Obsidian Entertainment - Moving Beyond RPGs

For pretty much its entire existence, Obsidian Entertainment was known for two things - RPGs and buggy releases. Then, in recent years, the studio started paying more attention to QA and eventually got dethroned by Owlcat Games in the realm of launch day issues.

And, probably, in order to prove to the world that they won't be shackled by any labels, lately they've started experimenting with projects of dubious RPG-ness. So, while the studio is still working on at least a couple of roleplaying projects in Avowed and The Outer Worlds sequel, in 2022 they also released Grounded, a co-operative survival title, and Pentiment, a narrative adventure.

As a result, we can now check out this PC Gamer article that heaps a fair bit of praise on Obsidian's non-RPG projects that seem to be enjoying their fair share of success. Here's a couple of sample paragraphs:

Despite the current popularity of survival games, this was a big risk. It's an oversaturated market and, traditionally, Obsidian's audience are RPG fans, so the studio's reputation isn't really a bonus here. When fellow RPG developer BioWare made its own pivot with Anthem, which was technically still an action-RPG, but was really more of a crappy live service shooter, it famously didn't go so well.

As a prominent part of Xbox's Game Pass library, Grounded managed to ensnare a whopping 10 million players even before it was finished, absolutely smashing the numbers of most of its RPGs. Its success has inspired a cartoon, which is currently in development, and I suspect we'll be seeing more of Grounded in the future. But that's not all Obsidian's been working on, and 2022 also saw the release of a second game, completely distinct from Grounded, but again not an RPG.