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Skyleaf

Can PoE grow as a franchise the way the Witcher did?

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...and possibly become a mega mainstream hit like Witcher 3? PoE did similarly as the Witcher in terms of sales in its first year or so, maybe slightly better. The positive review scores are similar too.

 

I'm a little shocked and baffled by ME:A mixed reception. Could have used that pre-order money to invest on PoE:D instead. All this talk about the Infinity Engine renaissance when we are actually slowly running out of quality AAA RPGs, sigh. I know that nostalgia gave life to PoE. But surely, most of us want this franchise to grow and eventually reach a bigger mainstream following like the Witcher franchise.

 

Cyberpunk 2077 is the only guaranteed to be great AAA RPG in the foreseeable future. Dragon Age 4, sure, but those filler quests in DA:I and now ME:A tells me that Bioware will never be a sure thing anymore. 

 

P.S: Forgive me if that's not what most of you guys want. I'm just thinking out loud. Of course going mainstream can mean going from Fallout 2 to Fallout 3...

Edited by Skyleaf

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In it's current form?  Not really.  Isometric rpgs like pillars are too niche for the mass audience.

 

However, Both Josh and Feargus said they're interested in expanding the pillars series to other genres like turn based strategy or even open world since it's going to be their flashship series.  If they can somehow make a 'sidegame' in the series similar to elderscrolls or new vegas, then I'm sure they can expand the series while they can keep making the main isometric games (Fergus said PoE3 is guaranteed if Pillars 2 does well).  

Edited by Bill Gates' Son
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Eveyone will be keenly watching Deadfire to see if it will be as impactful as the second game in the baldurs gate series.

 

Baldurs Gate 2 style. That is what the devs should be aiming for. If they can pull that off they hands down win the game

 

Witcher 3 had a budget of 85 million dollars. Pillars im assuming has a budget of around 5-10million. You can see the problem here.

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I highly doubt PoE will get anywhere near the attention and fame the Witcher has gotten. The sad truth is that CRPG's are a relatively niche game type and one of the prime reasons The Witcher managed to gain its fame is that it's an Action-RPG with a... whatever you would call the Arkham games combat system, as its main combat mechanics.

 

Sure, I hope and kind of expect Deadfire to gain a major position as a CRPG, but I kind of doubt that it will ding the mainstream radar at all, or at most it will gain a few curious glances.

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I don't see it going quite that mainstream. It's not really a game that absolutely anyone can get into, you know? Nor is it a MMORPG or E-sport (thank Eothas). But of course, the more successful it is, the better for the RPG genre as a whole, so let's hold thumbs.

 

Shame about Andromeda. I was also surprised at the early reviews. I was expecting them to worship it.

 

If you want a beautiful triple AAA RPG, go buy Persona 5 ;)

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Eveyone will be keenly watching Deadfire to see if it will be as impactful as the second game in the baldurs gate series.

 

Baldurs Gate 2 style. That is what the devs should be aiming for. If they can pull that off they hands down win the game

 

Witcher 3 had a budget of 85 million dollars. Pillars im assuming has a budget of around 5-10million. You can see the problem here.

 

Surely you can understand from my OP that I'm comparing PoE to the Witcher and not to the Witcher 3. I am hoping that by the time we'd get to a PoE 3, Obsidian will have gained a significant budget increase to make a game closer in quality to Witcher 3.

 

In terms of sales The Witcher did 300k copies its first year or something while PoE did some what 500k? 600k? In any case quite similar numbers.

 

The Witcher 2 improved on this exponentially by selling some 1.5 mil or something it's first year? I can't remember. So if PoE 2 pulls in similar numbers can it upgrade into something like a Witcher 3? That is my personal hope.

 

 

I don't see it going quite that mainstream. It's not really a game that absolutely anyone can get into, you know? Nor is it a MMORPG or E-sport (thank Eothas). But of course, the more successful it is, the better for the RPG genre as a whole, so let's hold thumbs.

 

Shame about Andromeda. I was also surprised at the early reviews. I was expecting them to worship it.

 

If you want a beautiful triple AAA RPG, go buy Persona 5  ;)

 

 

I pre-ordered, so yeah, hehe, I'm kind of devastated.

Edited by Skyleaf

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I highly doubt PoE will get anywhere near the attention and fame the Witcher has gotten. The sad truth is that CRPG's are a relatively niche game type and one of the prime reasons The Witcher managed to gain its fame is that it's an Action-RPG with a... whatever you would call the Arkham games combat system, as its main combat mechanics.

 

Sure, I hope and kind of expect Deadfire to gain a major position as a CRPG, but I kind of doubt that it will ding the mainstream radar at all, or at most it will gain a few curious glances.

And witcher 3 probably sold a significant part of its sales on console.

 

I definitely think that there is potential for deadfire to have a bigger market presence on the PC market then witcher. Again look how successful baldurs gate 2 was.

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Actually baldurs gate 2 and throne of Bhal sold about 3-4 million copies in its entire life.

 

Witcher 3 sold 4 million copies in its first week of release.

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A financial success? Absolutely. Just look how Fig exceeded the original KS with significantly less backers.

 

A mainstream gaming success? I think this part will be harder due to the relatively small number of players but that isn't even really required (see financial success above).


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I don't see it going quite that mainstream. It's not really a game that absolutely anyone can get into, you know? Nor is it a MMORPG or E-sport (thank Eothas). But of course, the more successful it is, the better for the RPG genre as a whole, so let's hold thumbs.

 

Shame about Andromeda. I was also surprised at the early reviews. I was expecting them to worship it.

 

If you want a beautiful triple AAA RPG, go buy Persona 5  ;)

 

I pre-ordered, so yeah, hehe, I'm kind of devastated.

 

Me as well, after the demo seemed promising. I expect to still enjoy it, but it seems like it won't be the pure quality time I was hoping.

 

Still, I kind of doubt that it's a sign of mainstream disappointment in their RPG's.

 

 

And witcher 3 probably sold a significant part of its sales on console.

 

I definitely think that there is potential for deadfire to have a bigger market presence on the PC market then witcher. Again look how successful baldurs gate 2 was.

 

 

The major difference is that at BG2's time, a major CRPG shared shelve-space with flight simulators and hardcore shooters (think Rainbow Six 1). It was a different time, when a highly complex game was the norm rather than the exception.

 

The Witcher series didn't really gain its popularity until TW3 was released. While the other Witchers were action-RPG's as well, the third was most so of the bunch and action-RPG's are a popular non-niche genre.

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Please no. The Witcher games and books are godawful dreck. The further PoE can be from them the better.


"Wizards do not need to be The Dudes Who Can AoE Nuke You and Gish and Take as Many Hits as a Fighter and Make all Skills Irrelevant Because Magic."

-Josh Sawyer

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Please no. The Witcher games and books are godawful dreck. The further PoE can be from them the better.

 

Well, opinions aside, I'm talking about PoE growing into a brand as successful as the Witcher not be a carbon copy of it.

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No, and it doesn't need to.

In fact it would be pretty stupid if Obsidian turned their back on 2.5D isometric, PC-exclusive cRPGs when it's much easier to compete in that segment, especially with an already established and acclaimed franchise like POE.
The 3D open-world, multiplatform ARPG subgenre is way too over-saturated and you would have some serious competition to go up against.

The sales for POE and TWM 1+2 show that there's still a big enough audience that enjoys these kind of deep and complex experiences you can sink in just as much hours as you would in something like TW3.
Tamper with and try to improve for the worse on the classic IE-formula too much and you'll get something like Tyranny, which - surprise surprise - doesn't exactly sit well with the cRPG audience, going by the underwhelming sales figures.

You could probably interpret the funding for Deadfire surpassing POE's already as a sign for the franchise growing. Not at the "through the roof" rate like it was in case of the Witcher, but slow and steady.

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Will it grow to AAA franchise levels? No. The game design itself works against that. POE is offering a style of gaming that some people clearly enjoy very much, but that's decidedly out of the mainstream. The first Witcher game's look and play style were a lot closer to the things that the average gamer liked and was familiar with.

 

Can it grow to attract a greater percentage of gamers who are interested in indie games? Yes, especially if the games continue to get good reviews. There are plenty of PC gamers who haven't tried POE, and I think that's where the growth potential is.

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Eveyone will be keenly watching Deadfire to see if it will be as impactful as the second game in the baldurs gate series.

 

Baldurs Gate 2 style. That is what the devs should be aiming for. If they can pull that off they hands down win the game

 

Witcher 3 had a budget of 85 million dollars. Pillars im assuming has a budget of around 5-10million. You can see the problem here.

True facts. But Witcher 3 only sold 6 million to Pillars 1 million; for a budget difference that extreme, Pillars making 1/6th the sales is pretty ****ing impressive.

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The Witcher series' growth got supporting shots from a lot of other factors - CDProjekt is a major publishing house in Poland, which in fact localised some of the old school CRPGs (I think including BG), and created GOG. They were able to take advantage of these other revenue streams, as well as lower costs in Poland, to massively expand the scope of their games and the size of their teams - plus, of course, the commercial success of TW1&2. 

 

I think it'll be extremely difficult for Obsidian, a California-based studio which is stuck in the impossible financial swamp of being a US-based independent developer, one which was laying people off left and right to survive before POE KS, one which still has to scramble to keep growth going, to do the same thing. Not to mention that, as we can see, POE2 already involves Obsidian drawing on their future profits to fund their current game, which is what Kickstarter/Fig is from the producer perspective. 

 

BG2, in terms of the sales it got, and how ridiculously large the game managed to be relative to its production time and team size, etc., is pretty much a unique one-off. Its a game the people who worked on it look back on and say "that was crazy and I don't know it worked out", and it should never, ever be the yardstick for you to anticipate any game, unless you enjoy disappointment.

Edited by Tigranes
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BG2 was a once-in-an-era accident of brilliance. It's a masterwork that happened because of a unique gelling of time, talent, and circumstance. It's a lighting strike--something you can't predict and can't replicate.

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Don't want it. A franchise like Pillars could never be mainstream without being dumbed down. Hertzila is right when he says that complex games are the exception nowadays. The standard now is dumbed down, brainless, cringing as hell sacks of emptiness. Even though it's Obsidian, i fear that they end up giving in to the appeal of mass market. Bioware did it when EA bought them.

 

That's why i'm already worried about the fact that Sawyer may dumb down the game mechanics "because people find it difficult to understand them", failling to see in the process that they could not understand them because tooltips where awfully done. I'm not interested by a strategic combat declination of Pillars ala "Fallout Tactics". Nor i am in a 1st person open world aRPG. If Open world, 1st person,  but true, deep, hardcore RPG, then... maybe. But i already find that Pillars 1 is dumbed down in its Roleplay mechanics. Which, in the end, is my major grievance against the game (to illustrate: rest and food bonuses, the stash, the ability to heal everything just by sleeping, and so on).

 

What is it that you need to make a game mainstream? Unless you find a way to roll time back to the 90's, you need to find a common denominator to the mass. And the largest your target is, the lowest the denominator is. That's why Zenimax craped Skyrim and Fallout 4 and Electronics Arts craped Mass Effect Andomeda, Dragon Age 2 and Dragon Age Inquisition. No mainstream, thanks.

Edited by Abel

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The Witcher series' growth got supporting shots from a lot of other factors - CDProjekt is a major publishing house in Poland, which in fact localised some of the old school CRPGs (I think including BG), and created GOG. They were able to take advantage of these other revenue streams, as well as lower costs in Poland, to massively expand the scope of their games and the size of their teams - plus, of course, the commercial success of TW1&2. 

 

I think it'll be extremely difficult for Obsidian, a California-based studio which is stuck in the impossible financial swamp of being a US-based independent developer, one which was laying people off left and right to survive before POE KS, one which still has to scramble to keep growth going, to do the same thing. Not to mention that, as we can see, POE2 already involves Obsidian drawing on their future profits to fund their current game, which is what Kickstarter/Fig is from the producer perspective. 

 

BG2, in terms of the sales it got, and how ridiculously large the game managed to be relative to its production time and team size, etc., is pretty much a unique one-off. Its a game the people who worked on it look back on and say "that was crazy and I don't know it worked out", and it should never, ever be the yardstick for you to anticipate any game, unless you enjoy disappointment.

 

What you say here is very informative. I do agree that BG2 is a one off and thus I did not attempt to connect that game to PoE & the Witcher series. Again, right now when talking about numbers we can only compare PoE with the original Witcher game. PoE 2 is still a long way away. I hadn't thought about all the advantages CDPR have by being a Polish developer with all the extra help and cash flows.

 

In any case, if PoE 2 does a Witcher 2 and sales spike up exponentially, is it still that much more difficult to reach a Witcher 3 level of quality for PoE 3?

 

I admit, I want Obsidian to reach AAA with PoE because it's their flagship title. This is of course an unpopular opinion but I'm ok with it not being an isometric RPG anymore because to me the story, the world, and the lore matters to me more now. It would be good for Obsidian too. They could use the success having struggled for so long. And shamelessly, I want another developer that is an automatic purchase for me the way Bioware used to be until today, lol. 

Edited by Skyleaf

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I doubt it. I like PoE well enough, but I don't see Obsidian being able to make a TES-like game or TwitcherClone or MassEffect sort of thing set in Eora given their budget.

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"Take your child murderin' god and shove his him up his own ass."-Volorun

 

"...the vote of a black redhead disabled homosexual transsexual Jew should probably be worth the same as at least a hundred white heterosexual Christians."-Rostere

 

"i can think of many women i would gladly sleep with, but not a single one that i would want as a girlfriend/wife... neither real nor fictional."-teknoman2

 

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Bioware did it when EA bought them.

Didn't a bunch of the core Bioware team--writers, leads, etc.--leave after EA bought them? I mean, Jade Empire and 3/4 of Mass Effect were prior to EA and they both show a *LOT* of that "dumbed down" stuff that you think EA forced on them.

Edited by Katarack21

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Bioware did it when EA bought them.

Didn't a bunch of the core Bioware team--writers, leads, etc.--leave after EA bought them? I mean, Jade Empire and 3/4 of Mass Effect were prior to EA and they both show a *LOT* of that "dumbed down" stuff that you think EA forced on them.

 

Not right away I believe. That seems to be the case now though.

"Take your child murderin' god and shove his him up his own ass."-Volorun

 

"...the vote of a black redhead disabled homosexual transsexual Jew should probably be worth the same as at least a hundred white heterosexual Christians."-Rostere

 

"i can think of many women i would gladly sleep with, but not a single one that i would want as a girlfriend/wife... neither real nor fictional."-teknoman2

 

"I'm all for killing dogs in film." - algroth

 

"Iselmyr is the one who did GOMAD... Aloth is lactose intolerant" -ShadySands

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Tamper with and try to improve for the worse on the classic IE-formula too much and you'll get something like Tyranny, which - surprise surprise - doesn't exactly sit well with the cRPG audience, going by the underwhelming sales figures.

 

While I'm not a fan of Tyranny at all, I seriously doubt that's the reason it sold worse than PoE.  Because from what I've seen, many of the core audience of PoE like Tyranny.

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Bioware did it when EA bought them.

Didn't a bunch of the core Bioware team--writers, leads, etc.--leave after EA bought them? I mean, Jade Empire and 3/4 of Mass Effect were prior to EA and they both show a *LOT* of that "dumbed down" stuff that you think EA forced on them.

 

 

Yes, absolutely. I made some researchs in the past, and what i understood is that the 2 remaining funders of Bioware agreed with EA buying them. They both quit Bioware several years ago. And a lot of people from the original Bioware quit over the years after EA bought them. It almost seems liike the 2 remaining co funders saw a way to make cash, and started to dumb down their games (did not play Mass Effect, but Dragon Age: Origins is still a good example of game developed before EA). I could even add to help your point that EA renamed numbers of random studios they owned across the world "Bioware XXX" while none had anything to do with Bioware, just to cash on the studio's name (like The remnants of Interplay tried to cash on the Black Isle name not so long ago (it was so pitiful though..)). And hence, a good part of the crap Bioware sell nowadays is actually not actual Bioware work. But Inquisition is. And still, it's not even comparable to what the already somewhat crappy Origins was. Inquisition had a lot more of the dumbed down features i mentionned than Origins. At the very least, it's hard not to notice that EA made no good to the studio in this regard.

 

But still, i really don't think that Dragon Age 2 would have been the same, or even existed without EA. Publishers nowadays are almighty, because... cash. They are the ones who can pay the salaries and they force disingenuous conditions on the studios who need the money not to shut down. They aim for mainstrem games, mass market. Obviously i would find that Pillars and mainstream should not fit together.

Edited by Abel

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The Witcher series' growth got supporting shots from a lot of other factors - CDProjekt is a major publishing house in Poland, which in fact localised some of the old school CRPGs (I think including BG), and created GOG. They were able to take advantage of these other revenue streams, as well as lower costs in Poland, to massively expand the scope of their games and the size of their teams - plus, of course, the commercial success of TW1&2. 

 

I think it'll be extremely difficult for Obsidian, a California-based studio which is stuck in the impossible financial swamp of being a US-based independent developer, one which was laying people off left and right to survive before POE KS, one which still has to scramble to keep growth going, to do the same thing. Not to mention that, as we can see, POE2 already involves Obsidian drawing on their future profits to fund their current game, which is what Kickstarter/Fig is from the producer perspective. 

 

BG2, in terms of the sales it got, and how ridiculously large the game managed to be relative to its production time and team size, etc., is pretty much a unique one-off. Its a game the people who worked on it look back on and say "that was crazy and I don't know it worked out", and it should never, ever be the yardstick for you to anticipate any game, unless you enjoy disappointment.

 

What you say here is very informative. I do agree that BG2 is a one off and thus I did not attempt to connect that game to PoE & the Witcher series. Again, right now when talking about numbers we can only compare PoE with the original Witcher game. PoE 2 is still a long way away. I hadn't thought about all the advantages CDPR have by being a Polish developer with all the extra help and cash flows.

 

In any case, if PoE 2 does a Witcher 2 and sales spike up exponentially, is it still that much more difficult to reach a Witcher 3 level of quality for PoE 3?

 

I admit, I want Obsidian to reach AAA with PoE because it's their flagship title. This is of course an unpopular opinion but I'm ok with it not being an isometric RPG anymore because to me the story, the world, and the lore matters to me more now. It would be good for Obsidian too. They could use the success having struggled for so long. And shamelessly, I want another developer that is an automatic purchase for me the way Bioware used to be until today, lol. 

 

 

I don't want to say it's impossible, of course, only that it's improbable. I think POE did well to hit a million sales given its niche stylings, and I don't see how POE2 would suddenly become a multi-million breakout hit. BG2 improved on BG1 sales, but BG was a huge hit with a very high profile back then. 

 

Remember that Obsidian have wanted to make games lke POE for a long time, but they simply could not find a way to make it an AAA title, which needs these days tens of millions of dollars and an expectation that you could make that tens of millions back. I don't think any big publisher is looking at POE and thinking "we were wrong, we should have funded this ourselves". When Feargus and others used to go to publishers and say "we need 50m to make the next Baldur's Gate" they used to scoff "no business sense, amigo" and I think they won't feel like POE is proof otherwise.

 

Obsidian continues to invest in making AAA games, and all indications suggest there's one multi-platform publisher-funded title in the works. 

Edited by Tigranes
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