Obsidian Entertainment just released their newest hit game, The Outer Worlds, a few short weeks ago. However, some fans are already thinking about what the studio will be working on next. One fan in particular was wondering if the studio will return to the Pillars of Eternity franchise. Thus, that fan did the most logical thing and asked Obsidian’s design director Josh Sawyer on Tumblr: “Will there be a Pillars 3?” Unfortunately, Sawyer’s response may not be exactly what fans of the franchise were hoping for.
Sawyer specifically points out the low sales of the second entry in the franchise: Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, as to why he’s unsure if the studio will make a third game in the series. “That is not something that I get to decide, but I do think that the relatively low sales of Deadfire mean that if we consider making another Pillars game in this style, we’re going to have to re-examine the entire format of the game,” Sawyer states in his post.
Even with both the first and second game being critically acclaimed, sitting at an 89 and 88 on Metacritic respectively, Sawyer doesn’t understand why the second game did poorly in sales. Sawyer specifically states, “It would be easier in some ways if Deadfire were also a colossal critical failure and we could point to the massive screw-ups that we needed to address.”
Sawyer would go on to state that maybe people didn’t like the game’s Real Time with Pause combat, when the turn-based Divinity Original Sin 2 did extremely well commercially and critically, or maybe people only wanted the first game or even maybe really didn’t enjoy that game. Because not knowing the real reason as to why the game sold poorly, Sawyer would sign off his response with, “I don’t have that confidence, which is one of several reasons why I am leery about trying to direct a sequel. I couldn’t give our (Obsidian’s) audience the game that they wanted and without understanding where I went wrong, I would be guessing at what the problems are and how to remedy them.”
Last year, Obsidian was purchased by Microsoft, and joined a plethora of new studios entering the Xbox first party lineup. With the backing of Microsoft, it will be interesting to see if the studio does return to Pillars of Eternity, continue on with The Outer Worlds, or make something new entirely.