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Obsidian doesn't own the Pillars of Eternity franchise


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#1
Messier-31

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Pillars of Eternity is owned by Dark Rock Industries Limited.

Dark Rock Industries Limited is a synonym for Black Isle, and it is a personal company of no other than Feargus Uquhart himself.

Obsidian owns only the Project Eternity codename from the Kickstarter times.

 

Why?

 

Let's check the facts regarding all the games that Feargus or his buddies worked on:

  • Infinity Engine games (BG, IwD, P:T) are in the hands of Atari
  • Fallout is in the hands of Bethesda
  • Arcanum went form Sierra to Activision
  • Temple of Elemental Evil is in the hands of Atari
  • Vampire is in the hands of Paradox
  • Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic was in LucasArts, but Disney shut it down
  • Neverwinter Nights is in the hands of Atari, as other Forgotten Realms titles
  • Alpha Protocol is in the hands of SEGA
  • Pathfinder is in the hands of Paizo
  • Dungeon Siege is in the hands of Square Enix
  • South Park is in the hands of Ubisoft

20 years of gamedev and all of this great work gone to some other companies.

Most of them are not interested in doing anything with their franchise.

Feargus Uquhart made this decision so Pillars would be safe in case of something went wrong in the future (as you know something DID GO wrong with Black Isle in the past).

 

Feargus, you cheeky Black Isle Bastard ;) I salute You


Edited by Messier-31, 06 November 2018 - 03:47 AM.

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#2
Lexx

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Well, that's not exactly news.
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#3
Ethics Gradient

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It's true that Feargus is the CEO of DRIL, but the other board members are his fellow owners of Obsidian.  Urquhart, Jones, Parker, and Monahan are all listed as being directors of DRIL.  In the original filing from 2015, Avellone also had a stake in DRIL, but that presumably changed with his departure from the company.

 

As you've pointed out, Dark Rock Industries Ltd. seems to be a lifeboat for the Pillars IP if something forced Obsidian into bankruptcy. The only major downside is that since it isn't an Obsidian asset, using as collateral for a business loan or other financial instrument isn't quite as straightforward.

 

Previous developers like Interplay or Bioware weren't entirely being short-sighted to keep IP in-house.  They saw that they built valuable things, and could easily borrow against it, or liquidate it, to pump cash back into the studio.


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#4
Dean478

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If that's the case, then that's brilliant. It also gives me hope for the Microsoft acquisition.

 

Any idea who owns the Tyranny name?



#5
wih

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Paradox owns Tyranny.



#6
lobotomy42

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So the new question is -- did Microsoft also buy Dark Rock Industries?


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#7
FlintlockJazz

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So the new question is -- did Microsoft also buy Dark Rock Industries?

Was wondering that myself!



#8
batosaims

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Interesting, I wonder if MS owns Dark Rock as well.  That was very smart of Feargus to keep it separate though. 

 

I know MS owns Outer Worlds though since that's technically owned by Obsidian 



#9
kanisatha

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So the new question is -- did Microsoft also buy Dark Rock Industries?

Was wondering that myself!

Me too. Would appreciate an informed answer.



#10
kanisatha

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Pillars of Eternity is owned by Dark Rock Industries Limited.

Dark Rock Industries Limited is a synonym for Black Isle, and it is a personal company of no other than Feargus Uquhart himself.

Obsidian owns only the Project Eternity codename from the Kickstarter times.

 

Why?

 

Let's check the facts regarding all the games that Feargus or his buddies worked on:

  • Infinity Engine games (BG, IwD, P:T) are in the hands of Atari
  • Fallout is in the hands of Bethesda
  • Arcanum went form Sierra to Activision
  • Temple of Elemental Evil is in the hands of Atari
  • Vampire is in the hands of Paradox
  • Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic was in LucasArts, but Disney shut it down
  • Neverwinter Nights is in the hands of Atari, as other Forgotten Realms titles
  • Alpha Protocol is in the hands of SEGA
  • Pathfinder is in the hands of Paizo
  • Dungeon Siege is in the hands of Square Enix
  • South Park is in the hands of Ubisoft

20 years of gamedev and all of this great work gone to some other companies.

Most of them are not interested in doing anything with their franchise.

Feargus Uquhart made this decision so Pillars would be safe in case of something went wrong in the future (as you know something DID GO wrong with Black Isle in the past).

 

Feargus, you cheeky Black Isle Bastard ;) I salute You

Atari has no hold on anything D&D related anymore. Some years ago, following the big legal battle and Atari's bankruptcy, WotC regained all rights to all the Atari-associated D&D games. And WotC subsequently said they will never again grant to anyone the kind of deal on rights they gave to Atari.


Edited by kanisatha, 10 December 2018 - 08:47 AM.

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#11
Ethics Gradient

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So the new question is -- did Microsoft also buy Dark Rock Industries?

 

The paperwork is still fresh after the merger, but it looks like DRIL no longer exists as an independent entity.

It may take a little while before all the records are updated, but OEI and DRIL each show unspecified merger filings as of November 30.

 

The likeliest scenario is that Dark Rock merged back into Obsidian for the purposes of the acquisition.

 

AJekh3M.png

IogsA3l.png

Edited for clarity.


Edited by Ethics Gradient, 10 December 2018 - 10:01 AM.

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#12
kanisatha

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So the new question is -- did Microsoft also buy Dark Rock Industries?

 

The paperwork is still fresh after the merger, but it looks like DRIL no longer exists as an independent entity.

It may take a little while before all the records are updated, but OEI and DRIL show merger filings as of November 30.

 

The likeliest scenario is that Dark Rock merged back into Obsidian for the purposes of the acquisition.

AJekh3M.png

IogsA3l.png

That would make sense. I can't imagine MS having been willing to let Feargus & Co. keep those IPs outside of MS's ownership.



#13
injurai

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So the new question is -- did Microsoft also buy Dark Rock Industries?

 

The paperwork is still fresh after the merger, but it looks like DRIL no longer exists as an independent entity.

It may take a little while before all the records are updated, but OEI and DRIL each show unspecified merger filings as of November 30.

 

The likeliest scenario is that Dark Rock merged back into Obsidian for the purposes of the acquisition.

 

AJekh3M.png

IogsA3l.png

Edited for clarity.

 

 

I suspected this was probably the case. It didn't make sense to loose out on Pillars, and I hadn't seen any direct acquisitions. Looks like we will probably get a Pillars 3 and hopefully an Elder Scrolls competitor down the line.



#14
M4xw0lf

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So the new question is -- did Microsoft also buy Dark Rock Industries?

 

The paperwork is still fresh after the merger, but it looks like DRIL no longer exists as an independent entity.

It may take a little while before all the records are updated, but OEI and DRIL each show unspecified merger filings as of November 30.

 

The likeliest scenario is that Dark Rock merged back into Obsidian for the purposes of the acquisition.

 

AJekh3M.png

IogsA3l.png

Edited for clarity.

 

Well that would completely defeat the purpose of having founded a separate company to hold the rights to their IP in the first place to prevent another Fallout situation. (Doesn't make that scenario a lot less likely, of course. Just annoying.)


Edited by M4xw0lf, 11 December 2018 - 01:47 AM.


#15
Ethics Gradient

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Well that would completely defeat the purpose of having founded a separate company to hold the rights to their IP in the first place to prevent another Fallout situation. (Doesn't make that scenario a lot less likely, of course. Just annoying.)

 

Yup.  But after the merger, there may be a little more stability that they no longer feel the need to store their original works in an escape pod.  

 

If Microsoft were interested in producing further games in the Eora setting, it makes sense for them to not want to arrange licensing for it, or prevent DRIL from independently marketing Pillars-themed board games or frozen dinners or whatnot.  

 

In some ways, it bodes well if you like Pillars of Eternity; it appears that Microsoft does too, and they have deep pockets.


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#16
Achilles

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Well that would completely defeat the purpose of having founded a separate company to hold the rights to their IP in the first place to prevent another Fallout situation. (Doesn't make that scenario a lot less likely, of course. Just annoying.)

 

Yup.  But after the merger, there may be a little more stability that they no longer feel the need to store their original works in an escape pod.  

 

If Microsoft were interested in producing further games in the Eora setting, it makes sense for them to not want to arrange licensing for it, or prevent DRIL from independently marketing Pillars-themed board games or frozen dinners or whatnot.  

 

In some ways, it bodes well if you like Pillars of Eternity; it appears that Microsoft does too, and they have deep pockets.

 

Feargus has frequenstly talked about a Pillars game that looks like Skyrim. Including the IP in the aquisition makes this more likely to happen.


Edited by Achilles, 11 December 2018 - 02:49 PM.

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#17
Aotrs Commander

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Mmm. It had occurred to me that Pillars IP being seperate from Obsidian was a bit of possible lose/lose situation - on the one hand, if MS own it that might decide to "triple AAAAAAAAAAA" it like so many others have gone (less likely - thank frack - with MS than FAAAR to many other companies I could mention, especial Unicronic Arts), but if it wasn't part of Obs, MS would likely not have let them do anything with it anyway.

 

So... I remain dubious, but that's because the entire game industry is in such a shockingly poor state, and as someone who is very solidly mid-tier gaming, it's that tier that's most likely to not get stuff made. (I mean, that is preferable to what the "Triple AAAAAAAAAAAA" companies are doing with stuff, but...) And while MS have been fairly good boys and girls lately - in comparison, MS generally doesn't inspire me with that much confidence... We shall,as they say, see.

 

Personally, I feel it a shame that Obs and Paradox apparently fell out after Tyranny for whatever reason, since I am personally fairly happy with how PDX runs things and would liked to have seen stuff with umpteen expansions (admittedly, their system works better with strats/sims etc than more story-based stuff like RPGs, though).



#18
Lexx

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Well that would completely defeat the purpose of having founded a separate company to hold the rights to their IP in the first place to prevent another Fallout situation. (Doesn't make that scenario a lot less likely, of course. Just annoying.)

 

Yup.  But after the merger, there may be a little more stability that they no longer feel the need to store their original works in an escape pod.  

 

If Microsoft were interested in producing further games in the Eora setting, it makes sense for them to not want to arrange licensing for it, or prevent DRIL from independently marketing Pillars-themed board games or frozen dinners or whatnot.  

 

In some ways, it bodes well if you like Pillars of Eternity; it appears that Microsoft does too, and they have deep pockets.

 

Feargus has frequenstly talked about a Pillars game that looks like Skyrim. Including the IP in the aquisition makes this more likely to happen.

 

 

Honestly, I would play that...BUT the kicker is that lots of folks like Skyrim and Co. because of it's moddability. If you take out making easy mods, it becomes just another generic game that is quickly forgotten. At this point I see the same coming to The Outer Worlds, tbh. If it's not possible to make a house mod in one day, the majority of mod creators will pass up on it and it'll never get the same status as Bethsoft games have right now. Yes, these games are popular on console too, without mods, but I'm fairly sure the constant hype due to activity on PC has a big part in it.

 

Just look at Mass Effect. The games are mostly praised high, but do folks talk about them the same way they talk about Bethsoft titles? No, not at all.


Edited by Lexx, 12 December 2018 - 10:25 AM.

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#19
marelooke

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Well that would completely defeat the purpose of having founded a separate company to hold the rights to their IP in the first place to prevent another Fallout situation. (Doesn't make that scenario a lot less likely, of course. Just annoying.)

 

Yup.  But after the merger, there may be a little more stability that they no longer feel the need to store their original works in an escape pod.  

 

If Microsoft were interested in producing further games in the Eora setting, it makes sense for them to not want to arrange licensing for it, or prevent DRIL from independently marketing Pillars-themed board games or frozen dinners or whatnot.  

 

In some ways, it bodes well if you like Pillars of Eternity; it appears that Microsoft does too, and they have deep pockets.

 

Feargus has frequenstly talked about a Pillars game that looks like Skyrim. Including the IP in the aquisition makes this more likely to happen.

 

 

Honestly, I would play that...BUT the kicker is that lots of folks like Skyrim and Co. because of it's moddability. If you take out making easy mods, it becomes just another generic game that is quickly forgotten. At this point I see the same coming to The Outer Worlds, tbh. If it's not possible to make a house mod in one day, the majority of mod creators will pass up on it and it'll never get the same status as Bethsoft games have right now. Yes, these games are popular on console too, without mods, but I'm fairly sure the constant hype due to activity on PC has a big part in it.

 

Just look at Mass Effect. The games are mostly praised high, but do folks talk about them the same way they talk about Bethsoft titles? No, not at all.

 

 

Modders are quite wiling to put in quite a bit of effort assuming the foundation is there and they know that said effort won't be wasted. If the engine is open and the company is committed to sticking with it so that the modders know the effort they spend now will still be valuable later then I'm sure you can get a good modding community going (and I'll Beth this is one of the reasons they stick with the Creation Engine instead of tossing it for something new).

The main issue is to keep people around for long enough that modders can "get going", Fallout 4 was released over 3 years ago and I'd say the modding community has only really got to the more advanced stuff like a year ago (keeping in mind the GECK was only realeased like a year after the game's release) and is still ramping up in some respects. That's pretty long after most people are "done" with a game nowadays.

If you then manage to build an actual good game on top of that open foundation then you might just have a "The Elder Scrolls-killer"(*) on your hands

 

*) I just couldn't let the chance to dig up that old trope pass me by, sorry (No, not really... ;) )


Edited by marelooke, 12 December 2018 - 11:21 AM.


#20
Ethics Gradient

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It looks like the electronic filing did eventually post.  

Dark Rock Industries Ltd. (the owner of the Pillars IP) has indeed merged back into Obsidian.

Mystery solved.

 

A6UD6Uo.png


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