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The details, as told by Feargus Urquhart, CEO of the company, to Kotaku:
"That pitch, over the course of six months probably went through thirty revisions," Urquhart said. "I personally had probably spent 80, 100 hours just me on that one pitch, answering every question and asking everything and working on the budget."
Then Atari and Obsidian started working on a contract, which they had negotiated in full by the end of 2008. It was all set. Ready to be signed.
"Then they said they wanted to come see us to look at things," he said. "And so they came into see us and they looked at things. And then about a week later they said you know we're concerned that you can't make the game. And then a week later all of Atari Europe was sold to Namco Bandai."
Suddenly, the Atari producer that Obsidian had been working with was no longer at Atari.
"All this work got done," Urquhart said. "We negotiated a whole contract. Years worth of work, and it turned out they didn't have the money."
In the full interview snippet (the whole interview is apparently going to be published on Monday) Obsidian's CEO also talks about the possibility of seeing a Baldur's Gate III developed by Trent Oster's Overhaul and the chances of the two companies collaborating in the future.