It didn’t take long for Obsidian Entertainment’s newest title, The Outer Worlds, to become popular and gain massive fan favor following its reveal at 2018’s Game Awards. A sci-fi action-RPG that’s already boasting an open world, many unique recruitable allies and branching story-lines, it has drawn natural comparisons with Bethesda’s own Fallout series, which isn’t surprising considering that Obsidian’s staff includes the original creators of Fallout (something that was advertised in the announcement trailer). However, this has led to a large subset of fans seeing The Outer Worlds as Obsidian’s way of capitalizing on the failure of Fallout 76 (which we even listed as one of the most disappointing titles of the year) and are showing Bethesda “how it’s done” – an attitude that has not sat well with Obsidian’s CEO.
Game Informer recently visited the studio and spoke with CEO Feargus Urquhart about fans using their new title to attack Bethesda, who pointed out that development on The Outer Worlds, which supposedly can be cleared without the player needing to kill a single enemy, started back in 2015, so Obsidian couldn’t have predicted the circumstances surrounding its announcement or the state of Fallout 76.
“People even said things about our trailer: ‘Oh man, just slamming it home to Bethesda!’ because we said the original creators of Fallout and makers of Fallout: New Vegas. We have storyboards from July that said that,” stated Urquhart, “I have no ill will for Bethesda, I love playing Fallout games… We’re not fighting for the same dollars.”
“This isn’t meant to be negative – it can probably be taken as negative. We really enjoyed making Fallout: New Vegas and people really enjoy Fallout: New Vegas,” he continued, “Bethesda is looking to take the Fallout brand in a different direction. There’s nothing right or wrong about that. That’s their choice. They own it, they get to do what they want with it. But in our mind, there are people that enjoy where Fallout was. That is what we wanted to do with The Outer Worlds, to give people that. And you know what? Maybe that’s a bad decision from the standpoint of the number of people that will buy it. I don’t know… People seem to really enjoy what Fallout: New Vegas was, so let’s give them an experience that’s as similar as we can to that.”
This is a slightly different contrast to how former Obsidian developer Chris Avellone responded to The Outer Worlds announcement, joking on Twitter that the trailer actually translates to “F–k youuuuuuu Bethesda.” Considering how Bethesda treated Obsidian when the two companies used to work together (like denying devs bonuses because Fallout: New Vegas didn’t get enough good reviews despite having an average Metacritic score of 84), it’s not surprising to see so many assume that Obsidian may still hold a grudge even after all this time.
The Outer Worlds will release on PS4, Xbox One and PC some time in 2019.