Microsoft is rumoured to be looking into the acquisition of game developer Obisidian Entertainment, in an apparent attempt to shore up its role-playing offerings and potentially beat rival Sony in the must-have console-exclusive title stakes.
Founded in 2003 by Feargus Urquhart, Chris Parker, Chris Avellone, Darren Monahan, and Chris Jones, all formerly of Interplay Entertainment's Black Isle Studios, Obsidian Entertainment quickly made a name for itself continuing the tradition of role-playing gaming started at Black Isle. It quickly picked up deals to produce licensed games, with franchises including Dungeons & Dragons and Star Wars, and in more recent years has returned to the Fallout universe, taken on the world of spycraft, and even developed South Park games.
Lately, though, the company has had a few troubles, including the departure of co-founder Avellone in 2015 and financial issues stemming from a failure to achieve a Metacritic Score-based bonus for Fallout: New Vegas, missed by a single point. That hasn't stopped Obisidian from continuing to develop new titles, including recently-released Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, but it has made the company ripe for a takeover - and sources claim that Microsoft is looking to do exactly that.
Anonymous sources speaking to Kotaku have claimed a deal that will see Microsoft buy Obsidian as an in-house studio is nearly complete, though neither company was willing to comment on the matter - with Obsidian offering the amusing response that it doesn't 'comment on rumours or speculation other than to say that the Rumors album by Fleetwood Mac still holds up'.
If acquired, Obsidian would join a raft of studios owned under the Microsoft Studios banner including Minecraft creator Mojang, Rare, 343 Industries, Undead Labs, Ninja Theory, and The Coalition.
February 26 2021 | 22:15