about the hype checked it out that otherwise wouldn't have checked out the style of game it was.

 

Pillars 1 also went through a lot of changes between launch and final game, so non-kickstarter types may be waiting for all of the work to be done on it based on previous experience.

 

People may not have liked the fact that they discarded all of the systems from Pillars1 for Pillars2, in addition to changing the setting.

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I its funny that Isometric CRPGs are such a niche genre - I love them so much I can't understand why everyone doesn't love them ;)

 

I think a big part of it is the abstraction. In the vast majority of games you are in direct control of your character. You don't issue action commands, you press a button and that button performs an action, every time. The character begins to feel like an extension of yourself as you get more familiar with how it plays. Most gamers seem to like feeling as though they are playing as their character, not an all powerful commander overseeing the action. Party based RPGs have a very hard time allowing for strategic depth without that abstraction though.

 

Dragon Age Inquisition tried to solve it by literally making a second "real time with pause" mode that worked on top of the real time ARPG gameplay. I personally played exclusively in the RTWP mode, but it really, really slowed the pace of the game down.


"As the murderhobo mantra goes: 'If you can't kill it, steal it.'" - Prince of Lies

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BTW, there's a reddit thread where people have worked backwards from the fig dividends to guesstimate sales numbers. This would be reasonably accurate, as otherwise Fig would be committing SEC violations: https://www.reddit.com/r/projecteternity/comments/9uqx8w/first_dividend_recieve_for_poe2_fig_investing/

TL;DR: we're seeing about 125k-ish unit sales, excluding copies given out as part of backer rewards, which seems to mirror guesstimates from an accidental data leak from steam (and suggests gog is a very small proportion of sales). It took about five months for PoE1 to hit 500k copies (according to press release), and fig dividends are paid out at every six months. So Deadfire is very much underforming PoE1 by a significant degree. (The revenue picture to Obsidian might be better because revenue from DLCs don't contribute to fig dividends).

 

(apparently chris avellone has an axe to grind against management for Deadfire. arguably using a lesser-known property like fig to fund deadfire resulted in less free marketing, even if they were able to raise a decent amount of money)

Edited by thelee
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I want Pillars 3. How in the world is a 3rd getting funded now?

 

I don't trust Fig alone will cut it. Unless

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We definitely need a 3rd game. I would even accept a smaller one, like a big PoE2-DLC. There are just so many unanswered questions!

 

- What will happen with *spoilers*

- Will Vela become a villain?

- What is the complete answer to Hiravias' question?

- Will Nemnok take over *spoilers*' place?

 

Spoilers:

 

 

the gods.

 

 


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Then the crowdfunding campain of Deadfire would have been a lot worse. It wasn't as good as PoE's (judging by numbers), but in terms of money it did equally well.

But that decline in numbers seems to be in line with most other sequels. 

 

A crowdfunded project has the big advantage that the biggest part of "sales" already happened before you (really) start with the development. And also that you can get a lot of money for something that doesn't cost a lot - like beta access or naming(!) a pet for 500$ or being a top-backer for 10000$ (which got claimed 1 time).

 

So I guess you can't generally say that such a game (that doesn't sell that many more copies than the compain covered) is a financial flop - but of course it would be better for fans (who hope for a third part) and the company alike if it did sell more copies.

 

I personally think the whole "Pirates of the Carribean" vibe repelled people who like the classic fantasy CRPG setting - while it couldn't attract that many new players who might be interested in such things.

 

But the good thing about crowdfunding is that you get your market survey and sales all in one and can decide how big your game should be. Maybe the fanbase for such isometric RPGs isn't that big - but then you can just make smaller games, right? I'd prefer smaller isometric CRPGs over no isometric CRPGs anytime.

 

People may not have liked the fact that they discarded all of the systems from Pillars1 for Pillars2, in addition to changing the setting.

 

 

Personally, I also find this last point quite strange. The PoE1 system was perfectly good, and I can't for the life of me see why they went into all the trouble of removing the best bits from it.

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This is really a sad news. Really like Deadfire alot. How about obsidian do a survey why people are less interested in Deadfire compared to first Poe? Also more than half of the poe1 backers did not back.

 

There must be a good underlying reason there. Find out the root cause why initial backers didn't back and why the general audience dislike the game.

 

Was it pirate theme? Was it the ships? Was it 5 party characters instead of 6? Was it the story? The characters? Or it isn't dark and gritty like the first?

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There must be a good underlying reason there. Find out the root cause why initial backers didn't back and why the general audience dislike the game.

 

Was it pirate theme? Was it the ships? Was it 5 party characters instead of 6? Was it the story? The characters? Or it isn't dark and gritty like the first?

 

I don't know to what extent the parallel holds, but you might be asking slightly wrong questions there. The parallel I mean is that in the (former) music industry (since it's currently dead), the sales of your next release were very much dictated by the love people had for your previous release. In other words, if people really loved what you had previously done, you could put out some real rubbish and it would still sell like hotcakes, at least initially. This also holds in the movie industry, at least to a degree.

 

So, assuming that I am on the right track at all, a really good question to ask would be: why were so many people so disappointed with PoE1 that they didn't want to hang around for Deadfire?

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The people who played Deadfire like it just fine according to user reviews. Then again, the people who played PoE1 also liked it just fine by the same metrics

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I think it's a combination of the following things:

- worse story and righting in general

- naval battle/theme focus

- fixing things that are not broken

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I think it's a combination of the following things:

- worse story and righting in general

- naval battle/theme focus

- fixing things that are not broken

 

That's not a bad idea, but what would you point to, as evidence?

Edited by xzar_monty

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Exactly. The factors that Ancelor pointed out are something that people cannot realistically know before they have experienced the game, which makes the argument a slightly dubious one.

 

This is one of the reasons why I'm inclined to think that the cause for Deadfire's poor sales lies in PoE1. After playing PoE1, they didn't feel the franchise was worthwhile, for whatever reason.

Edited by xzar_monty
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There must be a good underlying reason there. Find out the root cause why initial backers didn't back and why the general audience dislike the game.

Was it pirate theme? Was it the ships? Was it 5 party characters instead of 6? Was it the story? The characters? Or it isn't dark and gritty like the first?

 

 

I don't know to what extent the parallel holds, but you might be asking slightly wrong questions there. The parallel I mean is that in the (former) music industry (since it's currently dead), the sales of your next release were very much dictated by the love people had for your previous release. In other words, if people really loved what you had previously done, you could put out some real rubbish and it would still sell like hotcakes, at least initially. This also holds in the movie industry, at least to a degree.

 

So, assuming that I am on the right track at all, a really good question to ask would be: why were so many people so disappointed with PoE1 that they didn't want to hang around for Deadfire?

I'm not so sure people are disappointed with PoE1. Im sure some are, but I don't think it's a huge percentage; my PoE1 gamefaqs guide has extremely good support despite being years old game, comparable to other guides I've written for other games with extremely good long-tail support. (Better than e.g. Dragon Age Inquisition for example)

 

I think there is a huge marketing problem here, because I heard about PoE everywhere, but I backed Deadfire and barely heard anything about it outside of backer updates. Heck, I love RTwP genre and barely even knew Tyranny existed while it was under development. Maybe there's something to be said about having used Fig instead of Kickstarter.

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It could also just be the sad sad fact that PoE1 benefits from being a well-hyped nostalgia kick, whereas Deadfire is more representative of the size of the "true" market for this kind of genre. It's not unprecedented; Prey was an extremely good AAA-budget System shock style game, but it did poorly in sales because it turns out however enthusiastic the fan base for that genre the broader audience isn't that interested in a System Shock game.

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People didn't buy the game because they were able to tell before playing it that had a worse story and fixed things that were not broken?

 

I don't actually wish to get into arguments - but aren't you disregarding "the word of mouth" as one of the factors?

RPG fans are not living in a vacuum, they do research and they read each other's comments and opinions - in many ways, some of them might be more valuable than official reviews.

 

Objectively speaking, Deadfire wasn't necessarily praised for it's gripping storyline and companion writing - even on these forums. The same things about "fixing things that aren't broken". And the word gets around. It's a kind of the mirror opposite of "sleeper hit" situation. But that's just my thoughts on that.

Edited by aksrasjel

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If Obsidian had unlimited resources, an interesting A/B test would be to make a PoE3 that is a "return to form" to PoE1 (back to per-rest, gritty theme, Western European fantasy theme, etc). It it does better than Deadfire, then we'd know that RTwP gamers are actually fairly conservative in their tastes.

 

I'm not totally convinced because BG2 had a very different setting to BG's dyrwood-ian sword coast, but the games industry was very different then too so maybe there were more mainstream gamers picking it up whereas now there are a bajillion open world games with vaguely RPG/shooter/stealth elements to play.

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Hope the final numbers get better enough. I really want to visit Ixamitl Plains.

They do need to make some changes to adapt to the sad current market, but lets hope they don't make ones that compromise its quality and come with more creative solutions. One thing i can think of would be to make some changes on the combat that could allow it to work with no much difference on RTwP and turns-based combat (that as much as i hate it, its what people want) and make the turn-based default while the RTwP would be a option (secretly the real(?)xD). Also as someone mentioned, a social component(again as much as i don't like it). But specially, since is its established consumers are very little, give special attention to trailers and publicity

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People didn't buy the game because they were able to tell before playing it that had a worse story and fixed things that were not broken?

I don't actually wish to get into arguments - but aren't you disregarding "the word of mouth" as one of the factors?

RPG fans are not living in a vacuum, they do research and they read each other's comments and opinions - in many ways, some of them might be more valuable than official reviews.

 

Objectively speaking, Deadfire wasn't necessarily praised for it's gripping storyline and companion writing - even on these forums. The same things about "fixing things that aren't broken". And the word gets around. It's a kind of the mirror opposite of "sleeper hit" situation. But that's just my thoughts on that.

Sure, word of mouth probably didn't help (including things like bugs and difficulty) but then POE1 gets criticised all the time for its story and bugs and combat, and that game continued to sell well past the period where you'd think word of mouth would be a major factor. One possible explanation there may be that POE1 had a lot of positive press to counteract bad word of mouth, while Deadfire doesn't. Though POE1 had high user scores as well, pointing to people not generally feeling dissatisfied with the game.

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Hope the final numbers get better enough. I really want to visit Ixamitl Plains.

They do need to make some changes to adapt to the sad current market, but lets hope they don't make ones that compromise its quality and come with more creative solutions. One thing i can think of would be to make some changes on the combat that could allow it to work with no much difference on RTwP and turns-based combat (that as much as i hate it, its what people want) and make the turn-based default while the RTwP would be a option (secretly the real(?)xD). Also as someone mentioned, a social component(again as much as i don't like it). But specially, since is its established consumers are very little, give special attention to trailers and publicity

 

people are talking about turn-based combat, but wasn't the Dragon Age series RTwP and wasn't it pretty successful? or has the industry moved past even that? I guess I wouldn't mind Pillars of Eternity: Tactics, but it would make me really sad that my favorite genre of game is too niche for even a small independent studio to make games for.

 

something that would be hilarious to see: JE Sawyer's PoE tabletop system is turn-based because RTwP doesn't work in pen and paper, for obvious reasons.  It would be funny to see a PoE3 that adapts JE Sawyer's tabletop adaptation of PoE1/2.

 

edit: also personally I want to visit the Living Lands or Old Vailia.

Edited by thelee

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Sure, word of mouth probably didn't help (including things like bugs and difficulty) but then POE1 gets criticised all the time for its story and bugs and combat, and that game continued to sell well past the period where you'd think word of mouth would be a major factor. One possible explanation there may be that POE1 had a lot of positive press to counteract bad word of mouth, while Deadfire doesn't. Though POE1 had high user scores as well, pointing to people not generally feeling dissatisfied with the game.

 

For the sake of the discussion, the classical argument can be made that the fans were more lenient towards PoE 1 and it's shortcomings - they were starved for an isometric RPG in vein of BG2, they to some extent understood that Obsidian was in dire straits and had limited budget, and so on. And the situation on the market was much different.

But with Deadfire, Obsidian had no excuse - the fans expected them to deliver a really remarkable game in all respects. Otherwise they would just choose a different RPG. Everything was in Obsidian's favour, they had even bigger budget than before, they had the established franchise, they had the mechanics figured out and full creative freedom. And I'm not going to speak for everyone, beacuse I know that a lot of people on these forums enjoyed Deadfire, but for me personally, creative leads simply miscalculated what the fandom actually wanted from the game and more importantly didn't have unified and strong enough vision to make a game they needed to make.

 

And to be completely fair, the half of the backers of PoE didn't actually show up during Deadfire Fig campaign - so there is that.

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I think i'm missing something here. Didn't Deadfire raise more than $4,000,000 in the fig campaign? That plus being bronze on steam seems like a good result. No?

 

Hopefully! I really would like to see it end in trilogy (at least, not counting possible side spin-offs) in the future. Edited by XEternalXDreamsX

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I think i'm missing something here. Didn't Deadfire raise more than $4,000,000 in the fig campaign? That plus being bronze on steam seems like a good result. No?

 

 

Deadfire raised more than $4m, but it came from a shallower base of backers, and a lot of it was "investors"... which you could potentially draw as similar to backers, but personally I would put it more as a speculative gamble by coattail riders/curious gamers and not necessarily an excited player base (though it could've been and these players were more interested in monetary rewards than a collector's edition box). The big difference is that the "investors" are actually supposed to be paid back from revenue, which means that of the $4m, something like half of it is actually a liability that Obsidian needs to pay off to some degree, so it's not just pure cash in the bank. Also an argument that some people are making (that I don't find altogether uncompelling) is that fig is such a small crowdfunding site that $4m on Fig is different from $4m on Kickstarter in terms of free press and marketing. Plus, all the people who are getting burned to the tune of -80% on their "investment" (maybe as "little" as -60% after another year) aren't exactly going to line up to do the same thing for a PoE3 bid on Fig.

 

Bronze on steam is actually a meaninglessly broad result. Gold or silver meant something in terms of sales, bronze was basically awarded to everyone else who was in the top 100 or something.

 

There was a data leak from steam some months back that was able to compute the specific number of Deadfire sales as something like 108k (I remember looking at the specific data dump just for Deadfire sales numbers). The fig dividend calculations seems to back that and confirm that not much other sales from GoG.

 

It's possible that this is all fine and something that Obsidian anticipated, but there are indications that this is not. For example, the full VO is extremely expensive and suggests an anticipation of bigger returns. Chris Avellone (keeping in mind he seems to have an axe to grind these days so take with a grain of salt) mentioned somewhere that the expectation was that Deadfire was going to be a BG2 to BG moment in terms of sales numbers (BG2 did much better than BG I believe)--he had a tweet very recently (that I think prompted all this recent speculation) that if the MSFT takeover rumors are true, MSFT should axe all the upper management at Obsidian (Feargus and the other co-owners) and pointed to Deadfire sales as signaled by fig dividends as proof.

 

edit - i'm an optimist, so the periodic talk about future directions for Eora makes me believe that Eora is not dead (and having your own IP is a very valuable thing), but something is going to have to change because I don't think ~200k lifetime unit sales (completely ballparking that number based on the fact that game sales are front-loaded) is going to warrant the kind of investment and support that Deadfire has/had.

Edited by thelee

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