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Microsoft announced The Outer Worlds 2 today during its E3 2021 press briefing, turning this RPG from 2019 from a colorful, entertaining hit into a franchise.

The Outer Worlds is developer Obsidian Entertainment’s funny and an effective critique of corporate culture … and the power conglomerates we have in our society. It first hit the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, later coming to the Nintendo Switch. It sold over 2.5 million copies, surpassing publisher Private Division’s expectations.

We saw a mushroom forest with a giant monster and some soldiers, all with a funny narrator talking about how they haven’t finished anything but the title yet.

But Private Division won’t be a part of The Outer Worlds 2. Microsoft acquired Obsidian in 2018 (and InXile as well) during The Outer Worlds’ development (though it does get royalties, a spokesperson told us Monday). Private Division’s original publishing agreement remained in place, and The Outer Worlds became Obsidian’s final game as an independent studio.

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The Outer Worlds has you exploring and doing missions on several planets. It’s a first-person RPG, and it has elements of Fallout with its “tactical time dilation system” that slows down time (think V.A.T.S.) You can mod weapons, and the choices you make can influence the fates of folks living on the planets and settlements you encounter.

Update, 2:03 p.m. Monday: Private Division still receives royalties for The Outer Worlds franchsie.

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