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Katrina Garsten leaves Obsidian


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Uh, what an awkward time a few weeks before release. I get the campaign is basically over but still. There were only just interviews coming out with her advertising the game.

 

Umm, not really. Her work on Deadfire is pretty much done at this point and if she is moving on to an another company it would be really pointless to have her start working on something else at Obsidian. Fig campaign isn't a full time gig at this point either. Most of that work was done prior to the whole campaign even starting and during the launch.

 

The campaign is almost done. They will have few updates before the release date and she was the producer responsible for the art team, her part is done in that area. They aren't going to create any more effects or art into the game 3 weeks before launch. The artists are busy working on DLC stuff or have moved on to an another game completely.

 

It doesn't look good. This can easily be interpreted as her being fired, like there is trouble at Obsidian, especially coupled with the delay and for what? Just so she can move on a few weeks earlier?

 

 

Umm, no. She travelled to Australia to promote the game on her last week at Obsidian. No company would fly out a person being fired to promote their game in another continent when they have other people available to do that. 

Job opportunities come and go fast in the gaming business. If she waits a month longer, the position will be gone and who knows when something like that will open up in a company she wants to work for. And if she is the kinda person that doesn't want to leave in the middle of the project, we are speaking about staying at Obsidian a lot longer. 

Shipped game looks better on her CV/resume than leaving 6 months into the next project. You can't really point out and say I did that, that and especially that area when someone comes in later on and does the rest for you.

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What did she do for Obsidian, PR / advertising? 

 

Heh... glad I wasn't the first to ask that.  I feel like I'm out of the loop on all things Obsidian.

 

Chris Avellone still works at Obsidian, right?  :-

 

Wait, Obsidian? I thought these were the Black Isle forums?

 

Black Isle forums? I thought this was No Mutants Allowed and we were talking about MCA. :biggrin:

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Uh, what an awkward time a few weeks before release. I get the campaign is basically over but still. There were only just interviews coming out with her advertising the game.

 

Umm, not really. Her work on Deadfire is pretty much done at this point and if she is moving on to an another company it would be really pointless to have her start working on something else at Obsidian. Fig campaign isn't a full time gig at this point either. Most of that work was done prior to the whole campaign even starting and during the launch.

 

The campaign is almost done. They will have few updates before the release date and she was the producer responsible for the art team, her part is done in that area. They aren't going to create any more effects or art into the game 3 weeks before launch. The artists are busy working on DLC stuff or have moved on to an another game completely.

 

It doesn't look good. This can easily be interpreted as her being fired, like there is trouble at Obsidian, especially coupled with the delay and for what? Just so she can move on a few weeks earlier?

 

 

Umm, no. She travelled to Australia to promote the game on her last week at Obsidian. No company would fly out a person being fired to promote their game in another continent when they have other people available to do that. 

Job opportunities come and go fast in the gaming business. If she waits a month longer, the position will be gone and who knows when something like that will open up in a company she wants to work for. And if she is the kinda person that doesn't want to leave in the middle of the project, we are speaking about staying at Obsidian a lot longer. 

Shipped game looks better on her CV/resume than leaving 6 months into the next project. You can't really point out and say I did that, that and especially that area when someone comes in later on and does the rest for you.

 

Not everyone is aware of the information you seem to have. Despite the development honesty for fans and backers Obsidian isn't much more transparent than other companies. I maintain this creates an unnecessary and avoidable image of issues. Whether or not there are actual problem is not so much a concern as the overall impression this will end up having on potential customers, be it through reviewers and other influential writers with preconceived opinions, gamer gossip or their own, possibly wrong, conclusions.

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You're right. They certainly wouldn't notify us if the company was in shambles right before the release of a flagship game... I'm not saying the company is in shambles, just saying that if it was - realistically we don't really know, we assume things based on the "evidence" we recieve. But it's fixed evidence, is it not? I mean, we do not live with the workers and we don't work there. They do not owe us any real solid explanation even though some people here may like to believe otherwise.

 

All good businesses are ran much like politics, we'd be foolish if we think they'd tell us everything. Running the business like a politics doesn't make the company good, but it does make them smart because they can trick us fans into anything if they wanted to. This is business 101 and common knowledge for those who take business in college. Creating a positive space and maintaining apparence with your audience, keeping your customer base, these are the biggest goals of any business. Telling the stories that no-one wants to tell is not.

 

It is quite different to tell why people are leaving your company, than to tell people your company's success story in a from rags-to-riches video. Nobody in the right mind would overly expose themselves to fans/consumers with the risk of media backlash of it eas something serious, after all. Do we know if it is? No, again, we can only assume based on explanations goven to us. Whatever, they may be.

 

My talk about business is in general, not just on Obsidian. Just so nobody misunderstands.

Just what do you think you're doing?! You dare to come between me and my prey? Is it a habit of yours to scurry about, getting in the way and causing bother?

 

What are you still bothering me for? I'm a Knight. I'm not interested in your childish games. I need my rest.

 

Begone! Lest I draw my nail...

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My talk about business is in general, not just on Obsidian. Just so nobody misunderstands.

 

True but they still have to deliver a great game and that is a bit harder to spin than politics. I trust Obsidian, or any business, because of their track record not because of their press releases.

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Not everyone is aware of the information you seem to have. Despite the development honesty for fans and backers Obsidian isn't much more transparent than other companies. I maintain this creates an unnecessary and avoidable image of issues. Whether or not there are actual problem is not so much a concern as the overall impression this will end up having on potential customers, be it through reviewers and other influential writers with preconceived opinions, gamer gossip or their own, possibly wrong, conclusions.

 

 

Most people won't even know she has left the company, let alone know who Katrina Garsten is.

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You're right. They certainly wouldn't notify us if the company was in shambles right before the release of a flagship game... I'm not saying the company is in shambles, just saying that if it was - realistically we don't really know, we assume things based on the "evidence" we recieve. But it's fixed evidence, is it not? I mean, we do not live with the workers and we don't work there. They do not owe us any real solid explanation even though some people here may like to believe otherwise.

 

All good businesses are ran much like politics, we'd be foolish if we think they'd tell us everything. Running the business like a politics doesn't make the company good, but it does make them smart because they can trick us fans into anything if they wanted to. This is business 101 and common knowledge for those who take business in college. Creating a positive space and maintaining apparence with your audience, keeping your customer base, these are the biggest goals of any business. Telling the stories that no-one wants to tell is not.

 

It is quite different to tell why people are leaving your company, than to tell people your company's success story in a from rags-to-riches video. Nobody in the right mind would overly expose themselves to fans/consumers with the risk of media backlash of it eas something serious, after all. Do we know if it is? No, again, we can only assume based on explanations goven to us. Whatever, they may be.

 

My talk about business is in general, not just on Obsidian. Just so nobody misunderstands.

 

If a company was in shambles, we would know about it. It wouldn't be just 1 or 2 people leaving, it would be a lot more. One person leaving is nothing in company of 180 people. 1 month delay is nothing, if you look at the overall development time (about 2 years) that's just business as usual.

Usually a lot more than 1 person switches the company they work for when a project is done. Some want a change and some's contract just run out when the game is "finished" and they won't be renewed due to various reasons.

 

I've seen plenty of people trying to create panic on these forums over pretty much nothing with no facts at all. It's kinda boring and silly, when everyone could have just looked at LinkedIn and see what Katrina's role was on the game.

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Hard to say that we would know anything about it because some companies are better at handling situations better than others. I think people here are assuming that Obsidian would owe them more explantion more than they actually do.

 

This isn't me trying to create panic over Katrina and others leaving Obsidian lol I'm just saying that people here are defending Katrina leaving as if it was a good thing for Obsidian or if it wouldn't affect Obsidian at all. Simply isn't true. It's obviously good for Katrina, since it was her decision but that's all we know. Nobody knows why exactly she left - we were only given the bleak reasoning of "She wanted to pursue other things." That is not very assuring for a positive response... no matter what perspective we choose to see it except that Katrina freed herself. Like I said, we really know nothing, exceot that which we are given.

 

On what I know, in business, if say a woman is harassed by co-workers and decides to leave a company, it's only a 30/70 chance that the public would ever find out about it. And more likely that even the public finding about it much later, not saying this would be the case with Katrina but just a prime example. Between that there are also so much more pending variables to why we may only get a certain amount of information.

Just what do you think you're doing?! You dare to come between me and my prey? Is it a habit of yours to scurry about, getting in the way and causing bother?

 

What are you still bothering me for? I'm a Knight. I'm not interested in your childish games. I need my rest.

 

Begone! Lest I draw my nail...

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On what I know, in business, if say a woman is harassed by co-workers and decides to leave a company, it's only a 30/70 chance that the public would ever find out about it. And more likely that even the public finding about it much later, not saying this would be the case with Katrina but just a prime example. Between that there are also so much more pending variables to why we may only get a certain amount of information.

 

Let's try and keep too much idle speculation out of this discussion.  It doesn't do Katrina or Obsidian any favors to cast rumors on her departure.  Yes, workplace harassment in the tech industry is absolutely a valid topic, but absent any public statement, it's unfair to both her and the company to suggest it was a factor in this case.

 

Game development is a small and volatile industry.  Sometimes the best way to move up in the world is simply to move elsewhere.

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Hard to say that we would know anything about it because some companies are better at handling situations better than others. I think people here are assuming that Obsidian would owe them more explantion more than they actually do.

 

This isn't me trying to create panic over Katrina and others leaving Obsidian lol I'm just saying that people here are defending Katrina leaving as if it was a good thing for Obsidian or if it wouldn't affect Obsidian at all. Simply isn't true. It's obviously good for Katrina, since it was her decision but that's all we know. Nobody knows why exactly she left - we were only given the bleak reasoning of "She wanted to pursue other things." That is not very assuring for a positive response... no matter what perspective we choose to see it except that Katrina freed herself. Like I said, we really know nothing, exceot that which we are given.

 

On what I know, in business, if say a woman is harassed by co-workers and decides to leave a company, it's only a 30/70 chance that the public would ever find out about it. And more likely that even the public finding about it much later, not saying this would be the case with Katrina but just a prime example. Between that there are also so much more pending variables to why we may only get a certain amount of information.

 

Are you one of those people who go around teling everyone that the end is coming? Because you sure do sound like that.

 

You try to find the most absolutely ****ed up thing about a completely normal situation and throw hints at how it could be this or that without any proof. F***, even Avellone himself said there was nothing out of the ordinary in Katrina moving on. If there was, he would be the 1st one to throw stones at Obsidian and he seems to know where Katrina is headed.

 

No one has said that her leaving is a good thing for Obsidian. We've and mostly I have been saying that it is completely normal in the gaming business to pursue a promotion in an another company or move closer to your family or your spouses family. Why anyone would even drop hints that just because a female worker is leaving it could be sexual harrasment is beyond my reasoning. Yes, you aren't creating panic... right.

 

Obsidian can't disclose why or where Katrina is going. Obviously the people there know as well which company she is going to work for and why. They would break that trust between an employee and employer if they would comment on it more. If you are sitting there and waiting for Feargus to come down and explain why a 1 individual out of 180 is moving on with her career you will be sorely disappointed, every damn time.

 

So far the evidence points at Bethesda Austin, which would be a great career move for her. They are hiring producers and she liked their post on LinkedIn about hiring. That's pretty much the only hint we have on why or where she is going. Rest is just you spewing nonsense and seeing if something sticks on the wall.

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Yeah. It'd be great if we'd suppress our inner doomsayers and fearmongers at least three notches.

 

There's no reason to even discuss that something untoward has happened here.

 

Here I was, hoping this thread would be used to say farewell to Katrina Garsten, instead it turned into something smearing Obsidian with doom and gloom and the end is nigh talk.

Not. Fun. At. All.

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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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https://www.impulsegamer.com/katrina-garsten-interview-pillars-eternity-ii-deadfire/

 

We catch-up with Katrina Garsten, a producer at Obsidian Entertainment on Pillars of Eternity II. Katrina manages the crowdfunding campaign, backer content and Pillars of Eternity II artists.

 

From little I know about game development the art department ends their work first. I would hope that at that late stage the art people are either completely done, or are finishing up.

 

Deadfire updates will never be the same without KG. Fare thee well, Katrina, and good luck.

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You guys aren't listening lol I never said that it was all happening at Obsidian, I was simply discussing the facts of how businesses are ran. It's not speculative assumptions.

 

I even said that my comments were not about Obsidian, so there's no reason to get defensive about it.

 

In hindsight, you guys are actually repeating what I already said but in a way which highlights good faith in honesty from businesses. I think we can all agree that no business is to 100% honest which was my point, overall.

 

Also, Obsidian not telling us what game company Katrina works next has nothing to do with confidentiality or legalities, they simply don't owe us anything no matter how much us fans think otherwise. Why talk about an employee you just lost and that has gone to a better job? After all, anyone can go to Katrina's twitter or facebook, etc and find out so there's that. It's not like she works for he government :p

Edited by SonicMage117

Just what do you think you're doing?! You dare to come between me and my prey? Is it a habit of yours to scurry about, getting in the way and causing bother?

 

What are you still bothering me for? I'm a Knight. I'm not interested in your childish games. I need my rest.

 

Begone! Lest I draw my nail...

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Yes, you aren't directly saying it's that, but you are casually hinting it might be which is pretty pointless. I see the game you are playing, sorry buddy.

 

Actually, in some cases the employee isn't allowed to say in public where he/she is going to work before the new employer announces it. Not sure how often it is used in gaming. I guess it would depend on the position and the company. It's a common courtesy to not go public about such things and therefore it would break the trust between the employer/co-workers and the former employee even if there weren't any legalities involved.

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I don't care if you're trying to make me look like the crazy preacher for stating facts on how business work, if you consider stating facts of how business works that's on you. You obviously do not know how these things work, there's no reason to get mad at me because I do.

 

What kind of businesses are you referring to which uohold these types of contracts? Think about it carefully. And where is the proof that smaller lesser followed video game companies much like Obsidian work under such conditions or if at all.

 

My comments certainly have a point, there's no reason to keep going off topic to try to disprove truth of how business structure works.

 

Obsidian's moreorless generic answer of "Katrina left to persue other/better things" is not an honest answer to the public and you'd have to be crazy to think so since that is th most common answer for companies that do not want to be so transparent. So why people feel they have to defend Obsidian and try to make them look like they are being any more honest than any other business is beyond me.

Just what do you think you're doing?! You dare to come between me and my prey? Is it a habit of yours to scurry about, getting in the way and causing bother?

 

What are you still bothering me for? I'm a Knight. I'm not interested in your childish games. I need my rest.

 

Begone! Lest I draw my nail...

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Am I a fan of Obsidian's? Yup.

 

Do I own a business? Sure do.

 

Is Obsidian a business? You're damn right it is.

 

As a business owner, would I like to have "fans" churning out innuendo posts about my company being "not honest", or potentially treating employees badly? No. 

 

Would I like to see my company lumped together in seemingly vague and general discussions about some corporate crisis? Nope. 

 

Would I appreciate if topics were made time and time again, where features of my latest game are strawmanned as potential upcoming failures in various ways. No, por favor!

 

Mind you, I'm not advocating for censorship, here. But I'm saying enough is enough, the generic guise notwithstanding.

and sadly, I hereby vote for this thread getting closed.

 

I'm sorry for even taking the bait and thereby contributing to this whimsical slander dance, but I couldn't just stand by this time.

 

I'm no longer amused.

Edited by IndiraLightfoot
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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Am I a fan of Obsidian's? Yup.

 

Do I own a business? Sure do.

 

Is Obsidian a business? You're damn right it is.

 

As a business owner, would I like to have "fans" churning out innuendo posts about my company being "not honest", or potentially treating employees badly? No. 

 

Would I like to see my company lumped together in seemingly vague and general discussions about some corporate crisis? Nope. 

 

Would I appreciate if topics were made time and time again, where features of my latest game are strawmanned as potential upcoming failures in various ways. No, por favor!

 

Mind you, I'm not advocating for censorship, here. But I'm saying enough is enough, the generic guise notwithstanding.

and sadly, I hereby vote for this thread getting closed.

 

I'm sorry for even taking the bait and thereby contributing to this whimsical slander dance, but I couldn't just stand by this time.

 

I'm no longer amused.

 

I rather not see a thread get closed because you're angry over one troll you can easily ignore.  One of the things I like about this board is mods not closing every topic because someone gets angry.

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It's just trolling if you guys disagree with it. There's no way to fight what I said, I took business classes, having a history in business is how I landed my job.

 

So, me pointing out these simple facts of how businesses are ran didn't warrant personal attacks. After all, what I said wasn't direct attacks against Obsidian. I, too, am a fan, if I wasn't I wouldn't be buying/backing Obsidian's games.

 

With that said, you guys are free to believe what you want. There's nothing wrong with that. I'm certainly not going to call people names just because they disagree with me or get angry. It's fine but there was nothing wrong with anything I said - though people are trying super hard to disprove it. It will just look silly to anyone who knows how businesses are ran and aren't a fan of Obsidian who come to the forum and read this.

Edited by SonicMage117

Just what do you think you're doing?! You dare to come between me and my prey? Is it a habit of yours to scurry about, getting in the way and causing bother?

 

What are you still bothering me for? I'm a Knight. I'm not interested in your childish games. I need my rest.

 

Begone! Lest I draw my nail...

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Am I a fan of Obsidian's? Yup.

 

Do I own a business? Sure do.

 

Is Obsidian a business? You're damn right it is.

 

As a business owner, would I like to have "fans" churning out innuendo posts about my company being "not honest", or potentially treating employees badly? No. 

 

Would I like to see my company lumped together in seemingly vague and general discussions about some corporate crisis? Nope. 

 

Would I appreciate if topics were made time and time again, where features of my latest game are strawmanned as potential upcoming failures in various ways. No, por favor!

 

Mind you, I'm not advocating for censorship, here. But I'm saying enough is enough, the generic guise notwithstanding.

and sadly, I hereby vote for this thread getting closed.

 

I'm sorry for even taking the bait and thereby contributing to this whimsical slander dance, but I couldn't just stand by this time.

 

I'm no longer amused.

 

I rather not see a thread get closed because you're angry over one troll you can easily ignore.  One of the things I like about this board is mods not closing every topic because someone gets angry.

 

I wouldn't even have made my post if my concern was personal in some way. So, no, I'm not angry in the slighest. And what I talk about has really nothing to with "trolling" or some "troll".

I am simply concerned about Obsidian as a company, both as a fan and a company owner myself. Forum playground squabble stuff, I couldn't care less about.

*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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I guess some people just care about Katrina more than others. How this became a "Stop attacking Obsidian with passive aggressive comments to stir up drama" I'm not sure. Oh well, forum life or whatever. We can let it go one ear and out the other and continue to write I suppose without letting the emotional responses get to us.

 

It's not a sin to be concerned about what may be happening or not happening. Discussing logically sound possibilities isn't being paranoid or stirring discord/mischief among the forums. People telling people what to do or how to act on the internet never goes over smoothly, especially when those expressing their concern are not the ones acting out of place. There is also nothing wrong with wanting to know more about something, regardless of how many of the other fans want to keep the concerned fans from doing so. What really is the big issue? Nobody wants to hear or find out something they don't like, so that is the risk that we must protect.

 

 

What validates the concern is pretty much wtitten in the wall, with the common excuse of "It's normal for companies to lose and gain people". If we are being honest, it's not normal for a company to suddenly lose someone that has become as iconic as the next iconic person in staff. And realistically, we're at that point to where Katrina was known to some moreso than evem Josh Sawyer himself, before the defenses come up that this isn't true, let's not forget that Katrina became the shining face of Deadfire's backer videos. That is enough to validate the concern of any fan whosoever seems fit to deem themselves as such.

 

Her job title seems to be another excuse I've seen flying around the net: "She wasn't as valuable as Josh or anyone else working on the game". On the contrary, she was just as valuable and it's her job title that causes this thread to be made and validated in the first place. Some people will know Katrina more than Josh, because of the videos and her having more time on them, that's common sense. From the awkwardness of Obsidian losing what is basically their spokesperson and person representing the company, the face of Obsidian (more than Josh Sawyer), it's not so out of character to conclude that there may or may not be something to be concerned about, chosing to be one and not the other doesn't make anyone's argument less sound. However, there is always the fighting excuse losing the face of Obsidian other than to give the unintelligible answer: "Sh** happens." Which makes one side seem less logical than the other simply because they cannot give a solid answer.

 

Whatever the case, if her moving on from Obsidian is enough to cause all this then that undoubtedly proves that she really is irreplaceable, and we will certainly miss Katrina, she obviously wasn't happy there which is why she left. No harm in stating that either... If you ever read this, we wish you well Katrina! ALL THE BEST :)

Just what do you think you're doing?! You dare to come between me and my prey? Is it a habit of yours to scurry about, getting in the way and causing bother?

 

What are you still bothering me for? I'm a Knight. I'm not interested in your childish games. I need my rest.

 

Begone! Lest I draw my nail...

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I don't get all this conspiracy nonsense. Gamebiz is like this: Projects end, some people remain while other people move on and start new chapters in their lives. If you get a good offer, you take it. That is how you build your carreer. That is perfectly normal behaviour in any business.

 

I just want to say big thanks to Katrina Garsten for helping PoE2 to become such a sucess. As a loyal Obsidian fan and their long time consumer, I think her input on PoE2 campaign was awesome. Putting a shipped game like PoE2 in a resume should be a great achievement. :)

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There is no conspiracy nonsense going on here, I mean, nobody is projecting that there is something diabolical going on within Obsidian or anything silly like that & someone showing genuine concern doesn't mean they have a negative outlook about the company, they probably care more.. Being an iconic part of a company and even more importantly, a company that operates as a family is enough to make me really wonder deeper on the subject. It's not always about the money and not everyone has the selfish mindset of building careers off of using companies as stepping stones. I'd like to think she had more integrity than that, there are of course, many other variables to consider that nobody wants to admit/mention but if someone is struggling, I could see how higher pay and a pat on the back would make them think otherwise.

 

Katrina is and will always be a bright shining star if Obsidian's past. May she forever burn bright. We do not typically think of Sawyer, Furgus or even Dowling when we think of Deadfire videos, Katrina is. To that respect, as backers/fans, we should always cheerish these memories and never downplay her role in light of her parting. With much respect and adoration, safe journey Katrina - forever immortalized in the backer videos :)

Just what do you think you're doing?! You dare to come between me and my prey? Is it a habit of yours to scurry about, getting in the way and causing bother?

 

What are you still bothering me for? I'm a Knight. I'm not interested in your childish games. I need my rest.

 

Begone! Lest I draw my nail...

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There is no conspiracy nonsense going on here, I mean, nobody is projecting that there is something diabolical going on within Obsidian or anything silly like that & someone showing genuine concern doesn't mean they have a negative outlook about the company, they probably care more.. Being an iconic part of a company and even more importantly, a company that operates as a family is enough to make me really wonder deeper on the subject. It's not always about the money and not everyone has the selfish mindset of building careers off of using companies as stepping stones. I'd like to think she had more integrity than that, there are of course, many other variables to consider that nobody wants to admit/mention but if someone is struggling, I could see how higher pay and a pat on the back would make them think otherwise.

 

I should have probably not even replied in this thread since we're just outsiders debating about a very personal subject. At the end of day this is all speculation. :) But since I'm already here, I will just add that In general the reason for someone leaving a company can be a better offer, a personal reason of some kind, wanting to try something new or any number of other perfectly valid causes. As for Katrina (or any other developer who decides to leave Obsidian), we aren't privy of her personal life or even work life other than what she wants to share on social media.

 

I get why you desire to wonder deeper since you care, but I think you're seeing smoke where there isn't. Secondly I think that there is nothing inherently improper or dirty in wanting to advance in one's career. When a long project ends, it is natural to begin thinking of one's options and place in life. Remaining in one place and in the same position many many years doesn't seem very beneficial to me. When your professional skills grow and you gain more experience, it is sensible to look for more senior level positions and even better salary. And by doing that, your expertise grows even further and you make room for someone else who wants to get his or her foot in the business. It is not showing lack of integrity for a person wanting to advance.

Edited by Carados
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