Obsidian Working On Pillars Of Eternity 2 & New IP

Maybe it’s safe to assume that any remotely successful game has a sequel in production, but it’s still nice to hear confirmation. Obsidian’s trad-fantasy RPG Pillars of Eternity, which John enjoyed so much, has a sequel in very early production, says the company’s CEO.

In an interview with gamepressure.com, Feargus Urquhart stated the obvious:

Obviously, as you’ve probably guessed, we’re starting to move forward on [Pillars of] Eternity II. That is probably something that we want to look at [in terms of crowdfunding]. I think people felt like we delivered on our promise, and then that felt like we could go with Eternity II and people would support us again, because they trust us.

Eternity II is not announced, [but] it seems silly for me not to acknowledge it, though. If someone asks “Are you working on it?”, I respond “Well, wouldn’t you work on it?”. So then they say “So you must be working on it”, and then I’m like “Well, yeah”.

That the game exists doesn’t surprise me, but I’m always slightly surprised when companies return to the crowdfunding well for a second dip on the same series. I guess it makes sense from a financial perspective, but I suppose I hoped that the first game’s profits would fund the sequel while crowdfunding was left to new ideas.

New ideas which it seems Obsidian are also working on. In the same interview, Urquhart apparently mentioned “that there’s a small group of people within the studio that’s working on something completely new, but he didn’t want to share any details yet.” Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky, designers of Fallout and Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, “came up while talking about this project” and “it might have something to do with the prototype based on the Unreal Engine.” Hmm!

Obsidian are already working on a properly-announced new RPG called Tyranny, in which you play a bad person in a world where the villains have already won. Adam wrote about that back in March.

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33 Comments

  1. Werthead says:

    “that there’s a small group of people within the studio that’s working on something completely new, but he didn’t want to share any details yet.” Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky, designers of Fallout and Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, “came up while talking about this project” and “it might have something to do with the prototype based on the Unreal Engine.”

    The new Vampire project with Paradox? We can but hope.

    • SaintAn says:

      If we got an open world Fallout-like VtM game I think it would be so awesome it would kill me.

    • kud13 says:

      Or an Alpha Protocol-style game within the Old WoD setting… i’d totally Kickstart that.

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      caff says:

      The thought of that is making me attempt to squeeze cash into my the cracks around the edge of my monitor.

  2. Cinek says:

    Wohohoho! Great news. Looking forward to hear more!

    but I’m always slightly surprised when companies return to the crowdfunding well for a second dip on the same series

    Yea, me too… one would hope that after the success of the original they might be able to pull it off on their own. But none the less – I’ll be backing it anyway, just like I’d preorder it if it’d be up for preorders. PoE was one of the best RPGs are played in years, so going for a sequel is a no-brainier.

    • malkav11 says:

      I find it odd when people expect a company that’s achieved considerable success by crowdfunding their games not to revisit that funding source. It’s not like people go “oh, well, your publisher-funded game was a big hit, surely you can turn around and parlay that money into a new game on your own”. Besides, even if they do have the money to do it (which I don’t think is guaranteed just because something is successful), it never hurts to supplement it with another round of cash and get another wave of guaranteed interest. Either for the sake of financial security or a bigger game budget, or both.

      • Yugie says:

        The other thing about the whole crowdfunding deal is that it’s a bit disingenous to suggest that not crowdfunding would leave significantly more money to everyone else’s new ideas in the market. There isn’t a set amount of money in which all the corwdfunders take a slice of, the ideas that the crowdfunders bring or promise are what attracts the money in the first place.

        • manny says:

          On the other hand, perpetual crowdfunding sets the wrong precedent, turning a crowdfund platform into a preorder and interest system. It also tires out the audience for the product.
          As advertisers know, people only remain interested in something if you saturate their attention. They can’t keep it up for long periods. Crowdfunding only elongates something that isn’t that exciting boring audiences, who are sick of hearing about it.
          In contrast notice Battlefield 1 came out of nowhere and every body is crazy about it.
          don’t make the mistake of thinking your game is Hitman, which drip feeds ACTUAL content and gameplay instead of just news tidbits.

          • PegasusOrgans says:

            Tell Marvel that. Marvel, whose last movie, yet again, broke a billion bucks. If the people want it, there is no such thing as oversaturation.

    • suibhne says:

      Not picking on you – more of a commentary on Graham’s point, above – but it always surprises me when people don’t understand a return to crowdfunding. Yes, it would be awesome for a studio to garner enough profits that they can reinvest in the next project with no need for additional funding…but that’s never been the way the industry works, right? I mean, publisher-funded development is almost entirely a model of pre-funding, with almost nothing paid out in residuals post-release, which is why studios tend to go out of business immediately after a bad launch. Why would we expect crowdfunding to magically turn that entire investment timeline around? After all, you’re kicking money toward a specific project – it’s not like raw equity.

      Yes, crowdfunding almost certainly means a lot more sales margin for the developers than under the traditional publisher-funded model, but a game would still have to be a pretty large success for reinvestment to be significant – and the studio would have to retool its business processes to make that pivot.

    • PegasusOrgans says:

      Methinks both you and the article author do not understand the financial realities of selling a party based, isometric RPG throwback game in the year of our lord 2016. Just like those people that think you should easily be able to make a complex multi-layered game for 40k in 2016 and if you DON’T you must’ve just blown the cash. Game development costs far more than the annoying entitled modern gamers think they do. That’s why publishers set quotas of 6 million units… Pillars was not a massive seller. Besides, there are far more reasons for a Kickstarter campaign than just cash, you create a community and a marketing machine, you get people invested (pardon the pun) in the game.

  3. tomimt says:

    I still haven’t played Pillars through. After getting to the 3rd chpater it kinda felt like it lost steam after the 2nd chapter that was pretty strong.

    • The Great Wayne says:

      I finished it, but sadly the game never reach Baldur’s Gate heights regarding character writing, and combat is badly tuned, with mostly unchallenging fights (with an awful lot of superficial skills/features), then one or two very, very hard encounters.

      Didn’t buy the add-ons because of that, I hope they do hire more writers and spend more time on creating memorable characters for the sequel. Hell, I played this one last year and can’t remember a single one, while I can still quote Minsc, Khalid, Jaheira, Imoen, etc.

      First one was trying a lil bit too hard to play on the nostalgia factor, to the detriment of the gameplay. Hope the next one, as an installed franchise, will focus back on the gameplay and the writing.

      • exile2k4 says:

        I agree – it’s worth playing, and about 10 hours in I was loving it and planning out different characters/ways I’d replay the game, but it tailed off for me towards the end and I’ve never given it a second playthrough.

        I hope crowdfunding the second one works out ok for them, but personally I won’t be backing it, even though I was happy to back the first one. It’s definitely something I might buy after release if the reviews look good.

      • Zekiel says:

        I loved it (doing my 2nd playthrough now) but I do agree that their characters aren’t as memorable as Bioware’s. They’re quite satisfying on a cerebral level but not really on an emotional one.

    • PancakeWizard says:

      You have been already playing it this way already, but I recommend regularly going back to the Stronghold and working on a level or 2 of the dungeon therein. It breaks the game up nicely and ensures you’re more than keen to get back into the wider world each time.

      • Zekiel says:

        I’m choosing to believe there’s a missing “may” as the 2nd word there, otherwise you’re both psychic and your advice is redundant. :-)

  4. Premium User Badge

    Lars Westergren says:

    I’m very happy about PoE2, will gladly pledge again.

    I’m also hyped about a possible Bloodlines 2, but there are other possibilities. Obsidian are collaborating with Paizo to do Pathfinder games. They started with just the cardgame Rise of the Runelords which got released just a week or two ago for Android and iPhone and is pretty darn good IMO. But the CEO of Paizo said that this was a “first date” thing to test how things are working out. Since Pathfinder is a fork of D&D perhaps it would make more sense to use the PoE engine to do another Baldur’s Gate-like. It is likely what the fans want and would require a lot less investments in new tools&engines.

    • malkav11 says:

      I would much, much rather any Pathfinder RPG they do be turn-based, myself. Well, really I’d prefer anything they do of this sort be turn-based, but especially when adapting a turn-based tabletop system that’s most interesting because of the tactical complexity it offers.

    • Someoldguy says:

      I like Pathfinder as a PnP game, but I’d much rather they stuck to doing their own IP as their fantasy RPGs. That way none of the money is lost in paying 3rd parties for licences. Pathfinder is a particularly rules-heavy iteration of DnD, so there’s lots of effort that would have to be invested in making the PnP rules either work properly on the PC or time spent configuring a viable alternative that won’t upset the Pathfinder fans. All that is wasted time and money in my book and you’ll always be facing accusations of omitting somebody’s favourite class, skill, spell combo etc unless you adapt everything in the SRD.

      I’ll happily pledge money for PoE 2 to allow them to keep their creative freedom despite being a fan of DnD as a PnP game since 1977. That way they get to build the game as they think best and are less pressured to meet a specific deadline. Backing it was well worth the money imo. Just like Wasteland 2 and Divinity. All fell short of perfect but I don’t regret the time spent playing them.

      • Werthead says:

        I’m trying to remember the discussions about this on the Paizo message boards. My understanding of the situation was the d20 Open Game Licence which Paizo employ to use the D&D 3rd Edition rules for Pathfinder are explicitly for tabletop gaming only. To use them for video games they’d need permission from Wizards of the Coast, and that ain’t happening. It’s actually been a barrier to making Pathfinder video games in the past, as the perception is that the rules (basically 3rd Edition with the worse problems fixed or much-reduced) are the key appeal, as the fantasy world of Golarion itself is fairly standard. The alternative big hitter of Pathfinder are the adventure paths, which are pretty good. If the could adapt them into a video game, even with different rules, that would be quite interesting.

      • malkav11 says:

        They’re a large enough studio that they can work on a number of games at once and I’ve never gotten the sense that their working with Paizo was some sort of onerous shackle borne of a need for cold hard cash. Pretty sure they’re just big fans of Pathfinder and want to do something with it in the videogame space. While also doing Tyranny and PoE2 and whatever else they may have percolating.

  5. texman says:

    I would prefer more expansions/DLCs than a whole new game.
    For example, Heroes of Might and Magic 3 was an awesome game just because of his expansions. The base game was not so nice but the added content made it a complex perfect strategy game.

    • Zenicetus says:

      I think the problem with expansions vs. new game is character/party continuity. An expansion or DLC for an RPG usually presumes continuing with the same party you started with for the main game. That means creating new skills, gear, and stronger monsters for higher leveled characters. With a new game, they can focus more on improving the experience for players starting from scratch, fine-tuning the existing systems. In theory, anyway.

      Frankly, I didn’t find the characters or the story all that compelling in the first PoE anyway. I managed to finish the game and it was fun (with some problems, like too much trash mob spam and confusing world-building). But I didn’t buy the two DLC’s. I just didn’t find the party all that memorable that I wanted to spend more time with them, after finishing the main plot. I would look forward more to starting a new character with new party members, and a fresh story line.

  6. lglethal says:

    You read it here first!

    The new IP will be Vampires: The Masquerade set in the universe of Fallout! Current working title is Vampires: The Fallout Masquerade!

    Totally new IP, not derivative at all. *cough*

    ;)

  7. Xerophyte says:

    I didn’t know that Boyarsky had left Blizzard for Obsidian, neat-o. Say what you will about Diablo 3 (and Arcanum, and Fallout, and Bloodlines) but the environment art direction was fucking awesome and he is generally a man who knows what he is about.

    Now they just need to steal Jason Anderson from Turtle Rock to have the entire Troika back in action.

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    Sihoiba says:

    Not sure I’d play another Pillars. I played through it all and both parts of White March. I enjoyed chunks of it, but the game felt far too heavy on the wall of text exposition/world building characters, and I felt that combat never quite worked with how position based a lot of the effects are. And those effects also tended to make it impossible to see what was happening half the time too.

    I’m not sure I need to play another game in that mould.

  9. PancakeWizard says:

    but I’m always slightly surprised when companies return to the crowdfunding well for a second dip on the same series.

    The way I see it, is that they may have made enough money to stay operating but perhaps to fund an entire sequel it’s preferable to crowdfound rather than perhaps lose the IP to a publisher.

  10. fearandloathing says:

    Don’t want to get all emotional but as of now we are pretty certain that VtM will be handed to/handled by Obsidian and Paradox deserves a standing ovation for resurrecting the series in such a solid way. Of course this not charity, but they could’ve gone cheaper than Obsidian and just milk the title, which is terribly milk-able. I believe we’ll have an announcement after Tyranny is released, personally I’d prefer if they leave PoE2 until after the VtM game.

  11. chromedbustop says:

    I really wanted to like PoE. I wanted a more slow-paced RPG to play rather than the action rpgs which seem to be more prominent. I like those too, but I just wanted something different.

    I was hesitant about PoE because they were really emphasizing that “old-school” vibe. To the point of being really snobbish about it. And that’s pretty much how it turned out to be. The writing especially was just terrible. Bloated just so they could say “Oh look, we added a bunch of text because that’s what the classic games did!” But it seemed like they just took 500 words to say something they could have just as easily said in 50. And the added fat didn’t even provide any extra substance.

    It just felt like they were riding the nostalgia train too hard. I guess that was something they were pretty clear about doing, but I found it really off-putting. A lot of those classic games like Baldur’s Gate didn’t look and feel that way out of arrogance. They were limited by the technology available to them, and at the time they looked pretty darn good.

    Or it could just be that I find the idea of nostalgia to be really annoying. Either way, I didn’t get very far in PoE.