Obsidian Entertainment Was Saved By Pillars of Eternity

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Disclosure: The author of this post has pledged towards the Kickstarter for Pillars of Eternity at the minimum level required to own the game, long before GameSided was even a website. You can read more about our ethical standards here.

Just days ahead of the launch of Pillars of Eternity, things are looking up for Obsidian Entertainment. They developed and released one of the better games of 2014 and are trying to bring back the traditional 2D-esque Computer Role-Playing Game in 2015. Things weren’t always looking so rosy, however, as a preview for their Pillars of Eternity backers-only documentary suggests that the company was fairly close to shutting down before their fateful Kickstarter campaign.

The bulk of their problems at Obsidian Entertainement stemmed from a canceled console project, in which they were forced to layoff some of their employees. Some of said staffers had been with the company for years, as Josh Sawyer points out. “As the months went by after that cancellation and we still didn’t get a project, it got worse and worse and worse,” producer and lead programmer Adam Brennecke explains video. “And we kind of had a date in mind where we’re like, ‘If we pass this date [without being assigned a game project] then we’re basically screwed.’ We were basically going to run out of money.”

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Surprisingly enough, it was only after Double Fine successfully brought in $1+ million on their first day of their Kickstarter did those at Obsidian see value in the crowdfunding service. While not strictly following in Tim Schafer’s footsteps (for the betterment of Obsidian’s fans and their money), once they saw someone it work outside of theory, Brennecke, Chris Avellone and others took the next few months to come up with a pitch for Project Eternity (later named Pillars of Eternity), and the rest is $3.9 million worth of history.

So, even if you disagree with the release delays and financial mismanagement of Tim Schafer with Broken Age, always remember that he had an instrumental impact on saving Obsidian Entertainment. There’s no way in hell you can knock him for that!


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