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Rumours about acquisition by Microsoft


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#261
injurai

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Which makes me wonder why Obsidian felt they couldn't hold out any longer.

 

Im obv speculating, but my gut tells me it could be something as simple as: owners arent getting any younger. they want to cash out and spend their 50s in a lower gear watching their kids grow up - furnished with a big lump sum of money that will see them nicely through to retirement in 10 yrs time.

 

i work at a big firm thats done its fair share of acquisitions. one of the former owners of a company they bought is living the life o'reilly. hes chilling out in a cushy role that he negotiated as part of his terms for selling. i dont know how happy he was prior to selling his firm, but hes deffo happy now.

 

 

I've said the same earlier in the thread, even if they owner's did have an exit strategy in mind for all I know that could have still be 5 years out. Which is why I'm also curious how much this has to do with Deadfire's performance and the gap until they release their other projects, and the need to obtain funding for any recently freed up teams.



#262
Tigranes

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Which makes me wonder why Obsidian felt they couldn't hold out any longer.

 

Im obv speculating, but my gut tells me it could be something as simple as: owners arent getting any younger. they want to cash out and spend their 50s in a lower gear watching their kids grow up - furnished with a big lump sum of money that will see them nicely through to retirement in 10 yrs time.

 

i work at a big firm thats done its fair share of acquisitions. one of the former owners of a company they bought is living the life o'reilly. hes chilling out in a cushy role that he negotiated as part of his terms for selling. i dont know how happy he was prior to selling his firm, but hes deffo happy now.

 

 

It's not really that Obsidian couldn't 'hold on any longer' - at least some of the founders had a buyout as an exit strategy for a long, long time, if not quite from Day 1.

 

And from a business sense, it would be insane to not think that way. Independent mid-sized games developers are simply not sustainable in this industry, and hasn't been for a long time. No time for me to hash out the details, but how many companies do you see making their own original games and remaining at a medium size, staying independent, making their signature style games, after a decade or so? Obsidian had an improbably good run given all the missteps, self-inflicted and otherwise, they've had along the way.


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#263
SonicMage117

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I always saw it as Microsoft is just preparing for a powerful new line up for the next generation. They noticed Obsidian's work, just like they noticed the Minecraft dev so they uhhh went for it.

Well, as far as Obsidian's financial state, doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that they were in a bad position.

Obsidian was losing staff members, cutting teams, lower sales for Deadfire than expected, putting the work and effort into a console port that was marked as one of the worst selling console games this generation - due to Obsidian having some of the worst marketing in the industry. Obsidian wasn't going to last much longer, even when pumping out truly quality titles. Microsoft not only makes them financially stable but takes the burden off for marketing and other things so they can breathe.

#264
Triple - A Foxy Lad

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i think i just have trouble seeing this as news. discounting bankruptcy, flogging business typically case of 'when' rather than 'if'.

like i know people who have dug in their heels, not sold up and bottom-fed well into their 60s. yeah, theyve kept the lights on, so their business is "viable", but fk me, its not a life id choose for myself.

 

even if obs could limp on forever, it dont mean they should.

 

if deadfire didnt sell enough to keep all the devs on their books and obs chose to sell up rather than cut back then thats a fair decision. a few peeps will get cut loose bcs that always happens, sadly, but hopefully it will turn out better than studio collapsing to half its current size bcs they cant afford to retain a team between projects.

 

Also there was huge culling of small indie companies about... 4-5 years ago if memory serves? and it was bcs of over-saturation. think that might be happening now. at first was kinda just obs with poe but now owlcat, larian and inxile all competing for similar space - and uve got a couple more indie projects springing up like realms beyond.

 

ye ye ye i appreciate larian, in particular, have been about for a while, but their visibilitys leapt in recent years.

 

also there is nature of crpg crowd, many folk eager for opportunity to throw company under bus provided u can get ur fix elsewhere. before it was like, if u wanted to stick knife into obs, ur entire genre could vanish - but now its like u can punish who u want cos someone else is carrying flag.



#265
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That's pretty much why Microsoft and Sony are going after indie devs. Like you say, indie games have become a pretty big movement in the industry within the last 5 years. This is mainly due to storytelling evolving within that spaces. You have hungry no-name people that are doing new things in games tht have never been done before so it's not anything unexpected for a larger company to recognize these teams or individuals. Indies are responsible for any freshness now days really.

I agree that Crpg genre is pretty big now but the crowd/fanbase is still pretty niche. Consoles are more complex an hardcore games, it's either that or miltiplayer games with a social aspect, so it's hard to get players into a more casual experience such as an IE game like Baldurs Gate or Obsidian's very own Pillars Of Eternity.

I'm just looking forward to what Obsidian does with Microsoft backing them now. I would love to see something innovative from them like an rpg racing game or something crazy like that. Now they have room to do something untethered by the fanbase, they can do something they always wanted with very little risk, if any at all.


I think also that the usual Obsidian fan will view this as a bad thing because Josh Sawyer is a great name in the Crpg realm and Obsidian has a historical value to pc gamers 30+ years old. Microsoft acquiring Obsidian is without a doubt, the best thing that could have happened and it's a huge compliment to the company but you will see fans do everything they can to make Microsoft into the big bad wolf here, without any reason except "It's never a good thing when a big company buys a smaller company" but that's not really why they're against the acquisition lol
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#266
Tigranes

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People have different opinions. As I get older, I learn that it makes me healthier to try and understand where they're coming from, even if I ultimately conclude that their opinions are bad ones. I used to get a kick out of talking about how ignorant or biased those other people are (and still succumb to it sometimes), but eventually I realised that when you do it, the silent majority isn't applauding with you - they're usually looking at you in pity.

 

Many acquisitions of this kind in the industry have ended badly for gamers who wanted more good games, so I can certainly understand that fear. I think it's realistic to worry that Obsidian's future games might not be the kind of RPGs its longtime fans have enjoyed. We won't know for sure for a few years. At the same time, the realities are clear and I'm honestly surprised Obsidian hasn't gone bankrupt yet, so I'm not exactly keen on screaming that they're soulless sellouts. In the short term at least, it's a great opportunity for the developers working there right now.

 

Which means it's hard for me to say this is going to be awesome or terrible without a doubt. But that's OK. Things in life usually aren't that clear cut - it's just that we're always tempted to declare it so, because it makes things so much easier for us. Hopefully it does end up unmistakeably awesome, by which I mean ALPHA PROTOCOL 2 PLEASE OH GOD*

 

*will never happen.


Edited by Tigranes, 20 November 2018 - 01:36 PM.

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