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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.

 

If project evernity goes very well (let's say 1 million copies sold) chances are that Obsidian will be able to self-publish the sequel.

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I think my question before went under or wasn't formulated right, anyway here it is again.

 

What do you guys think happens to the relationship between Obsidian and Publisher's IF Project: Eternity ends up successful on retail?

 

- For example, would they have less problems getting publisher contracts or would they be able to sign better contracts due to more financial security?

 

 

Because, I kinda doubt Obsidian's specific situation would remain the exact same with publishers.

Edited by C2B

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No idea, any success ultimately would be a benefit either way on either side though. And they'll keep doing games for publishers as they've said, companys to big to only do these smaller funded games (which can still be huge games). Personally I hope if does really well and they get more 'time' on other backed products. Some of there past games just didn't get the time needed for polish and the ends usually suffer for it.

 

-edit-

Best example I got is KotOR2. Was great up till the end then it felt like an animated story board.

Edited by Adhin

Def Con: kills owls dead

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Don't honestly know. Probably depends on how much they want to meddle. More of a modern budget wouldn't be a bad thing, but they'd most likely expect changes.

The thing is, we'll have no idea of what those changes will be if obsidian decides to go down that route.

If the devs are honestly contemplating this then, in my personal opinion, they should question the community before that. Whether or not we want to hang ourselves with the robe they're offering us is our business too. Nobody will have the right to complain if we're stupid enough to do it.

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Interesting original question and answers.

 

Like most of the earlier posters, if PE is very successful then while OBS would have more clout to negotiate a more equitable publishing contract, a just as valid argument could be to point to the crowdsourced funding as a major factor for their success.

 

After all, with KS they got great early publicity for the title, have locked a large number of motivated fans into de facto pre-orders of the game + paraphernalia and most importantly have a free hand for development time lines esp. internal QA vs release dates (a problem which plagued their AAA titles NWN2, KoTR2 and FNV and become part of their reputation ). The latter issue has been mentioned by several of the OBS team during the just gone round of PE gaming site interviews.

 

It would have to be a big pot of money to OBS to give up all that up + a sizeable % of the subsequent profits.

 

Nikolokus summed up my position on how modern publishers have cast a pall on the industry much better than I could.


- Project Eternity, Wasteland 2 and Torment: Tides of Numenera; quality cRPGs are back !

 
 

                              image-163154-full.jpg?1348681100      3fe8e989e58997f400df78f317b41b50.jpg                            

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OBS just answered this question;

 

check out Starwar's thread in this same forum titled New interview with Adam Brennecke (small spoiler for a new character).

 

Details are his OP and link where OBS discuss future publishing models for potential sequels.

 

(Edited: silly me, worked out how to directly link to his thread below....)

 

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/61823-new-interview-with-adam-brennecke-small-spoiler-for-a-new-character/

Edited by Theobeau

- Project Eternity, Wasteland 2 and Torment: Tides of Numenera; quality cRPGs are back !

 
 

                              image-163154-full.jpg?1348681100      3fe8e989e58997f400df78f317b41b50.jpg                            

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I can see this happening -- that is to say, happening without significant backlash -- if and only if the publisher in question has a good reputation with PC and old school gamers in particular, and is known for not pushing developers around. The obvious profile in my mind is that of Paradox Interactive, although in their case they are not very large, and deal mostly in strategy games.

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The actual point is not how they would raise fund, but their ability to retain their independance. They can fund themselves through a publisher, I do not care as long as they remain in charge of the actual game.

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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.

if the game sells a lot after release, all profit from the sales goes to obsidian directly. so they will not have need for a publisher to make a sequel, they will have the funds and maybe they can make another ks to fill the financial gaps if there are any. besides, a sequel would cost significantly less, since the game engine, the ruleset, the art, the lore etc are already there.


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Isn't Atari the publisher for the Witcher series? That relationship seems to be doing all right, despite the muck-up Atari made of ToEE. Perhaps I am misinformed?

From what I understand, Atari's "publishing" of the Witcher games is a different scenario. The games are made in Poland and, it seems, Atari is closer to being a company that imports, localizes, and sells it internationally. Info on that seems a bit harder to find, so anyone who knows better please correct me. I also remember them fussing when CDProjekt patched their retail versions to be DRM-free, but I can't find that story with some quick googling, so I may be wrong in that.

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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?

 

Not to urinate on the parade, but it's kind of a strange counter-factual you are proposing. Plus, like it's a binary choice (to publish, or not to publish). Obsidian have the option to offer a number of brands and services to both customer and publisher --- i.e. a mainstream development model (like the SP game they are developing) and a niche, indie brand like P:E. Of course, P:E might go nuclear but again it's simply too early to call. What I'm saying is that you can live with both.

 

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.

 

That's better.

 

You need to look like a publisher as a logistics powerhouse you opt to make a trade-off with. On the one hand, you get serious marketing fire power, you get distribution, you get folks putting crates of physical product into a truck and driving it to stores. in return you sell a bit of your soul, but then again you shift more product and make more money. For creative people this might be a bind occasionally but would you rather pay the rent or not?

 

The eternal dilemma.

 

If you self-publish then that can work. But the writers you see on Amazon, for example, putting their own novels online for two dollars, are all (well, most of them) waiting to be snapped up by a publisher. Why? Because although you get more click-through dollar from Amazon you sell more product through a publisher. Harper Collins will physically put your book in Wal-Mart (at about 50-70 cents a copy to the author). Self-publishing models can't. It's about volume.

 

Plurality is the key, and it's why the internet is such a brilliant new tool for all business models (hell, look at Kickstarter). Like anything else in life, a publisher is a choice you make depending on what you want to achieve. Both sides want something and both sides get something.

 

The old "But publishers are the gatekeepers of culture which is why it's so dumbed-down" argument has some truth (evidently, given the state of gaming) but indie models can work too. What Obsidian's adventure is about to test (very excitingly) is how self-published, niche gaming can work as a marketable proposition. I think they will, but enough to kick the big publishers up the arse? I just don't know.

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if the game sells a lot after release, all profit from the sales goes to obsidian directly. so they will not have need for a publisher to make a sequel, they will have the funds and maybe they can make another ks to fill the financial gaps if there are any. besides, a sequel would cost significantly less, since the game engine, the ruleset, the art, the lore etc are already there.

Yes, most the core elements would be there. But the writing, the area art, new creatures, new effects, music, and other add-on components would still need to be developed separately. Plus the law of rising expectations would kick in and they would need to improve upon the original in order for it to be perceived as providing a worthy successor. Hence, I'm not sure that the price difference would be that significant. Still, at least they would then have some capital to use from the sales of the original and the expansion.


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My feelings on (hypothetical) Obsidian going with a publisher for the sequel depend entirely on how strict the publisher will be, with regards to timeline for release, hands-off when it comes to design decisions, and proper fund allocation.

 

If Obsidian can find a publisher who won't rush the product, who won't insist on certain features be added (or certain features be removed), and who is willing to give them a good budget to work with, I don't see an issue.

 

The problem is, is there a publisher out there who fits that description?


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"Console exclusive is two words Darque." - Nartwak (in response to Darque's observation)

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To be honest, I think they would go independent the second they'd be sure that they can sustain the company that way.

Understandably, Obsidian plays it safe now - they don't want to burn bridges just yet. They might need publishers in the future, hence the diplomatic remarks.

 

As for PE : I'm sure they won't have to deal with the publishers. They will either self-fund it or launch another Kickstarter campaign.

Edited by Karranthain

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To be honest, I think they would go independent the second they'd be sure that they can sustain the company that way.

Understandably, Obsidian plays it safe now - they don't want to burn bridges just yet. They might need publishers in the future, hence the diplomatic remarks.

 

As for PE : I'm sure they won't have to deal with the publishers. They will either self-fund it or launch another Kickstarter campaign.

You can't keep a company the size of Obsidian running on projects the size of Eternity. Eternity is not New Vegas. It's not going to bring in $300 million. To "go independent , they'd have to fire a LOT of people.

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To be honest, I think they would go independent the second they'd be sure that they can sustain the company that way.

Understandably, Obsidian plays it safe now - they don't want to burn bridges just yet. They might need publishers in the future, hence the diplomatic remarks.

 

As for PE : I'm sure they won't have to deal with the publishers. They will either self-fund it or launch another Kickstarter campaign.

You can't keep a company the size of Obsidian running on projects the size of Eternity. Eternity is not New Vegas. It's not going to bring in $300 million. To "go independent , they'd have to fire a LOT of people.

 

Hence the :

 

"the second they'd be sure that they can sustain the company that way." This won't happen anytime soon; we'll see how PE fares and how big Kickstarter grows though.

 

And by the way, Obsidian got only a very small portion out of these (alleged) $300 million.

Edited by Karranthain

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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.

 

What is "quite well"? A quarter million copies? Half a million? A million?

 

Pretty much any of them would allow Obsidian to finance the expansion and a full sequel, or start a new Unity-driven IP if preferred.

 

Hence the :

 

"the second they'd be sure that they can sustain the company that way." This won't happen anytime soon; we'll see how PE fares and how big Kickstarter grows though.

 

And by the way, Obsidian got only a very small portion out of these (alleged) $300 million.

 

By almost any optimistic projection Obsidian can't live off of Kickstarter. If Project Eternity, its expansions, and possibly a sequel were extremely successful, then they might be able to independently fund a triple A title. And if it that was successful, then they might be able to become a self-publishing entity.

Edited by Morality Games

May Kickstarter be with you and all your stretch goals achieved. 

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The sequel will be a steampunkish RPG with some elements from Angry Birds and Farmville. Also we'll finally be able to use ducks as guns as St. Fargo fortold.

 

 

To be honest, I think they would go independent the second they'd be sure that they can sustain the company that way.

Understandably, Obsidian plays it safe now - they don't want to burn bridges just yet. They might need publishers in the future, hence the diplomatic remarks.

 

As for PE : I'm sure they won't have to deal with the publishers. They will either self-fund it or launch another Kickstarter campaign.

You can't keep a company the size of Obsidian running on projects the size of Eternity. Eternity is not New Vegas. It's not going to bring in $300 million. To "go independent , they'd have to fire a LOT of people.

 

I myself am very sceptical about how sales will go currently. I really hope Obsidian will make some small chunk with PE. It's for that reason that I did not add the Expansion as an add-on. If I must I'll kickstart it too, but lets hope *crosses fingers* that the game will sell enough copies to support sequels. There is just no thunder for this game to ride on for more publicity, like Torchlight did after Diablo 3 flopped (hardly flopped initial sales, but flopped longterm).

Edited by SeekDWay

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No sleep for the Watcher... because he was busy playing Pillars of Eternity instead.

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By almost any optimistic projection Obsidian can't live off of Kickstarter. If Project Eternity, its expansions, and possibly a sequel were extremely successful, then they might be able to independently fund a triple A title. And if it that was successful, then they might be able to become a self-publishing entity.

 

I never said they would; keep in mind that, should PE be successful, they'll keep the lion's share of the profits, whereas they only get a small portion when a publisher tasks them to create a game (for an instance, Obsidian didn't receive any royalties from New Vegas, only a straight payment).

 

On that note, who cares about triple A titles? ;)

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By almost any optimistic projection Obsidian can't live off of Kickstarter. If Project Eternity, its expansions, and possibly a sequel were extremely successful, then they might be able to independently fund a triple A title. And if it that was successful, then they might be able to become a self-publishing entity.

 

I never said they would; keep in mind that, should PE be successful, they'll keep the lion's share of the profits, whereas they only get a small portion when a publisher tasks them to create a game (for an instance, Obsidian didn't receive any royalties from New Vegas, only a straight payment).

 

On that note, who cares about triple A titles? ;)

By almost any optimistic projection Obsidian can't live off of Kickstarter. If Project Eternity, its expansions, and possibly a sequel were extremely successful, then they might be able to independently fund a triple A title. And if it that was successful, then they might be able to become a self-publishing entity.

 

I never said they would; keep in mind that, should PE be successful, they'll keep the lion's share of the profits, whereas they only get a small portion when a publisher tasks them to create a game (for an instance, Obsidian didn't receive any royalties from New Vegas, only a straight payment).

 

On that note, who cares about triple A titles? ;)

 

Companies that have to employ dozens or hundreds of people. Project Eternity supports at maximum a 30 person payroll.

 

A very optimistic projection for Project Eternity sales would be upwards a million (reproducing the success of the original Witcher). For the expansion in that situation, probably half a million or less. Taxes in the gaming industry are low, but between that and whatever Unity charges apply (which will be low), they would be lucky to get 20-30 million dollars in raw profit.

 

A more realistic projection is about half a million copies and maybe two-hundred thousand expansions, which would go from 10-20 million.

Edited by Morality Games

May Kickstarter be with you and all your stretch goals achieved. 

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Companies that have to employ dozens or hundreds of people. Project Eternity supports at maximum a 30 person payroll.

 

A very optimistic projection for Project Eternity sales would be upwards a million (reproducing the success of the original Witcher). For the expansion in that situation, probably half a million or less. Taxes in the gaming industry are low, but between that and whatever Unity charges apply (which will be low), they would be lucky to get 20-30 million dollars in raw profit.

 

A more realistic projection is about half a million copies and maybe two-hundred thousand expansions, which would go from 10-20 million.

 

 

Project Eternity is just a start and that's exactly what I meant by my post - we'll see how that model develops in the future; right now it's insufficient, but Kickstarter is still very much fresh - as we haven't even seen any of the big projects (Wasteland 2, Shadowrun, Double Fine etc.) released yet.

 

I'm guessing here, but I'd suppose that 10-20 million of raw profit (assuming that's what it'll be) would be way more than they got for New Vegas, for an instance. It's only a conjecture, but I'm fairly sure about that.

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I'm guessing here, but I'd suppose that 10-20 million of raw profit (assuming that's what it'll be) would be way more than they got for New Vegas, for an instance. It's only a conjecture, but I'm fairly sure about that.

Your guess is very bad.

 

Game sales usually give 15% to the developer.

 

That means our(very rough) estimate is a $45 million cut off of New Vegas's $300 million.

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I'm guessing here, but I'd suppose that 10-20 million of raw profit (assuming that's what it'll be) would be way more than they got for New Vegas, for an instance. It's only a conjecture, but I'm fairly sure about that.

Your guess is very bad.

 

Game sales usually give 15% to the developer.

 

That means our(very rough) estimate is a $45 million cut off of New Vegas's $300 million.

 

Except that image tells us nothing about Obsidian's contract with Bethesda. And $300 million is an assumption too, I suppose (just checked, it's the Bethesda's estimate, so that part checks out).

 

For one, we know it was a straight payment, no royalties (as confirmed by MCA). Sorry, but we're both guessing here.

Edited by Karranthain

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