Phil Spencer’s No-BS attitude helped convince Obsidian to join Xbox

One of the big acquisitions Microsoft made when it started consolidating its number of first-party studios a few years ago was Obsidian Entertainment. The studio behind Neverwinter Nights 2 and Pillars of Eternity joined the Xbox games division in 2018, in a deal initiated by Microsoft.

Microsoft wants the game; Obsidian wants creative freedom to develop the types of games it is passionate about. Four years later, that deal saw the company that produced the RPG The Outer Worlds, the well-received survival video game Grounded, and begin work on Avowed, a new fantasy RPG that will dedicate exclusively for Xbox Series X | S and PC.

Now playing: Why Pentiment is a failed New Vegas designer’s dream project

According to Obsidian studio head Feargus Urquhart, Xbox’s acquisition philosophy and its promise to allow the studio to maintain its creative and cultural freedoms were key highlights of the deal in 2018. Meeting with Microsoft Studios head Matt Booty and then senior Xbox director. Business developer Noah Musler helped convince him to join the Xbox team, but it was Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer who helped seal the deal.

“I didn’t know Phil Spencer very well at the time, I’ve probably only talked to him once or twice up to that point,” Urquhart told IGN. “But what’s very interesting to Phil is that he’s like this – I don’t know – I don’t mean ‘personality’ in the end, because he’s Phil Spencer and because he’s running all the games. But knowing him now, and even what I know of him back then, his reputation is just as a validator and someone who isn’t BS and loves games. belief in that.”

From there, Obsidian was founded and joined Ninja Theory, Playground Games, and several other studios that year to help shape a “new Microsoft” for developers. In the last week Xbox and Bethesda ShowcaseObsidian has shown more of his work, including get Grounded out of early access and IdeaDirected by longtime director Josh Sawyer.

Described as a murder mystery set in the 16th century, the Pentiment has a unique look inspired by the feudal manuscripts of the time and is slated for release on Xbox and PC next year. Last year.

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