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Obsidian raised $4.5 million through Kickstarter to make a classic PC role-playing game. That money won’t cover marketing and distribution, so the developer is looking to a growing publisher for help.
Obsidian revealed today that it is teaming up with Crusader Kings II publisher Paradox Entertainment to launch Pillars of Eternity, Obsidian’s upcoming RPG. Paradox, a longtime strategy-game house that’s getting more into RPGs, will handle marketing and distribution duties on the title. This will enable Obsidian to focus solely on finishing development now that it has shipped South Park: The Stick of Truth for Ubisoft.
The studio also reconfirmed its commitment to spend all of the money it raised during Pillars of Eternity’s 2012 Kickstarter for the game, which it also plans to launch this year.
“This game would not have happened if not for the passion and generosity of our backers, and their faith in us to create the game they wanted,” Obsidian chief executive Feargus Urquhart. “How we are developing Pillars of Eternity has not, and will not be, changed; we will deliver the game we promised to our backers, and we will deliver it this year. Having Paradox as a partner, with their expertise in independent games like Pillars of Eternity, lets us put all of our focus on making an incredible game.”
Paradox Interactive is best known as a publisher of strategy games for PC. In 2013, it launched grand strategy title Europa Universalis IV, urban-management game Cities in Motion 2, and action-shooter The Showdown Effect. In 2012, it put out Warlock, its first strategy-RPG.
It’s also developing a Norse myth-themed role-playing game, RuneMaster, and Warlock II — and signing on Pillars of Eternity shows that Paradox is trying to become a player in RPGs as well as strategy.
“When we signed this partnership we called it two independent players in the games industry supporting each other to stay independent by doing what we do best,” Paradox chief executive Fredrik Wester said. “The fans backing this game — many of us included — are looking forward to a classic RPG as envisioned by the designers at Obsidian, and that’s exactly what they’re going to get.”
Urguhart founded Obsidian in 2003 following the dissolution of his former company, Black Isle Studios. Many Obsidian staffers came from that development house, which produced beloved hits like Planescape: Torment (its so-called “spiritual successor” is Pillars of Eternity) and Icewind Dale.
Obsidian went on to make triple-A RPGs like Knights of the Old Republic II, Neverwinter Nights 2, and Fallout: New Vegas.