Obsidian Entertainment Chipping Away At Two Original RPGs, One Licensed Game

By Spencer . March 2, 2011 . 6:25pm


Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II was Obsidian Entertainment’s first published game. Shortly afterwards, Obsidian began working on Neverwinter Nights 2 and the now cancelled Aliens RPG. Dungeon Siege III is currently in development, but what will be their next game?


We posed that question to them during the course of our Dungeon Siege III interview.


"We are working on another licensed property right now, that has not been announced," said Feargus Urquhart, CEO of Obsidian Entertainment. "But, it’s a licensed property when we do announce it everyone is going to go ‘well, of course you had to make that game.’" Urquhart didn’t spell out the license, but he may have been referring to the Wheel of Time games, which were announced last year.


While the majority of Obsidian Entertainment’s portfolio is comprised of licensed sequels, the company is creating original properties. Alpha Protocol, released last year by Sega, was Obsidian’s first venture into new territory. "We do have two other games we are proposing right now," Urquhart revealed to Siliconera. "One that we already got to a prototype stage and both are properties we’ve come up with ourselves."


"I mean still want to… I would love to make another Star Wars game. I would love to make another Dungeon Siege game. Role playing games are all about these long histories of sequels. The Japanese RPGs are in 8th, 9th, 10s, 14s, 20s. Even the Western stuff, Skyrim is going to be V, it will be Elder Scrolls V. I always want to be working with on some RPGs with great history, but we also want to be making original stuff too."


Even though all of their published games have been RPGs, I think Obsidian Entertainment’s forte may actually be storytelling. "What if one day you woke up and said I can’t stand RPGs," I asked wondering what kind of genre Obsidian would like to infuse dialogue into.


"I frickin’ hate these things," Urquhart exclaimed before letting out a chuckle. "Hmm… what would that be? My history is I’ve made a lot of different types games. All the way from console platform games, to tile games, to a mech game, all of these different games. The first thing that comes to mind… I’m trying to think… and I would say this is me personally, not me thinking about the company or anything like that."


"I think it would be cool to make a Battlefield or Team Fortress like game. Because I think its different and I get them, to a point. I understand them as a player, but not necessarily as a game maker. But, I flirted with that when I did a mech game back in the mid-90s. I think that would be cool. I think the other game would be cool, that I would love to make, but no one would want to play anymore is I love are the Impressions Games, which were city builder games. They did a series called Caesar.. Caesar 1, 2, 3, Zeus, Pharaoh and stuff like those. And I love those games. I guess Civilization is like a city builder game as well. Those would be fun to make. Because they are different. One of the attractions is if I said, you know, ‘screw RPGs’ I would try to go fairly different. Have it be new, have it be something I have to learn and figure out."

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  • I still need to pick up Alpha Protocol. These give me new appreciation for Obsidian Entertainment.

  • DDanny

    Nice, Obsidian’s got the best storytelling in the market to me.
    And anything written by Avellone warrants a purchase.

  • Ereek

    I’d like to see an Obsidian developed horror game.

    • Like some of the bugs in their games weren’t horrifying enough. /takethat

      That aside, I’d vastly prefer if Obsidian tried working on IP that they themselves created. Alpha Protocol was, for all its clunkiness and ridiculous break from reality, a fantastic game, and I was rather saddened when I heard that there wasn’t going to be a sequel for it.

      Don’t get me wrong, I liked Knights of the Old Republic (although BioWare’s version was superior to the buggier, less polished KoToR 2), but the thought of there being a “KoToR 20” mortifies me.

      Think about it this way – the reason there are so many “Final” Fantasies is because each game is essentially completely different from the others. There is nothing to link the first Final Fantasy to Final Fantasy 14, besides the name and some common creatures and items. They are essentially completely different games, with completely different backgrounds and characters, and they’re only slapped with the same name because Square Enix wants to tell you “Hey, you liked Final Fantasy 6? Then buy 13! It’s like 6, only completely different! You’ll love it!”

      And with good reason. Can you imagine what the Final Fantasy series would be like if they tried to stick to the background of the first game for all their successive titles? If the series had tried to constantly spawn direct sequels to its past games, you would never have had a Final Fantasy 7 with Cloud, or FF8 with Squall. The Final Fantasy “Series” would never be as popular as it is now.

      So please Obsidian. Don’t screw up your one ace in the hole (story-writing) by attempting to strangle all the cash cows you currently have up your sleeve.

  • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

    Insightful, as always. Thanks Spencer.

    Alpha Protocol wasn’t my cup of koolaid but they’ve had a strong track record, I love new IP, and if one or both are on consoles I’ll keep an eye out. Not sure about the licensed stuff.

    For the love of gibbons don’t make another Battlefield or Team Fortress like game.

  • Headslam.

  • epiphaniesarefun

    I really would love to see some concrete details on those wheel of time games….


    • Ereek

      Agreed, I’ve been waiting since it was announced. I actually hope it’s open world-choose-your-nationality or something similar.

  • Phoenix_Apollo

    I’d love an American visual novel.

    • d19xx

      and a dating game. I want to see “Headslam” as an option when talking to a girl.

  • I enjoyed Alpha Protocol. There I said it.

    • fuzzy_hobo

      You’re not the only one, man. Obsidian can tell great stories…they just struggle with the implementation and technical aspects of games.

  • Wouldn’t the licensed property be the “Wheel of Time” game they are making?

    EDIT: Herpdederp, apparently I missed the conjecture on that.

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