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Imagine P:E is released, sells quite well, and Obsidian decides to use the traditional publisher model to fund the sequel


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What would be your reaction? Annoyance that a publisher now has a say in the development of what was once purely controlled by the designers? Happiness that the sequel will have access to more funding? Ambivalence until you see how it effects the game, or until you see exactly which publisher is funding it?

 

EDIT: This keeps getting brought up, and its my fault for not being clear, so to clarify in post one: this is more an intellectual exercise to gauge people's view of publishers; i.e. inherently evil or arguably a source of good things if approached correctly? I'm aware that the Official Word is 'self-publishing', if anything.

Edited by Death Machine Miyagi
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If it is possible to find a publisher that says: "You made a successful fan-funded game that sold really well, make another one just like it with our budget," I imagine OE would still have most of the control, but we'll have to wait and see.

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And yes, I just read the interview where they said they would probably try to self-publish a future sequel using the profits from this. We're just playing a little 'what-if' here.

 

For me, btw, this comes down to:

 

1) Does Obsidian still control the IP?

 

2) Did the first game sell well enough that Obsidian has a tremendously improved bargaining position, allowing them to avoid unwanted changes or arbitrary decisions of the publisher?

 

If the answer to both of those is a 'yes', then great, bring on the funding.

Edited by Death Machine Miyagi
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See how it goes, if things go in the "let's try bringing in the call of duty crowd" direction (which I very strongly doubt will happen with this particular project), then I predict another Kickstarter or indie project popping up some time later. But yeah I'd be annoyed.

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There is a difference between going to a publisher, with OWN well established franchise and requiring funding, and going to a publisher for a pitch meeting with an idea for a game...

 

The point is, that they could go to a publisher, which would be willing to deal with PC exclusive... Few publishers are willing for such an exercise, although this could be considered highly profitable franchise in terms of % return, but certainly not a huge budget game... For that, too many compromises would have to be made...

 

You cannot expect Mass Effect graphic / voice over style and BG2/Fallout/Torment writing and IWD/ToEE combat depth with full control over party members...

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I'd be too busy watching pigs flying by.

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Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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In that case.

 

Well, honestly it's pretty unclear. If Eternity ends up majorly successful for them to take notice, then publisher may change their outlook on a lot of things, like viral marketing or mid-sized budgets.

 

As for me, I probably would be annoyed.

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And yes, I just read the interview where they said they would probably try to self-publish a future sequel using the profits from this. We're just playing a little 'what-if' here.

 

For me, btw, this comes down to:

 

1) Does Obsidian still control the IP?

 

2) Did the first game sell well enough that Obsidian has a tremendously improved bargaining position, allowing them to avoid unwanted changes or arbitrary decisions of the publisher?

 

If the answer to both of those is a 'yes', then great, bring on the funding.

3) If the first game sold well enough, is the extra funding really necessary, or will it go towards features that will inevitably result in an inferior RPG, like voice aciting?

Edited by Piccolo
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If this convinces publishers that the type of game Obsidian is making can still create a profit then I'd be... cautious of it. I'd prefer it didn't happen.

 

What do you mean here? It would be great if Obsidian gets more contracts. They can't survive on Kickstarter or their own alone, without firing a massive amount of their employes.

 

As mentioned in the stream they would also like to work on more licensed properties.

Edited by C2B
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They have already said that if they make a sequel it would either be another kickstarter or SELF published.

 

Yeah, I know. See my second post in the thread. This is just an intellectual exercise to see just what people's attitudes are towards publishers; i.e. whether they are the Great Satan or whether they could be a positive in the right circumstances.

Edited by Death Machine Miyagi
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What would be your reaction?

 

I'd be highly irate as the whole point of Kickstarter was to eliminate the meddling suits populating the publishing houses who've turned their backs on cRPGs that focus on roleplaying instead of hack 'n' slash. I want full, meaty expansion packs, not Day-1 DLC and other dribs and drabs of dreck. Yeah, I'm looking right at you, EAWare.

http://cbrrescue.org/

 

Go afield with a good attitude, with respect for the wildlife you hunt and for the forests and fields in which you walk. Immerse yourself in the outdoors experience. It will cleanse your soul and make you a better person.----Fred Bear

 

http://michigansaf.org/

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There is a difference between going to a publisher, with OWN well established franchise and requiring funding, and going to a publisher for a pitch meeting with an idea for a game...

Syndicate was established as a top-down tactical shooter.

EA turned it into a generic FPS

 

Fallout was established as an isometric PC RPG.

Bethesda turned it into a crappy first person shooter with quests.

 

Dragon Age was established as a semi-strategic throwback title.

EA turned it into Mass Effect With Magic(and Only One Dungeon).

 

Shadowrun was established as a tactical RPG.

Microsoft turned it into an FPS.

 

Wasteland was established an a party-based isometric RPG.

In pitch meetings, publishers attempted to change the genre.

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If this convinces publishers that the type of game Obsidian is making can still create a profit then I'd be... cautious of it. I'd prefer it didn't happen.

 

What do you mean here? It would be great if Obsidian gets more contracts. They can't survive on Kickstarter or their own alone, without firing a massive amount of their employes.

 

As mentioned in the stream they would also like to work on more licensed properties.

 

Because the behaviors of publishers, especially rushing the game, have been a reoccurring problem for Obsidian in the past. Maybe it would be a necessary evil and I'm pessimistic.

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They have already said that if they make a sequel it would either be another kickstarter or SELF published.

 

Yeah, I know. See my second post in the thread. This is just an intellectual exercise to see just what people's attitudes are towards publishers; i.e. whether they are the Great Satan or whether they could be a positive in the right circumstances.

They have already said that if they make a sequel it would either be another kickstarter or SELF published.

 

Yeah, I know. See my second post in the thread. This is just an intellectual exercise to see just what people's attitudes are towards publishers; i.e. whether they are the Great Satan or whether they could be a positive in the right circumstances.

 

In that case, they are not (well, not generally). Obsidian themselves mentioned it already, but publishers just deal with high numbers and the safest way to work on that is with proven, best-selling concepts. Taking risks is dangerous.

 

 

That said, I myself find publishers are doing several things wrong in their approach.

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I'd prefer it if Obsidian retains complete control over the IP, with merely someone to distribute the title's physical copies (if that ever happens).

I think CDPR had a setup like that with Namco Bandai for Witcher 2, where they paid for their own development, but had someone to distribute the actual disks.

When in doubt, blame the elves.

 

I have always hated the word "censorship", I prefer seeing it as just removing content that isn't suitable or is considered offensive

 

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@Death Machine Miyagi: Adam said that if the game is successful, they want to produce and fund the sequel with the income from the first game.

No external publisher.

 

http://www.sorcerers.net/forums/showthread.php?t=58248

Edited by DocDoomII
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well in the most recent interview this question, something similar anyway, was brought up. And basically it was said they will try and be self published with the expansion and the sequal. Atleast that is the goal. more likely though if they wouldnt be able to fully self publish they would go the crowd funding route again

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Indulging the hypothetical here, for me it would come down to whether or not there was an agreement in place whereby Obsidian says to any publisher 'thank you for your investment, now we're going to make the sequel we wanted to make while you sit over there quietly.' Essentially, I have no problem with someone providing part of the funding as long as they understand that Obsidian will make this sequel their way on their timetable without interference. If a publisher won't agree to that, no deal, either self-publish or take your case back to the people. Because if P:E sells well, it will hopefully prove that in some cases publishers are simply unnecessary, and therefore can be relegated to either silent investors looking for return on a proven idea or middlemen that can be cuttout altogether.

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That would be stupid. That would be like Obsidian shooting themselves in the foot. The whole point of the kickstarter and PE was to own their IP and have full control over it. If PE is successful it would make no sense to give it away to a publisher if they made good money. Now if PE fails in the sales department then I can see them taking publisher funding and giving up control over the IP since it would give the franchise a chance to live after they can no longer develop it.

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If it's like the Star Wars/Fox deal where they just distribute the game and take profits from that while having no say in the production and no ownership of the IP... sure. I wouldn't mind at all. However, I doubt that Obsidian would take that path with a niche game that was pretty much made for digital distribution in the first place. It just wouldn't make sense to have external forces operating around a project they made specifically to avoid having external forces tampering with it.

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