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Microsoft Acquires Obsidian Entertainment and inXile Entertainment

Microsoft Acquires Obsidian Entertainment and inXile Entertainment - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 10 November 2018 / 6,204 Views

Microsoft on Xbox Inside at the Xbox X018 event announced it has acquired developers Obsidian Entertainment and inXile Entertainment.

Obsidian Entertainment is known for developing Fallout: New Vegas and Pillars of Eternity, while inXile Entertainment is known for Wasteland and The Bard’s Tale.


Here is an overview of the two studios:

Obsidian Entertainment was founded in 2003 in Irvine, Calif. by industry veterans from Black Isle Studios, led by Feargus Urquhart. The studio quickly made a name for itself with the Xbox exclusive Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords. Over the last fifteen years, they have delivered genre-defining RPGs to players on both console and PC through titles including Fallout: New VegasSouth Park: The Stick of Truth, and Pillars of Eternity.

inXile Entertainment is a team of industry veterans with decades of PC and RPG expertise. Led by Interplay founder Brian Fargo, inXile’s two development teams in Newport Beach, Calif. and New Orleans excel at creating vast worlds for players to explore with titles such as Wasteland 2Torment: Tides of NumeneraBard’s Tale IV and the upcoming Wasteland 3.


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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62 Comments
TallSilhouette (on 10 November 2018)

Much like Ninja Theory earlier, I REALLY hope this wasn't a mistake. Perhaps MS will give them the support and resources to make great games without worrying about tight budgets. Or perhaps they'll be milked dry, monetized out the ass, and eventually cast aside when they become irrelevant. In any case, better still get PC releases.

  • +18
PEEPer0nni TallSilhouette (on 10 November 2018)

I think you can be certain of pc releases. These are RPG studios, a genre that is most popular on PC.

  • +2
Azzanation TallSilhouette (on 10 November 2018)

MS has held onto Rare for many years so i cannot see Obsidian and Inxile being in any danger.. unless they fail multiple times, i see them safe.

  • +1
Barkley (on 11 November 2018)

I was against the idea when it was first rumoured. But after hearing Path of Exiles 2 has apparently not done too well for Obsidian, fair enough. I'm against platform holders buying developers that are doing fine on their own. But if they're struggling, it's better they get purchased than die.

  • +10
Errorist76 Barkley (on 11 November 2018)

Pillars of Eternity 2 not Path of Exile.

  • +5
Barkley Barkley (on 11 November 2018)

Ooops, got my PoE's mixed up.

  • +2
routsounmanman (on 10 November 2018)

Wow Microsoft really getting ready for a bang early next gen.

  • +8
Errorist76 routsounmanman (on 10 November 2018)

More like mid of next gen.

  • -9
Salnax (on 11 November 2018)

And just like that, I now have to take interest in whatever Microsoft is up to.

  • +4
Qwark (on 11 November 2018)

Why is everyone hating Microsoft, now these studio's can finally start making AAA games again. Next gen we are going to have a new battle between MS and PS, which is much better for the industry. I wonder how Sony will retaliate.

  • +4
Chazore Qwark (on 12 November 2018)

Buying up universal IP's isn't great, it's only great for those that bought them up and denied others.

  • -4
Errorist76 Qwark (on 12 November 2018)

Sony is building new studios as well plus their studios have a much better reputation. Some of those new MS have just created mediocre games until today.

  • -6
Azzanation (on 10 November 2018)

Good Pick up for MS, now lets see what this talanted Studio can do with a budget behind them.

  • +4
Mnementh (on 10 November 2018)

Both studios that have former Black Isle staff? I'm sad they are first party now, but they are great studios and a great win for MS.

  • +4
Moseskyle83 (on 12 November 2018)

Am so confused with how some people are saying RIP just because they have be brought by Microsoft , are people forgetting if they wasn’t brought they was going under and people losing their jobs since there last game was a flop? Let’s just be happy jobs are not lost and a talented studio can maybe start delivering the goods again knowing they got the financial backing as we know Microsoft needs to counter Sony on those RPG single player side of things

  • +3
DonFerrari (on 12 November 2018)

The buying spree keeps going and another rumor confirmed. Now it's wait and see the good games MS will release for next gen.

  • +3
Dante9 (on 12 November 2018)

Dang. Too bad. This will be the first time that Xbox will probably have something that I'd like to have on the PS4. Well, it is what it is.

  • +1
UltimateGamer1982 (on 11 November 2018)

Now things are getting interesting. Sony might might finally have a worthy competitor next gen.

  • +1
routsounmanman UltimateGamer1982 (on 11 November 2018)

Implying that Nintendo is not one?

  • +2
Tridrakious UltimateGamer1982 (on 11 November 2018)

I'm sure Sony will be fine with their competition from Nintendo. They are the reason Microsoft is having to step their game up.

  • 0
DonFerrari UltimateGamer1982 (on 12 November 2018)

And seems like Sony is increasing teams inside current studios. Now it is a matter of the new buys from MS doing quality works.

  • +1
S.Peelman (on 11 November 2018)

Nooo

  • +1
sundin13 (on 10 November 2018)

I don't know, the idea of MS just buying studios kind of rubs me the wrong way. It seems like it is doing more to shrink the industry by preventing games from being released on other platforms than expand it. I would much prefer them investing in new studios and talent.

  • +1
Azzanation sundin13 (on 10 November 2018)

If anything, MS are the ones that allow games on other platforms compared to the others. Minecraft is a prime example. If Nintendo or Sony owned Minecraft you can bet it would be taken away from competitive platforms in a heart beat.

  • +4
Puppyroach sundin13 (on 11 November 2018)

Microsoft does what Sony does aswell. And there are so many developers out there today that some being under these big two isn't a huge issue. Since many fans demand 1st party titles, this is the way to go about it.

  • +6
flashfire926 sundin13 (on 11 November 2018)

When a new studio forms a lot of talent hired is from other studios anyways. It's not as if a new studio forms with a fresh bunch of college graduates.

Besides, Obsidian seemed to be on their knees prior to the acquisition anyways (and POE2 sold only 110,000 copies), so they saved them from going out of business

  • +6
sundin13 sundin13 (on 11 November 2018)

@flashfire: Thats fair. If this company was in any sort of danger than it certainly softens the blow a bit. That said, there is plenty of talent in this industry to expand.

Like, when Amy Hennig left Naughty Dog it didn't bring that company to its knees, however it did present the possibility of new opportunities and experiences in the industry. Or (not in video games but whatever) when Rebecca Sugar left Adventure Time to make Steven Universe. Adventure Time continued being one of the best shows on television for years while Steven Universe added another great experience on top of that.

Personally, I don't think that widespread purchasing of 3rd party studios is healthy for the industry. While it does allow certain studios to make larger projects, it is still fundamentally restrictive, especially when such acquisitions come with prior projects and IPs which have a history on other consoles. I believe that is generally anti-consumer.

  • 0
Chazore sundin13 (on 12 November 2018)

^All of this^

I loathe them trying to buy up IP's that were both multiplatform and PC based tbh.

  • -3
Thechalkblock (on 11 November 2018)

seems like the “xbox has no games” rhetoric will be coming to a close sooner than people would have thought. can’t wait for that bigotry to end.

  • -1
Errorist76 Thechalkblock (on 12 November 2018)

How can it be bigotry when it has been the truth and will be for some time?

  • -5
Killy_Vorkosigan (on 11 November 2018)

Last time MS bought studios, they just let them die doing nothing :cough Rare: for a platform they left to rot

  • -5
Chazore (on 12 November 2018)

Welp, there goes Obsidian off the table and off my list. Nice knowing you Obsidian.

  • -6
ResilientFighter (on 10 November 2018)

RIPdian

  • -10
Walbert (on 10 November 2018)

Rest in peach Obsidian.

  • -10
bettergetdave (on 10 November 2018)
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xl-klaudkil (on 10 November 2018)
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Chazore (on 10 November 2018)
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Azzanation CaptainExplosion (on 13 November 2018)

So in other words you hope these companies dont screw themselves up. Thats Rare in a nut shell.

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Errorist76 Ka-pi96 (on 10 November 2018)

Unless they drastically improve their Windows Store I’m with you on that.

  • +2
Soren0079 Ka-pi96 (on 10 November 2018)

I'm sure they'll be on steam. Age Of Empires 2 is on steam and that's microsoft and Microsoft has been calling themselves Microft studios rather than xbox these days, just to keep xbox as this option rather than a first party console with exclusives.

  • 0
Zkuq Ka-pi96 (on 10 November 2018)

Personally I'm more worried about GOG.

  • +3
Azzanation Ka-pi96 (on 10 November 2018)

You say this after MS released Killer Instinct and Qauntum Break on Steam.. haha i am pretty confident Obsidian games will still be on Steam. If not well thats the nature of the business.

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Errorist76 Ka-pi96 (on 11 November 2018)

@Azzanation Neither Killer Instinct, Quantum Break nir the rumoured Sunset Overdrive we’re first party titles.

  • +2
Azzanation Ka-pi96 (on 11 November 2018)

@Errorist76.. umm Killer Instinct definitely is first party and so is Halo Wars, Ori and the Blind Forest, Age of Empires and so many more. They are MS IPs and that means MS has full control on where they go, and they choose to put some of there games on Steam. I see Obsidian being no different. Than again it wouldn't bother me one bit if they don't either.

  • -5
Errorist76 Ka-pi96 (on 11 November 2018)

@Azzanation Sorry, but neither Ori nor Killer Instinct were developed my Microsoft owned studios. They were published by them, but that doesn’t make them first party.

  • +3
SuperNintend0rk Ka-pi96 (on 11 November 2018)

@Errorist Wouldn't those be considered second party titles?

  • +4
Azzanation Ka-pi96 (on 11 November 2018)

@Errorist76 - It doesnt matter who developes the games, they are MS IPs, the developers dont own or control the IPs, MS does. Killer Instinct is a Rare IP which MS owns 100% of. Halo Wars is a 343 game and the first one was made by Ensemble Studios which was a MS internal studio and its availble on Steam. I dont know where your point is going with this..

  • -2
Errorist76 Ka-pi96 (on 12 November 2018)

@SuperNintend0rk That’s correct, even though that’s not an official term, as far as I know.

@Azzanation I definitely matters a lot. Microsoft has never since they started with the Windows Store, put a game developed by a first party studio on Steam and I doubt they will do in the future. It’s independent from what they do with so called second party stuff like Ori, Halo Wars 2 or Sunset Overdrive. Halo Wars 2 was co-developed with Creative Assembly btw.

  • 0
Azzanation Ka-pi96 (on 13 November 2018)

@Errorist76
It doesnt matter who developes the games, it all comes down to the rightful owners of the IP. MS own all assets to these games. Its no different to when Rare made Donkey Kong Country and Star Fox Adventures. They didnt cross over Rares Replay because Nintendo owns the IPs, same as MS owning Killer Instinct etc. Halo Wars 1 was made by a 1st party studio.. guess what, its on Steam. MS put games on Steam if they see it benefiting them. They are the ones that do it not the developers. Sony or Nintendo could have made Halo Wars 2, its still up to MS where that game goes.

  • 0
Errorist76 Ka-pi96 (on 13 November 2018)

If they would put their games on Steam if it benefits them, they’d put their games on Steam. The only time they put games they own rights for on Steam is, if they flopped hard like Sunset Overdrive or Quantum Break.
Halo Wars is irrelevant as they not only tried to use it to hype up HW2 for PC, but it also originally released before the Windows store even was a thing.

  • -1
Azzanation Ka-pi96 (on 13 November 2018)

@Errorist76 Seems like you answered your own question. Expect no different from these two new studios. If they dont do well than expect a Steam release.

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darkenergy Chazore (on 12 November 2018)

Do you hate this so much that you made the same comment twice? You will get drown in dislikes again.

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