Microsoft is rumored to be days away from acquiring Obsidian Entertainment to help with making Xbox/Windows-exclusive games.
According to a new report from Kotaku, software giant Microsoft is close to signing a deal which will acquire Obsidian Entertainment, the studio responsible for many classic RPG games. If you’ve ever played Fallout: New Vegas, South Park: The Stick Of Truth, or Pillars of Eternity, then you’ve enjoyed some of Obsidian’s handiwork.
Three sources speaking to Kotaku said that the deal could be announced within days. One said the deal was “90% finished”, while another said, “It’s a matter of when, not if.”
Fans of Obsidian know that the company has struggled financially over the years. At one point in 2012, the studio almost closed their doors, but a successful Kickstarter campaign allowed them to create the successful Pillars of Eternity and remain afloat.
Unlike some game publishing companies (we’re lookin’ at you, EA), Microsoft tends to have a lighter touch when it comes to acquiring studios. The acquisition would bring much-needed financial stability for Obsidian, allowing it to stick around if one of their games flops, while Microsoft gets another company to help make exclusive content for the Xbox console.
Microsoft has been gobbling up developers all year to help fix a flaw in their gaming empire: a serious lack of exclusive games. They’ve bought four companies this year alone, including Playground (Forza Horizon), Ninja Theory (Hellblade), Undead Labs (State of Decay 2), and Compulsion (We Happy Few). Obsidian would be the fifth company to fall under the Microsoft umbrella, and who knows how many more Microsoft might buy before the end of the year.
Kotaku’s sources also state that Microsoft is looking to refocus their efforts in the PC-gaming market, which has historically been Obsidian’s specialty.
There is a bit of bad history between the two companies, however. In 2012, the company partnered with Microsoft to make the RPG Stormlands, but frequent disputes eventually led to the game’s cancellation. This reportedly soured the relationship between Obsidian and Microsoft’s Xbox division, but that division is under new leadership which has evidently allowed the two companies to bury the hatchet.