Publishers Attempted to Exploit Obsidian Entertainment for Kickstarter
Publishers made attempts to goad Obsidian into starting a Kickstarter for their own benefit, to the detriment of the studio.
Obsidian Entertainment’s Feargus Urquhart has made it known that on his company’s Facebook page that there were publishers which wanted to use his company to launch a crowdfunded campaign (read: Kickstarter) without ever allowing the developer to reap the benefits it would be entitled to had it done so independently.
The studio is currently behind an already successful, yet on-going Kickstarter fund for its next game tentatively called Project Eternity. The game is being developed as an old-school role-playing game in the vein of Planescape: Torment, replete with dialogue and a full cast of characters to accompany the player on his or her journey in an as-yet-undeveloped epic fantasy world of Obsidian Entertainment’s own creation. The setting is the company’s first and only independent fantasy-based intellectual property and contrasts to its previous titles, which were licensed properties.
According to Urquhart, the publishers—which remain unnamed—approached Obsidian Entertainment a few months ago with a proposal for the studio to head up a crowdfunding campaign which would have put the developer at a disadvantage had they chose to go along with it.
The publishers maintained that Obsidian would not inherit the brand name or the intellectual property, and that only a marginal portion of the profits from the game would go to the developer. The publishers would reap the majority of the profit and would not actually invest in the game’s development.
“We were actually contacted by some publishers over the last few months that wanted to use us to do a Kickstarter,” he said.
“I said to them ‘So, you want us to do a Kickstarter for, using our name, we then get the Kickstarter money to make the game, you then publish the game, but we then don't get to keep the brand we make and we only get a portion of the profits’ They said, ‘Yes’.”
Urquhart's response was obvious, and the studio decided instead to make their own Kickstarter project independent of any publisher interference. Speaking of which, we've compiled a helpful article detailing everything we know about Project Eternity so far here.