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Since its foundation in 2003, Obsidian Entertainment has worked with seven different publishers. Commencing with LucasArts on Knights of the Old Republic II, Obsidian has since signed contracts with Atari, SEGA, Bethesda, Square Enix, Ubisoft and most recently, Paradox Interactive. In fact, up until Pillars of Eternity [official site], every single game Obsidian had made was funded and distributed by a different publisher.
This is a highly unusual state of affairs, and has proved precarious more than once in the company’s history. But it has also provided Obsidian with a unique insight into how the world of publishing works, and how the relationship between developer and publisher has changed in the last couple of decades. This topic is especially pertinent today, as new methods of funding and distributing games have seen a significant shift in the power dynamic between developers and publishers.
I spoke to CEO Feargus Urquhart about how it all works (and doesn’t).
South Park: The Fractured But Whole [official site] isn’t just content to offer up another round of hilarious role-playing, it will also be improving on the fundamentals of The Stick of Truth including some pretty epic farts that can tear a hole in the time-space continuum. In a recently released developer diary, South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone talk about their lessons learned and detail some improvements made to South Park’s turn-based combat.