Obsidian Entertainment is best known for its excellent RPG games like Fallout New Vegas and Pillars of Eternity, both of which employ classic RPG elements. However, it’s been a challenge for the established developer to consistently receive the backing of publishers. Due to that, recent games have been made and supported through crowdfunding instead. Fallout New Vegas and Pillars of Eternity director Josh Sawyer recently spoke about why he now prefers crowdfunding.
Speaking to IGN, Sawyer explained why Obsidian Entertainment turned to the fans when it wanted to develop the first Pillars of Eternity game. He said: “At the time, we were in a desperate situation. We’re pitching everything to publishers, who know that we just had a huge layoff. They know they can get their way with us. They just have us over a barrel. There was this great energy at the company for doing a crowdfunding project.”
Publishers didn’t want a small-scale isometric RPG game like the one pitched by Obsidian, and that’s when it decided to try Kickstarter. Thanks to fans and their support, the project managed to reach its goal of $1.1 million in less than two days, and even almost reached $4 million, which made Pillars of Eternity the most funded game Kickstarter at that time.
Fallout New Vegas Director: The Pros Of Crowdfunding in Pillars Of Eternity
According to Sawyer, the pros of crowdfunding include allowing fans to “directly comment on designs and mechanics that they liked or disliked.” He added: “This style of game, the isometric role-playing game, whether you’re controlling a single character or a party of characters – the fans never left that style of game. Publishers left that style of game.” The constraints of players’ expectations and demands make it easier for the developer to actually make the game that players really want, instead of catering to the publisher’s broader expectations and hoping they “land somewhere in an area players like.”