Phil Spencer Was a Big Reason Why Obsidian Joined Xbox

The Outer Worlds and Grounded developer Obsidian reveals what made it join Xbox’s ever-expanding list of prominent developers back in 2018.

Over the last few years, Xbox has been building a roster of developers to make exciting and interesting Xbox and PC exclusive games. Gamers need look no further than the recent 2022 Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase to see that major upcoming titles like Starfield and Avowed are being released solely on Microsoft platforms. With the Activision Blizzard deal looking more likely by the day, it seems that Xbox will only continue to build its list of big developers as time goes on. Recently, representatives from Obsidian Entertainment spoke about what made the decision to join Xbox so appealing.

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Obsidian is well known for developing classic RPGs like Fallout: New Vegas and will likely be recognized for its more recent work on co-op survival game Grounded and sci-fi RPG The Outer Worlds. The developer joined other companies like Ninja Theory and Playground Games in signing up to be a part of a “new Microsoft” back in 2018, but at first it seemed that Obsidian’s team wasn’t too enthralled by the prospect.

Speaking in a recent interview, Obsidian Studio Head Feargus Urquhart said that the company wanted to prioritize maintaining its creative freedom in making games. Urquhart was unsure at first whether Microsoft would allow this. However, it seems that Xbox boss Phil Spencer put those fears to rest. While Microsoft and Xbox executives convinced Urquhart to have his studio join the team at the gaming giant, Phil Spencer’s attitude towards gaming was what sealed the deal.


Spencer came across as “authentic,” according to Urquhart, and as someone who genuinely “loves games.” This attitude has been recognized by others in the gaming community as well. Back in February, the DICE Awards gave Spencer its Lifetime Achievement Award. While some still criticize Microsoft’s constant buying of developers as a form of monopolization in the gaming industry, it seems Phil Spencer and his ideas regarding video games are enough to keep developers believing that joining the green brand is the right choice.

Obsidian will continue to make games for Xbox and PC in the coming years. Later in 2022, it will see the proper release of Grounded, which has been in early access, alongside the launch of an interesting-looking mystery game called Pentiment. That project had been leaked previously, but was officially revealed recently in a trailer that looks like nothing Obsidian Entertainment has ever made before. There’s also Avowed on the way, but fans aren’t expecting that game any time soon after it failed to appear at the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase.


Source: IGN

Source: Gamerant

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